20 Quick fixes for your baby’s sleep - Babysense
Category_Advice & Tips>Baby>Ages & Stages>1-3 Months

20 Quick fixes for your baby’s sleep

You are tired, too tired to read a tome on how to get more sleep and all you want is a quick fix for your baby’s sleep. If things are going awry, here are 15 quick fixes to try that really will make a difference. Swaddle your newborn until 12 weeks of age for every sleep. This inhibits the startle reflex and prevents cat napping. If your 7 month old is waking more than once at night, increase the in his diet to 2-3T per meal. Protein is found in meat, dairy, chicken, beans, lentils, nuts, eggs and fish. If your baby under three months of age wakes twice at night, feed him rather than putting the dummy/pacifier in. You are likely to start a soother habit if you don’t meet the basic needs of a feed. Babies may need a night feed until on full solids at 6 months of age. Use white noise to keep your baby in a deeper state of sleep. Buy a white noise CD or play the radio tuned to no station – static. After 6 months of age, turn off your baby monitor if your baby’s room is fairly close to your room. You don’t need to hear and respond to every toss and turn and if your baby really needs you – you will hear him! Follow a strictly until 18 months. Start with a bath and end with a soothing massage or lullaby. Don’t let your little one sleep later than 4:30pm if over 6 months of age, otherwise he won’t want to settle to sleep by 6:30 or 7pm, which is the ideal bedtime for this age. Don’t take your baby or toddler from the nursery after bath. Take him to his room, read a story, feed and then a lullaby and to bed. Turn off the TV – TV especially after 4pm affects sleep habits. Turn off the night light for babies under 18 months and turn on the night light for toddler over 18 months – when imagination develops and nightmares and fears set in. Leave your hand on your newborn for 15 minutes after you put him down to sleep until the hypnagogic startle passes. Drop a day sleep at 14 months to one at 12-2pm. During the day try to only let your baby have one sleep on the run – all other sleeps in the nursery so he gets used to falling asleep in his sleep zone. Make sure your little one has taken to a ‘doodoo’ blanky or security object by 6 months of age – they are lifesavers for years to come. Deworm your toddler (older than18 months) if he is restless at night or waking and staying awake for hours in the middle of the night. 15 minutes of movement for all babies and toddlers in the late afternoon – use a swing or walk in a sling/ Use high quality nappies/diapers at night so that you don’t have to get up for a wet baby. From 4 months of age aim to have your baby settle himself to sleep. Use a sleeping bag from 5 months of age, when babies start to kick off their blankets. Use block out lining on the windows to darken the room – this will encourage later waking.
10 Products that aid sleep - Babysense
Category_Advice & Tips>Baby>Ages & Stages>1-3 Months

10 Products that aid sleep

As you wade through the quagmire of sleep deprivation, it is completely natural that you will try anything, well almost anything, to get a good night’s sleep. There are products out there that really can help and make a difference. Dummy/Pacifier In the early days babies sleep better while sucking. Non-nutritive sucking is calming and will aid sleep. As your baby gets to 5-8 months, he may go through a patch of sleeping worse because of a dummy/pacifier habit. Teach your baby to find the dummy and pop it in himself at night. As to which dummy to buy – they are all great – just find one that your baby takes to. Sleeping bag From 5 months many babies kick their blankets off and wake cold, in the early hours of the morning. The reality is that in addition to not staying on, loose blankets can be a suffocation risk for small babies. An infant sleeping bag such as the Baby Sense Sleepy Sac is an excellent solution. By simply ruling out coldness, your baby may end up sleeping a whole lot better. Night-light A night-light is not necessary in the early days. In fact young babies sleep better in complete darkness. You may need a night-light or dim light to see what you are doing at night feeds, but essentially it is not for your baby. Come 18 months, when imagination starts to develop, your toddler may be fearful when waking at night. At this point a good investment would be a night-light in the nursery. Block out lining It is worth getting your baby’s room nice and dark, for both day sleeps and to encourage your baby to sleep later in the morning. White noise Like the background noise your baby heard in utero, white noise helps to lower sleep state and keeps your baby asleep for longer stretches. Use a fan (in summer), a humidifier (in winter), an air conditioner or white noise such as the Baby Sense Womb to World CD or MP3. Teddy or doodoo blanky There is no doubt, come 7 months old, your baby needs a doodoo blanky or teddy of some sort to use for comfort at night. In the end it does not matter what you choose but follow these principles: Small (no suffocation risk) Replaceable – not a fancy once off from a boutique Cleanable in a washing machine and tumble dryer No loose pieces – beware of imitation Taglets that are not safety tested. Good quality nappies/diapers Don't skimp on nighttime nappies – they need to be super absorbent so that they don’t leak. There is nothing worse than a baby waking for something as simple as wee’ing through onto their clothes. If this happens, inevitably a change not only of nappy but also clothes is needed. Iron supplements Over 6 months of age it is a good idea to put your little one onto an iron supplement. Low iron levels or anemia are associated with night waking’s after the second six months of life. Lullaby CD As part of a bedtime routine, sing lullabies to your baby. Soothing sounds just before sleep time do help your baby to settle to sleep easier. We suggest the Baby Sense Lala CD or MP3. Rescue Remedy Made by Bach flower remedies, this natural soothing flower essence really does settle fractious little ones. In addition, if you are battling to fall back to sleep once your little one has woken you; this product will help you settle too! By Meg Faure
5 ways to help your baby’s emotional development - Babysense
Category_Advice & Tips>Baby>Ages & Stages>3-6 Months

