Facts on teething and the effects it has on sleep - Babysense
Category_Advice & Tips>Baby>Ages & Stages>3-6 Months

Facts on teething and the effects it has on sleep

Image Source: finds.hellobee.com Why is it that just when your baby is able to start sleeping through the night, and may in fact, already have started doing so, that teeth decide to make an appearance! Ann Richardson looks at the effects of teething on sleep. Teething, per se, does not cause a sleeping disorder. Rather accept that when your child is teething, sleep may be disrupted temporarily. Avoid falling into the trap of blaming “teeth” for bad sleeping habits that never seem to go away. It is important to recognize some important facts about teething, so that you can have a clear understanding of what your child is feeling when he is cutting his precious new teeth. Teething, by definition, is when the actual tooth cuts through the gum and appears in your baby’s mouth. This may occur anytime from 3 months of age (very unusual) up to 1 year of age. Early teething (in babies younger than about 7 months) usually follows a family history of early teething. Late teething (after one year of age) is also unusual, and also follows a family history. Check with your parents when you cut your first tooth, and invariably, your child will follow suit. On average, most babies cut their first tooth at around 7 months of age. However, it is not unusual for your baby to celebrate his first birthday with no sign of teeth! This actual “cutting” may be preceded by a period of discomfort (may last weeks) as the teeth settle into the gums and prepare to start pushing upwards. This is usually when your baby drools excessively, and loves to chew and bite down on objects. This period is seldom characterized by fever, loss of appetite and other illness such as diarrhea and ear ache. If your baby is 15 months or older with no sign of teeth, consult your Dentist who may want to X ray his mouth to check that his teeth are present. Signs that your baby may be ready to cut his first tooth include the following: Excessive drooling and biting down on objects Loss of appetite, especially sucking on the breast or bottle A low grade fever, or periods of intense fever A red and spotty rash around his mouth Nappy rash – may be severe Frequent, loose stools A runny nose Ear ache There is a theory that teething may “weaken” your baby’s general immune system and make him more susceptible to illnesses such as otitis media (ear infections), bronchitis (chest infections) and tummy upsets. This, however, has not been scientifically proven. Many parents confuse normal developmental milestones (such as chewing on fingers and hands, and blowing bubbles) with teething. Remember that at around 3 months of age, your little one will find his hands (Oh joy!) and chew excessively on them, creating plenty of drool and bubbles! Don’t confuse this exciting developmental milestone with teething or hunger! If your child is feeling unwell whilst teething, please treat him with teething medication that is available from your pharmacy. Do you remember when your wisdom teeth started appearing? This is what your little one is experiencing whilst he is cutting his teeth. He may have a headache, and have a sore mouth, especially with eating. If your nights are becoming difficult, medicate with the prescribed medication at bedtime, and repeat the dose at prescribed intervals during the night if needs be. Keeping your babies dummies and teethers in the fridge is also a good idea, as the coolness helps to soothe inflamed gums. Accept that teething is a normal part of your baby’s development. You (and your baby) may be lucky and sail through the teething stage, or there may be some seriously wobbly days (and nights) ahead. Either way, rest assured that teething is a temporary phase, and that peaceful days and nights will occur again! By Ann Richardson
Stimulation is important for development - Babysense
Category_Advice & Tips>Baby>Ages & Stages>3-6 Months

