Dads… how to handle the sleepless nights - Babysense
Category_Advice & Tips>Baby>Ages & Stages>Mom & Dad

Dads… how to handle the sleepless nights

Tips to make it through the tough days and nights of no sleep... I'm tired too...... Okay, so I didn't give birth or spend any of the 9 months carrying a water melon sized belly around with me but I'm still shattered. I have fetched and carried, tied shoe laces and cut toe nails for a beautiful woman who is going to give me a great why can I not be tired too. I have been told that until I breast feed 5 times during the night I am not to say the word tired!!!! Well, I say I not the guy who worries and carries the heavy cases and gets the 2 year old bathed, dressed and to bed every evening and wakes for his snotty nose at 3 or 4 in the morning whilst also being woken when the baby cries at 10........ 12 ......... 2........... 4............. and again at 6. I am even nudged at 2am to “please change the baby..........” So what tips can I pass on to you: the unsuspecting Dad? This is my way to make it through the tough days and nights of no sleep....... Headache tablets.....keep them handy. You will have headaches due to lack of sleep. Get nappies, bum cream, wet wipes/cotton wool, water, baby grow and all other essentials near to you for night wakings, so that you do not have to turn the lights on and burn your retina and more importantly can get back to sleep before you are too fully awake. Keep the light low and don't talk to anything or anyone............You will pay the price if you do. Keep warm (on the wintery nights) the cold seems to wake you up. Cat naps....even of 5 minutes on the toilet.....lock the door no one can get to you!!!!!!! Go to bed early..... don't be a hero......... Give her a helping hand......... offer drinks or a snack, it could help you to get more sleep. Alternate duties on a Saturday so you can sleep in. Relax and enjoy.........This will not last forever...............just take it one step at a time. Good night and sleep well! By Meg Faure
Coping with sleep deprivation - Babysense
Category_Advice & Tips>Baby>Ages & Stages>Mom & Dad

Coping with sleep deprivation

Did you know that in 1964 Randy Gardner set the world record for going without sleep – he survived 11 days without nodding off. Since then others have tried to break his record and some have claimed to but his is the longest period someone has stayed awake whilst carefully monitored for ‘micro-sleeps’. Amazing? You may think so but you are probably also thinking “What on earth would you do this for?” One night of broken sleep and I am so unpleasant that breaking a no-sleep record would be murderous or at least a suicidal thing for me to do! Baby Sense and Sleep Sense look at how to get your baby to sleep well, this article is not about how to get more sleep – it’s about what you can do to help yourself cope with sleep deprivation if your baby is not sleeping at night: Early morning sleep in The parent who gets up at night gets to sleep in, in the morning. Anything after 4am is a ‘morning waking’. In other words if you do all night wakings between 7pm and 4am – its hard but you know that you have a three hour sleep to look forward to – 4am to 7am or (hopefully) 8am. It just makes those night wakings easier to survive. Weekend sleep in Take turns over the weekend doing the early morning shift. You do Saturday morning and only wake your partner at 8:30 that day and your partner does Sunday. Just one lazy morning will help you survive the week ahead. Midday sleep If your baby is not sleeping through, really try to sleep over midday, even for just an hour. As soon as your baby goes down for her midday sleep, close your curtains, pop on a soft tracksuit or even PJ’s and try to sleep. A few drops of Rescue remedy will help your cause and assist you to fall asleep on your own. Go to bed early As tempting as that episode of CSI is, it is not helping your cause at all. Your natural awake times mean that 8pm is the best bedtime for adults. Try to be in bed by 8pm to ensure you get a good few hours of shut eye, before the first night waking. Share night duty Some couples find that ‘sharing is caring’ and that you both feel better if you share the load. In this case, take it in turns to get up when your baby wakes. This does not work well if you are breastfeeding as your poor tired husband will be getting up to bring your baby across which means you are both awake and sleep deprived. Rescue remedy Made by Bach, rescue remedy is not in any way dangerous for you or your baby and is not a drug, it simply helps some people fall asleep a little quicker. It is useful to be used after each night waking so you fall asleep quicker. It will not sedate you or make you drowsy, so you will hear your baby cry at night. Walks in the fresh air before dinner time Exercise in the late afternoon will help you get a better quality of sleep when you do finally sleep at night. In addition, at the time of day when you are flustered and tired, you will be out and about getting some air. Life with a new baby can be tough and the sleep deprivation can feel relentless. It really is worth trying to get to bed early at night and back to sleep as quickly as possible. The odd late morning makes all the difference too. But at the end of the day – it’s your friends and support system who will make you feel normal, supported and understood. And finally know this – it will pass and the day will come when you are getting a full 8 hours again. By Meg Faure
Is it time for nr.2 yet? - Babysense
Category_Advice & Tips>Baby>Ages & Stages>Mom & Dad

Is it time for nr.2 yet?