5 ways to help your baby’s emotional development

As parents we often look for ways to do things better and improve on our parenting skills. The pressure is immense to be a great parent. What should be prioritized as key elements to ensure a baby’s optimal development? Let’s first focus on what makes for healthy emotional development in infants. Firstly, enhancing optimal development involves specific interactions or activities with your baby – in other words, there is an element of good parenting that focuses on the baby. Photo by: http://neverphoto.com/ But equally important, there is a component of good parenting that has to focus on you - as women and men. Since you are a unit (a triad – mom, dad and baby), you need to make sure that you take care of yourselves and your relationship too. The perfect recipe (unachievable, I know) is thus an emotionally healthy and available parent plus focused time and interactions with your child. So with this in mind here are five fundamentals that really do make a difference. Slow down and spend time in the moment, making memories, with your baby. This is critical because only when you slow down do you make yourself fully available to read your baby’s signals and connect with him or her through play and communication. Resist the parenting rush and don’t multitask every moment of the day. Do not compare your baby or compete with other moms in the ‘parenting competition’ – comparing who is the better mother. We are members of the same side – moms doing the best we can. And your baby is not in any race of their choosing. Don’t compare your baby’s skills with the next baby. Never say “never” when it comes to parenting. Every time you say never, you set yourself up either to fail when you give in or to judge another parent for doing the so called - forbidden. Usually the ‘never’ is something unimportant like ‘never suck a dummy’ or ‘never use disposables’ or ‘never say no’. Value yourself as a mother and resist maternal guilt. You are the best mom for your baby and you are doing a great job of being a good enough parent for him or her. Balance your baby’s stimulation and calming activities, ensuring that he does not suffer undue over stimulation and irritability. By Meg Faure
Baby needs dummy at night - Babysense
Category_Advice & Tips>Baby>Ages & Stages>1-3 Months

Baby needs dummy at night

Three steps to help your baby (older than 8 months) to use her dummy independently at night: At about 8- 9 months old 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: Step 1 Each time she needs the pacifier during the day, put it in her hand – not her mouth. She must pop it in her mouth on her own. Step 2 Once she can do this in daylight hours, it’s time to let her do it at night. Each time she cries at night put the pacifier in her hand and she must pop it in her mouth. Be sure to always offer her doodoo blanky first. Step 3 Once she can put the pacifier in in the dark, guide her hand to it when she cries until she can get it on her own. Step 4 Put lots of pacifiers in the cot so she finds them on her own. Step 5 Leave her to fuss for 5 min before responding – giving her chance to sort herself out with her doodoo or pacifier. By Meg Faure
Your baby’s unique sensory personality - Babysense
Category_Advice & Tips>Baby>Ages & Stages>1-3 Months