Stimulation is important for development

“How much stimulation is enough?” Parenting comes with heavy responsibilities. One responsibility which we parents take very seriously is that of ensuring that our babies develop to their maximum potential. However advice on how we achieve this goal of optimising potential has varied over the past century. ‘Stimulation is unnecessary’ In the early 1900s a well-known American developmental psychologist and paediatrician, Arnold Gesell, popularised the belief that a child’s development was predetermined by an inherited biological plan, which he called maturation. This meant that the environment would have little bearing on a child’s development. This led to the belief that no amount of stimulation (or abuse for that matter) would impact on the outcome of the child. Parents were advised to leave their baby to develop according to nature and that the stimulation of young children was unnecessary. ‘Stimulation is essential’ In the mid-20 th century, groundbreaking research with institutionalised orphans revealed that children who had no stimulation or personal contact displayed severe developmental delay. Suddenly we woke up to that fact that the environment did indeed impact on a child’s development. Since then there has been a great deal of research with animals and humans, which has reinforced the concept that an enriched environment results in enhanced development. ‘The more, the better’ Suddenly we started to realise the importance of environment in the outcome of child development – and the pendulum swung to encourage infant stimulation and enriched environments in the first year. In fact, by the end of the 20 th century the pendulum had swung from ‘leave well alone’ to ‘the more, the better’. And so began the frenzied seeking of every opportunity to stimulate our infants. Millennium parents found themselves under extreme pressure to stimulate, stimulate, stimulate their children. The sensible middle ground It is time for a more balanced view of stimulation, and for the pendulum to swing back to the sensible middle ground. This does not mean that we should sit back and do nothing for our children. We must learn how to modulate stimulation. A baby never has more brain cells in his life than on the day he is born. However it is the connections between these cells that are important for intelligence and coordination. The connections between the brain cells are formed and strengthened by sensory information and experience - and so a certain amount of sensory input and fertile experiences are necessary for the brain to develop optimally. However when stimulation in the environment becomes overwhelming, the brain enters a zone of stress in which little can be learned and which is not optimal for enhancing development. An example would be the pressure of taking a driving examination for the first time. When stressed like this, we make more mistakes than when we are relaxed. It is this over-stimulated state and stressed state that many infants find themselves in, owing to the frenzy for stimulation. So what is needed is an enriched, but not over-stimulating environment and routine. Every child has a natural desire to develop and master his world. Parents should harness this enthusiasm. They should provide an enriched environment and they should facilitate play, in order to enhance development. How to modulate stimulation What is important is that: We do stimulate our babies in order to enhance their development Babies are not over-stimulated As parents, we watch for signs of over-stimulation Development-enhancing activities are incorporated into the daily routine, as opposed to dictating the routine Babies are not over-scheduled and taken from one stimulating environment to the next Babies are not overwhelmed with too many toys and activities Babies are left to play alone and not pressurised to achieve developmental goals. Just as the wise biblical verse says “to all things is given a time” we need to exercise wisdom when stimulating our babies. The pendulum has swung and we must now modulate the amount of stimulation we give our babies. They are more likely to excel with a moderate amount of stimulation, than with a frenzy of input that stresses both parent and baby. By Meg Faure
Sucking: the secret to a good night’s sleep - Babysense
Category_Advice & Tips>Baby>Ages & Stages>1-3 Months

Sucking: the secret to a good night’s sleep

Non nutritive sucking (ie. Sucking without feeding) really helps to calm young babies. Some babies learn to suck on their own hands from a very early age, others prefer to suck a dummy. Both are excellent soothers for young babies. Do not stop your baby from sucking but guide your baby into a method you prefer. Thumb sucking Thumb sucking is an excellent self-calming strategy and is the first very clever, independent skill your baby learns. Your life will be easier if your baby can calm herself in this manner, especially at sleep time. The pro’s of thumb or hand sucking is that it is something your baby can use independently from very early on. The negative is that thumb suckers may have a higher risk of needing orthodontics at a later age. Whether thumb sucking will result in bucked teeth is dependent on your family’s predisposition and how long your child sucks her thumb. It is harder to get rid of a thumb sucking habit as you can’t conveniently ‘loose’ a thumb but if your baby is fussy, and sucking on her thumb really helps her to calm, worry about that later. Remember the issue is to get your baby to calm, so that sleep can follow. In the early days, the startle and moro reflexes move the arms outwards when young babies are distressed, making it very hard to self-calm while crying. Help your baby find her hands to suck on to self-calm, by swaddling her hands close to her face. Frequently this won’t be enough to sufficiently calm her and a dummy can also be used. Dummies On a sensory level, your baby needs to suck in order to be calm, and if she is not doing it herself (i.e. sucking her hands or thumb) a dummy is a very effective tool. Getting rid of the dummy is a bridge you can cross later. It will depend on your baby – some just reject the dummy naturally in the first year, others need to be rewarded for giving it up in the toddler years. Teaching your baby to use a dummy independently At around 6 to 9 months, many babies start to wake for mom to replace the dummy in the middle of the night. At this time the dummy is not something that is used independently. At about 8- 9 months old however you can expect your baby to be using the dummy at night independently. If your baby is waking you to put in the dummy at night, there are three steps to help your baby (older than 8 months) to use her dummy independently at night: In the first few days, keep putting in her dummy when she cries at night, but during the day never put the dummy in her mouth. Rather place the dummy into her hand so that she learns to pop it in herself in daylight hours. Once she has achieved daytime independence, do the same at night – never place it in her mouth, rather put the dummy into her hand or attach it to a sleep blanky and put that in her hand so she must do the final step of putting the dummy into her mouth on her own. When she has advanced to that stage (usually within a few days if she is older than 8 months), stop placing the dummy in her hand and guide her hand to the dummy in the dark. The next night put every dummy in the house into her cot giving her the maximum chance of finding it at night The message should be clear: if your baby self-soothes at night she will sleep well. Sucking is a wonderful self soothing method. Encourage either thumb or dummy sucking for a good night’s sleep. By Meg Faure
10 sleep tips for your baby by Sr Ann Richardson - Babysense
Category_Advice & Tips>Baby>Ages & Stages>1-3 Months

10 sleep tips for your baby by Sr Ann Richardson

Create a sleep zone and stick to it. This may be in her own room, or in your room. It doesn't matter where it is, as long as it is a 'zone' where sleep happens - she will learn to recognize it as such. At sleep time, put your baby to bed. Try to avoid letting her fall asleep where ever you may be at sleep time such as on the couch, in your arms or in the car. Obviously there will be times where your baby will fall asleep out of her bed, but try not to make it the norm. Watch awake times. It is the time spent awake between sleeps that drives your babies sleep. This is absolutely vital to ensure healthy sleep habits. Follow the guidelines of "awake times" from Baby Sense and Toddler Sense, and allow your baby to fall asleep then. Don't wait until she shows signs of over tiredness before trying to put her to sleep. Put your baby to bed "happily awake". Watch for her signals to indicate to you that she is getting tired (not is already tired!) These signals may be a simple sneeze or a hand on her face. Read Baby Sense to get familiar with your baby’s signals. Modulate the environment to promote sleep. Switch off loud, jarring music or sounds such as a lawnmower at sleep time. For day sleeps, cut out glare by closing curtains and dim lights at night. If you are out and about, cover the pram with a cotton blanket to block out sunlight and noise. Remove all stimulation from the immediate sleep zone. Remove mobiles, toys, activity sets and stimulating bumpers from your baby’s cot to prevent over-stimulation at sleep time. If she is over stimulated, she will be unable to fall asleep easily. Encourage a sleep comfort or doodoo blanket. The Baby Sense™ Taglet, a soft cotton toy or blanket will comfort your baby at sleep time. It will also act as a memory trigger to help induce sleep. Accept that babies don't sleep like we do! This acceptance goes a long way towards helping you cope with sleep deprivation in the early days. Expect not much sleep for the first 3 months at least. Have faith though; babies usually start to sleep for longer periods at night from the age of 12 weeks (even earlier if you are lucky!). Stay calm. Your baby will pick up any anxiety from you, and will be even more unsettled. Try not to get too bogged down in the moment, and focus on the good things about your baby such as her smile or her dimple. Have a sense of humour. If all else fails, laugh - after all it is the best medicine around! By Sr Ann Richardson
The correct sounds and smells for better sleep - Babysense
Category_Advice & Tips>Baby>Ages & Stages>3-6 Months