Your baby’s unique sensory personality

You have no doubt at least once in your life as a parent, compared your little one to a friend’s baby and wondered if you were doing it all wrong when your baby wouldn’t settle or sleep as well as hers. On the other hand, if you are getting it right and have a really easy baby who is sleeping through, you may be patting yourself on the back and thinking that you must have the secret to a content little one. The question is whether it has more to do with your baby’s personality or with you and how you parent him. Any mother who has more than one baby will tell you: every baby is different. Even twins born with the same genes and reared in the same home by the same parents differ in their response to life. One twin may be quiet and slow to engage while the next is as social and bubbly as can be. Whether your baby is a settled baby or a fractious, irritable chap probably has more to do with who he is than you realize. Let’s explore the four sensory personalities, how these affect sleep, development and mood and how your sensory personality fits with your baby’s. Social butterfly The social butterfly loves interacting with others and his world. He is a more alert baby and seems to be constantly on the move. He is not happy when left alone for long because he just loves being in the company of others. These babies love to be carried around and you may find yourself getting frustrated that you never have your hands free. Your social butterfly has limitless energy and is a bundle of fun. A walk in the shops takes twice as long with a social butterfly because he makes eye contact with strangers and invites interaction and smiles from everyone. As a toddler, these babies tend to be busy and a little impulsive. Life with a social butterfly is never dull but can be exhausting, especially in the toddler years. Sensory Brain - The social butterfly loves sensory input and stimulation through the senses, which he uses to interact happily. If he gets too little stimulation, he can become grumpy as he is not getting enough information from his world. Slow to warm up baby Some babies just take longer to adjust to anything new. They are sensitive to change and take a while to get accustomed to unfamiliar sensory information so appear to be withdrawn at first. But unlike the sensitive baby who is fractious, the slow to warm up baby is calm as long as he is near mummy or daddy or in a predictable environment. As older babies and toddlers, they may be known as Velcro babies because they are happiest when next to mum or on her lap. Your slow to warm up baby loves his routine and is easily upset by changes in his schedule because routines make his life predictable. A slow to warm up baby with no routine may be more difficult to manage and they tend to need to be soothed through close contact (carrying or feeding). As older children, slow to warm up babies are quiet and a little anxious when out of their comfort zone. They are shy and tend to withdraw rather than embrace novel and unpredictable situations. Once they are comfortable with a friend or in an environment they warm up and can be the life of the party. Sensory Brain - The slow to warm up baby’s brain is sensitive to new sensory information and is easily overwhelmed by new sensory input and novelty. As his brain gets used to a new sensation and your baby has determined it is not threatening, it begins to filter and so your little one will settle down and is calmer. Since he is initially sensitive to sensation he tends to avoid situations that are new and potentially overwhelming. Your little one will like predictability and being with people he knows. Settled baby Your settled baby is much more laid back than others. He is an easygoing, happy chap. He is flexible and sleeps and feeds with ease wherever he is. Your settled baby copes well with stimulation and interaction and to changes in his routine. By a few weeks old, the settled baby will be starting to fit into a routine; he may well be sleeping through the night and is generally content. The settled baby’s development may be a little slower than other babies: there is no rush to roll or crawl because the settled baby is quite content to lie back and watch the world go by. As a toddler this baby is as happy at home reading books as he is going out and about. Sensory Brain - The settled baby’s brain has a natural capacity to filter a lot of sensory information. These babies don’t even register some sensory input, unless it is a clear and strong sensory input: sounds are filtered so your baby is not easily woken by noise; touch is filtered so a dirty nappy does not bother your baby at all. Sensitive baby Some babies are just more fussy and sensitive. These babies often take a long time to settle and are colicky for quite some time. Parenting a sensitive baby is a challenge at times. Breastfeeding often gets off to a rough start with these babies because they are sensitive to the feel of your nipple, the touch of your skin and the smell and tastes involved in breastfeeding. They are best fed in a quiet room, with dim lighting soon after a sleep, when they are calmest. Your sensitive baby does not learn to self-calm as rapidly as other babies. In addition your attempts to calm him may be a challenge. Often sensitive babies act as though they do not like being swaddled (they are sensitive to the blanket and pressure) and do not take to dummies (they are sensitive in their mouths too). It is important with sensitive babies to persist with swaddling and sucking strategies because this will make your life much easier. The sensitive baby is very tuned into their world. Sensory Brain - All sensory input is perceived with greater intensity by the brain. Your baby may feel as you do in a dark alley – like all sounds, touches and sights are a potential threat. He needs to have the sensory environment filtered for him, especially as a newborn. By Meg Faure
6-12 Month sleep problems - Babysense
Category_Advice & Tips>Baby>Ages & Stages>6-12 Months