The correct sounds and smells for better sleep

If you have ever been delayed in transit due to inclement weather and had to sleep in the airport, you will agree that it was not the best night sleep you have ever had! The hard floor, bright lights, sterile smells and jarring sounds of the environment are not conducive to peaceful sleep. You may have dropped off to sleep, but I would probably have woken regularly during the night. Such is the impact of sensory input in a sleep zone. Smells Smells enter the nose and create a chemical reaction on the mucous membranes of the nasal passages which is interpreted by the brain as a smell. Smells are a very special sensory input as they are processed by the brain in a very different way to any other sense. Smell is the only sense that is not processed first by the relay center of the brain (the thalamus) before being perceived. Smells go directly to the conscious brain and have direct connections to the limbic system as well. The limbic system controls our memory and feelings. This is why a smell so quickly transports us back to a memory of a place and the feelings about that place. Since smell is such a pervasive sense, it is vital that your baby’s nursery or sleep zone is soothing on an olfactory level. Newborn’s sense of smell is significantly more sensitive than older babies and toddlers so the principle with babies under three months is to use products with no fragrance. From three months onwards use smells to calm your baby before, during and even while sleeping: The following smells work well for sleep Lavender Chamomile Vanilla Rose Bath time - use baby bath products such as a bath emollient, foaming soap or lotion with a scent. Bedtime – at bedtime, give your baby a massage or at least rub them with cream that has a calming smell. In the bedroom – buy a burner for essential oils that can be placed out of reach of your baby but will fill the room with a calming smell. A blanky that smells of mom or baby is also very soothing. You can buy teddies or soft toys that are impregnated with a soothing scent. Sounds Loud noises and a wide variety of tune, rhythm and pitch are alerting to our brains. On the other hand, sounds can be very soothing and in fact shift us down a state from over stimulated to calm or from drowsy to sleeping. Use soothing sounds in your baby’s room to help her fall asleep: White noise: White noise is sound played at a certain frequency with consistency that becomes background sound, such as water running or an air conditioner in a room. The background sounds your baby heard in utero is white noise and helps newborns all the way through to adulthood to sleep better. White noise not only shifts one into a deeper sleep state but also masks any irregular sounds that may wake your baby up, such as a phone ringing. Some good white noise ideas are: A fountain outside your baby’s room Humidifier in the room Fan Air conditioner Tune a radio to no station and play radio static quietly in the background or use white noise such as the Baby Sense Womb to World™ Lullaby: The singing of lullabies is passed from generation to generation by mothers. These moments of peace just before your baby falls asleep are precious beyond words. Mother’s just know that the soothing lilt of a lullaby works best. Singing lullabies to your baby helps him to shift into a drowsy state, facilitating easier transition to the sleep state. Play lullabies to your baby By using specific sensory input in your baby’s environment, you will find your baby will be calmer and more likely to fall asleep with ease. By Meg Faure
Solving sleep problems starts with acceptance - Babysense
Category_Advice & Tips>Baby>Ages & Stages>1-3 Months

Solving sleep problems starts with acceptance

“People who say they sleep like a baby usually don’t have one” Leo J Burke Ask any sleep deprived mother and she will attest to the fact that her ability to function and parent well is hindered by lack of sleep. We crave the energising and renewing feeling sleep gives us and yet for many, sleep becomes an enigma or fond distant memory during our baby’s first year. The first step to dealing with sleep deprivation is in fact not getting more sleep, but being realistic about what we should expect from our babies. As soon as we know what to expect from our babies in terms of sleep we have made the first step towards acceptance. By knowing what to expect, we stop unrealistic cravings for sleep and start to deal with sleep deprivation constructively. Many common misconceptions abound about baby’s sleep: If you sleep well, you sleep like a baby! You should aim for your baby to sleep through the night at 6 weeks Once your baby has slept through a feed for three nights in a row it will not require that feed again and should be ‘dummied’ to prevent feeding at that time. All babies sleep through the night at 3 months By waking your baby at 10pm for a feed you will encourage them to drop the early morning feed A full nights sleep is 7pm to 7am These misconceptions are not true and by expecting your baby to do them you set your self up for disappointment and frustrations on the path to developing good sleep habits. So the question is what can you reasonably expect from your baby? All babies wake or at least stir at night The young baby has a sleep cycle of 45 minutes. A sleep cycle stretches from one light sleep state through a deep sleep state to the next light sleep state. All babies stir every 45 minutes as they come into the light sleep state. Good sleepers can resettle themselves without needing intervention, whereas poor sleepers signal to their mothers, needing help to fall back asleep. So the notion that if you sleep well, you sleep like a baby is incorrect as all babies are in fact stirring every 45 minutes. Her baby slept through the night from 6 weeks when will mine? The idea that some babies ‘sleep through’ at six weeks or all babies should sleep through by 3 months is not correct. Some babies will sleep through the night earlier than others, if your baby does this enjoy it but know it may be short lived as many babies start to wake again after six months. Babies should be allowed to expect a night feed until they are on full solids (6 months), if they need it. As a rule of thumb, babies under 6 weeks are feeding almost as frequently at night as they do during the day, possibly stretching to four or five hours once at night. Between 6 to 12 weeks your baby will probably drop a night feed, usually the 10pm to 11:30pm feed and therefore only require one feed in the early morning and then another at dawn. Do not wake your baby for the evening feed to prevent the morning one as this frequently leads to problems as you are not allowing your baby’s natural sleep rhythms to develop. At three to six months your baby can be expected to sleep from the early evening to a very early morning feed – after 3am. During this period, your baby will probably need to start eating solids but not proteins until after 6 months. So what is ‘sleeping through’ and when should my baby sleep through? Sleeping through entails sleeping from early evening (approximately 7pm) for a stretch of 10 to 12 hours, which means waking between 5am and 7am. During this time, your baby may stir but a ‘good sleeper’ resettles himself. By understanding your baby’s sleep and having reasonable expectations, night feeds and night wakings become more bearable. As exhausting as this early mothering period is, it is precious and short lived. By instilling good sleep habits from early on you will soon enjoy a longer night’s sleep, but not for many years will your sleep habits resemble those blissful pre-pregnancy sleep-ins or a solids night’s sleep. By Meg Faure
Solutions for babies that are early risers - Babysense
Category_Advice & Tips>Baby>Ages & Stages>3-6 Months