6-12 Month sleep problems

And the sleep disruption raises its head again... Just as you think you have turned the sleep corner and are finally enjoying a full 8 hours sleep, have adjusted to 6am being morning and are actually having dinner with your husband, your baby throws you a sleep curveball! Is a common story heard over and over again - an 8 - 10 month old who is suddenly waking more frequently again? Just as with your little baby, you should apply a step by step approach to eliminating the causes of sleep disruption in the older baby: Nutrition is a common cause of night wakings at this age. Until 6 months old, your little's ones nutritional needs were probably fulfilled by a diet of milk and possibly some simple solids like cereals, vegetables and fruit. But at around 6 months of age this all changes and your baby needs more iron and essential fatty acids, the type and qualities of which are not found in the simple starter diet any longer. This is the time to rapidly introduce proteins to each meal. From 6 months of age, your baby should have 2 tablespoons of protein in each meal - for example, yogurt, egg, cream cheese, chicken, fish, lentils, beans or white sauce. Recent research shows that introducing proteins, including fish and whole egg does not need to be delayed until 9 months, in fact introducing them as soon after 6 months of age as possible is better for allergy prevention. (Feeding Sense, 2010). Proteins have a higher level of fats so contain the essential fatty acids that your little one needs at this stage. In addition, protein takes longer to digest than carbohydrates so your baby will feel full for longer. Just introducing protein at this age may sort out your baby's sleep problems. Medical causes of night wakings may occur at this stage for two major reasons: firstly your baby will in all likelihood cut his first tooth between 6 and 12 months. Although teething does not lead to poor sleep, over the 4 days around a tooth erupting, your baby may be uncomfortable in his mouth and may also have a congested nose, leading to night wakings. Deal with the discomfort of teething by offering Paracetamol if you can see the tooth under the gums, just for the few nights around the tooth actually appearing. The second medical cause of night wakings relates to you returning to work: if your baby is put into crèche at this age, he may be more susceptible to illness, coughs and colds, all of which can lead to poor sleep. Ear infections or glue ear in particular can wreak havoc with sleep and it is worth ruling this out as a cause of night wakings. Changing day routine occurs at 9-12 months as your baby drops from three sleeps and day to two .If he continues to sleep late in the day, bedtime can be difficult and you may find yourself using unhealthy sleep tools such as feeding to sleep, rocking to sleep and pushing to sleep to get your little one to sleep. By doing this, you can expect night wakings for the same habits. Make sure your baby does not sleep after 4:30 in the afternoon. This may mean shifting day sleeps so that he has two later sleeps (9am and 12pm) or bringing bedtime forward to 6pm. Separation anxiety raises its ugly head between 8 and 10 months of age. Before this age, your little one is so tied to you that in his mind you and he are one person. The as object permanence begins to develop, he learns that you are separate and he wakes feeling anxious that you may not be around or available when he needs you. This means that in the middle of the night, he will call you in to just check you still exist and will respond. In this case, you will walk in to find an alert little one who instantly calms as you enter the room and goes back to sleep quite happily once he has seen you. This is so frustrating because you know there is no reason for him to need you or to wake but now you are awake and your sleep has been disrupted. To deal with separation anxiety: Play hide and seek and other games during the day that make him look for you and find you, so that he learns that you still exist when he cant see you. Always say goodbye and hello on separation and reunion respectively. Make sure he has a 'doodoo' blanky such as the Baby Sense Taglet that he loves and takes to that he can reach for to get comfort. Finally, know that this stage will pass, give him loads of love during the day and respond promptly at night and he will soon stop calling out to you. Developmentally, the 6-12 month old is very busy cementing his milestones - sitting, crawling, getting from lying to sitting and eventually standing. You can find him practicing these new found skills at night, even in his sleep as you discover him standing in his cot. Once again, patience is the name of the game as this won’t last long. As long as you don’t allow a long term habit to creep into the mix, by offering a feed or bringing him into your bed and he will settle soon and stop these antics. Babies of this age are serious creatures of habit. The best way to prevent negative sleep crutches is to put in place healthy sleep crutches. These include: Rigid bedtime routine - for one hour before sleep time, carry out a soothing bath time and bedtime routine that includes a story, a warm drink and a lullaby. Comfort object - make sure your baby can independently use his sleep comfort object (dummy, Taglet or teddy) Lull to drowsy activity - just before putting him to sleep, rock him to drowsy then put him down awake by sleepy. By instilling healthy habits and avoiding the dependent ones such as feed to sleep, rock to sleep and push to sleep, you can ensure that if your baby does wake at night, he can independently put himself back to sleep. Of all the challenges of early parenthood, sleep can be the greatest. The most disconcerting element is that babies go through stages when sleep improves and then for no apparent reason, the wheels will fall off again. The critical part to ensuring long term good habits, is to rule out the underlying reason at each stage and not allow bad habits to become entrenched. By Megan Faure
A flexible routine – good for baby, good for you - Babysense
Category_Advice & Tips>Baby>Ages & Stages>1-3 Months

A flexible routine – good for baby, good for you

Nothing is quite so tiring as those first few weeks of bathing, feeding, burping, soothing, and then doing it all over again. Getting your baby settled into a predictable routine can make all the difference in your home.

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