Solutions for babies that are early risers

Remember back to the days of waking when, well – whenever you woke? These days long gone, as parents we face early morning wakings as a matter of routine. When your baby wakes at 6am, you reluctantly get out of bed and greet the day. But when your baby thinks the day starts at 4 or 5am, it’s not as easy to happily greet the morn! Meg Faure, co-author of Baby Sense looks at strategies to deal with this bleary issue. The first step of dealing with the issue of early wakings is managing our own expectations. Babies and toddler do wake early - it is part of the deal. If your baby is over 6 months of age and goes down at 6 or 7 pm you can expect a wakeup call 10 to 12 hours later. This means that your baby could wake at between 4 and 7am. This does not mean you need to be up for the day at 4 and we will look at strategies to get an extra hour sleep later in the article. Factors affecting wake up time Bedtime: The perfect for your baby’s bedtime is between 6 and 7 pm. Do not be tempted to put her down later in an attempt to get her to sleep later, it generally works the opposite and can disrupt her sleep more. With that in mind it does need to be said that if your baby is younger than 6 months and has slept for 10 straight hours, she may well be waking because she has almost had enough sleep or is hungry or thirsty. Day sleeps: You need to make sure your baby has regular day sleeps, putting her down according to her awake times each day. Remember sleep begets sleep, so the more she sleeps in the day, the better she will sleep at night. However, if your baby is over 18 months and is waking very early in the morning, you can try to move her morning wake up time by limiting her day sleep to one hour instead of two hours. If she is grumpy and not making it to bedtime happily it will indicate that she was not ready for the limited day sleep. But often when toddlers get to two years old they don’t sleep a full 11 or 12 hours if their day sleep is too long. Sleep comfort: To prevent early morning wakings, make sure your baby’s room is very dark as early dawn light maybe indicating to her that its morning. Also make sure she is warm enough by putting her in a sleeping bag, as our body temperature drops in the early hours of the morning. Use very good quality night nappies so that you know she is dry and her nappy is not too cold. Finally be sure that she has a sleep blanky or security object to help her resettle. If she still wakes, there a few tricks to help her resettle until later: When you hear her cry after 4am, listen for 5 minutes, in case she re settles herself, which she may well start to do as she gets older. If she has been fussing for 5 minutes, go in and offer her her sleep blanky and gently tell her to go back to sleep. This probably won’t work, but it sets the expectation, which is important as she gets older. If that doesn’t work you can break the night rules in an attempt to get her back to sleep: Offer a warm bottle in the dark with no eye contact and do not change her nappy. This signals it’s a different feed from morning. Do not offer milk before 4am – rather offer cool boiled water. If she still won’t settle, take her into your bed and try go back to sleep with her. Don’t worry about habits – at this time of day, good sleepers don’t start to expect this at night If all of this does not work, we suggest you and your partner take turns to do the early mornings. There is no point in having two tired parents. And finally know that you will be battling to get her up in time for school in 6 years time, so this doesn’t last forever! By Meg Faure
Sleep safety for your baby - Babysense
Category_Advice & Tips>Baby>Ages & Stages>1-3 Months

Sleep safety for your baby

Sleep is most parents’ first separation from their baby. And for many this elicits anxiety. I am sure the scene of a mother crouching over her sleeping baby to hear if he is breathing is familiar to most parents. We do this because of the terrible scare of cot death. Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is the shocking circumstance when a parent finds their sleeping baby dead and medical science can offer no reason for the death. It leaves parent’s grieving and seeking answers for their entire life. Until recently in the developed world, SIDS was the leading cause of death in healthy babies under a year of age. Since 1983 the number of deaths due to SIDS has halved to around 2500 deaths a year in the USA. Even though the odds of a cot death are low, it is wise to put your baby to sleep safely to limit the chances of SIDS. Where should your baby sleep? The debate on co-sleeping rages on, with options polarized on where the best place for babies to sleep is. A significant body of literature indicates that co-sleeping is associated with an increased risk of cot death. This research has shown that there is an increased risk of cot SIDS when parents sleep with their baby in their bed. On the other hand, there is also a very vocal body of parent advisors who advocate co-sleeping as the natural and safe place for a baby to sleep. This research shows that there is a greater chance of breastfeeding being well established with co-sleeping and that babies do well not being separated from their mother. What is clear is that if you choose to co-sleep with your baby, you must do so safely. Co-sleeping safely: If you choose to co-sleep, follow these guidelines to limit the risk of SIDS Your baby must sleep on her back. Do not have a pillow near your baby. Do not cover your baby with your duvet, or use an electric blanket or hot water bottle. Place your baby on the outside of the bed next to you, not between you and your partner. Have a sleep nest that creates a space for your baby in your bed. Do not co-sleep if your baby is exposed to cigarette smoke during the day. Do not drink alcohol or take any form of pain medication before bedtime. If you have had a Caesarean section and are taking painkillers it is wiser to let your baby sleep next to you in a crib. Sleep Sense, 2007 The best option is probably to have babies less than three months of age in your room, next to your bed in a co-sleeper cot. After four months, babies should be moved into their own room and will sleep better and longer in this way. Features of a safe sleep space: The most critical aspects of a safe sleep zone are that there is no risk of overheating or suffocation. Follow these guidelines to decrease the risk of SIDS: Your baby must sleep on his back or on his side with a wedge. A sleep wedge prevents babies from rolling onto their tummies. The only time a baby should sleep on his tummy is with severe cases of reflux and certain airway malformations, such as Robin syndrome. The ‘back to sleep’ position is particularly important for the first 6 months. The mattress must be firm and NO pillows or blankets or duvets should be in the cot at all for the first year. Loose blankets and pillows provide a risk for suffocation if they cover the baby’s face. Under 4 months, firmly swaddle your baby and after four-five months, the only safe cover for a baby is an infant sleeping bag. Do not overheat your baby’s room or over cover your baby. The perfect temperature for your baby’s room is 21 degrees Celsius. If the room is warmer, don’t cover your baby with extra blankets. DO NOT use polyester or synthetic fabrics or sleeping bags filled with polyester as these fabrics and fillers do not allow regulation of body temperature. By Meg Faure
Sleep routines for your baby - Babysense
Category_Advice & Tips>Baby>Ages & Stages>3-6 Months

Sleep routines for your baby

Guidelines for different sleep routines at different ages. Every mom and baby is different and a routine that proposes to be a one fits all is not realistic. Here are guidelines for different routines at different ages: Routines for newborns Your newborn is too little to have a fixed routine and routines at this age generally do more harm than good. Here are the principles: Don’t aim for routine at this stage Feed on demand Expect your baby to wake as frequently day and night • Aim to settle your baby to sleep after an hour of awake time during the day Routines for 2 – 4 months Patterns begin to emerge, with your baby guiding the way; a routine may be possible in this age band: Feed 3-4 hourly At nights your baby will begin to stretch the time between feeds Put your baby to sleep during the day after 1 ½ hours of awake time Read more about awake times Routines for 4-6 months Routines begin to emerge in earnest and most babies do well with the predictability of when to sleep and when to feed: Feed on schedule with flexibility – 3-4 hours between milk feeds. Solids may be introduced during this time, if your baby needs solids Read more on introducing solids Introduce a consistent bedtime routine that calms your baby for sleep. Do not leave your baby’s bathroom and room during this time Suggested day sleep routine: Wake between 5 and 7am Wake +1 ½ hours = morning nap – 45 minutes Wake +1 ½ hours = late morning nap or sleep If this sleep short – wake +1 ½ hours = afternoon nap and another cat nap at 5pm (4 sleeps) If this sleep is long – wake + 2 hours = afternoon nap Wake from naps by 5pm Bedtime routine starts 1 hour before bed Bedtime by 6:30 Routines for 6- 9 months At this age, routines can make the difference between a good eater and sleeper or poor habits: Day sleep routine: Wake between 5 and 7am Wake +2 hours = morning nap – 45 minutes Wake +2 hours = midday sleep Wake + 2 ½ hours = afternoon nap Wake from naps by 4:30pm Bedtime routine starts 1 hour before bed Bedtime by 6:30 Routines for 9-12 months A good day sleep and feeding routine assists good night sleep habits: Day sleep routine: Wake between 5 and 7am Wake +2 ½ hours = morning nap – 45 minutes Wake +2 ½ hours = midday sleep From 9 months - drop afternoon nap Wake from naps by 4pm i.e. very short cat nap if needed Bedtime routine starts 1 hour before bed Bedtime by 6:30 Routines for toddlers By now a routine should be a way of life and will free you up in many ways: Day sleep routine: 6-7am Wake 11:30 lunch 12pm – one midday sleep Wake from sleep by 3pm Bedtime routine starts 1 hour before bed Bedtime by 6:30- 7pm Routines are not a priority If you are a go-with the flow, laissez-faire type person you may not want a routine at all and that is perfectly good, particularly if you have a settled baby. Read more about baby personality By Meg Faure

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