The adjustment to being a new parent is dramatic and almost no parent is fully prepared for the transition. Then just as you begin to find your equilibrium again (albeit a new equilibrium) the question arises over when the best time is to have another baby. When it comes to siblings here are the most common questions: What is the perfect age gap? As with any parenting question - there is no perfect science and every family is different. There are however some things to consider: A very small gap (less than 20 months) is very hard on mom as you are still recovering physically from childbirth and are bound to still be sleep deprived and tried. A very large gap (more than 4 years) means that your little ones may not connect as friends, particularly in the preschool years. A gap of 3 years is a good gap – your toddler will understand the arrival of the new baby and you will have more reserves to cope with the new baby. Reasons to delay: Your baby is a baby and toddler for so short and in reality those baby days are gone before you know it. But nothing ‘grows a baby up’ quicker than the birth of a sibling. The night before your new baby is born, you will kiss your toddler goodnight and he will seem so little. The next night you will marvel at how big his hands look and how grown up he is and you will automatically expect more from him. Gaps smaller than two years old are difficult for your older child as he is forced to share you before he is really ready. Two children in nappies is really a lot of work. Toddlers need a huge amount of patience and care and when there is a newborn demanding your time, you will be exhausted. The pressure on a marriage of two small kids is immense. The smaller the gap the more tired you are and the more demands will be made on your marriage. Reasons to go for it: The gap between your children will have a bearing on how likely they are to be friends and good company for each other. More than three years between children and they are not really contempories anymore. The gap becomes too big. You may be advised to fall pregnant quickly if you have difficulties falling pregnant. Coping with two little ones’ sleep requirements Managing two little ones’ sleeps presents a new set of challenges as each has very different sleep needs. Consider the following for your two little ones: Your older toddler, will probably only be having one sleep a day over midday and should be in bed by 7pm latest. The midday sleep takes priority over everyone else’s day sleeps, because if you rock a toddler’s day sleeps, you will loose the day sleep battle very quickly. So above all, ensure you are available to settle your toddler to sleep for his day sleep. Your new baby should follow the ‘Awake time’ appropriate for her age. If her day sleep time coincides with the start of the toddler’s day sleep, put your toddler to sleep first, then the new baby. However, evening bedtime for the younger baby is more critical than the toddler’s bedtime. So stick carefully to a calming bedtime for your younger baby as little ones are more likely to become unsettled and colicky in the evening than toddlers. To share or not to share a room? Usually the decision of where your babies sleep is governed by accommodation in your home. If you only have one extra room, clearly the decision is made. If however you have more space and can’t decide use these principles: If you have two good sleepers, sharing a room is a great idea in the early years – children derive comfort from having company at night. If your toddler is a deep sleeper there is no harm in having your baby sleep in his room from early on. If either baby is a sensitive baby and sleeps lightly, you will probably find that you have double trouble if the other child wakes. What does make a difference? To ease the transition for you and your babies: Avoid too small a gap Spend one on one time with your toddler sometime in the day, he will need the emotional reserves as he learns to cope with your divided attention Get a sling or baby carrier so your hands can be free to care for your older child Be rigid over toddler day sleeps to prevent your older child from being unplayable in the late afternoon Get help for the evening times so that you can give your new baby undivided attention in the evening before bed – a time when she is likely to be unsettled. At the end of the day, it is personal. Really anything goes and it is largely dependent on each child’s temperament and yours! By Meg Faure
What is bonding and why is it important? - Babysense
Category_Advice & Tips>Baby>Ages & Stages>1-3 Months

What is bonding and why is it important?

The different roles our senses play in bonding with your baby and how bonding influences your baby’s emotional development, which in turn is the basis for all future relationships. What is bonding? Bonding has been defined as “The emotional and physical attachment occurring between a parent or parent figure, especially a mother, and offspring, that usually begins at birth and is the basis for further emotional affiliation.”1 Bonding plays a critical role in your baby’s emotional development, which in turn is the basis for all future relationships. One cannot underestimate the importance of attachment and bonding, but what many people don’t know is what contributes to bonding, how you can enhance it and when it occurs. Bonding is more than a warm fuzzy feeling – it is a critical, deep emotional involvement with and trust in another person. It is a misconception that bonding is an event or occurs at a given moment such as birth. Bonding is in fact a journey, a process of getting to know, trust and rely on another person. The importance of bonding Your baby’s relationship with you is her first experience of people and shapes the way she responds to relationships for the rest of her life. From you she will learn about trust, how to read other people’s emotions and that love and care is a positive part of life. We know that the way a woman responds to her own baby is strongly influenced by her relationship with her own mother. If your mother was consistent in her care giving and was emotionally available, you would have had a positive bonding experience and will in turn pass that on to your baby. So bonding is not just important for your relationship with your baby but for the long line of mothers and daughters that will come after you. Bonding also creates expectations about people and what they are capable of. This will have a direct bearing on your child in his or her marriage and other key relationships as they will tolerate and expect things from another person based on their understanding of what love is. A child with a secure bond has the self esteem and confidence to explore the world from a secure base. A wonderful manifestation of this is seen as an eighteen month old plays. In a novel environment, she will start off very close to her mum and slowly move off to explore this new world. After venturing a few steps away, she will return to her mum who will reassure her with a tiny touch or glance. With this security, she will venture a little further afield. Eventually she will not even need to come back whilst playing, it will be enough to visually reference her mum and continue playing. The sanctuary of a bond allows children to securely explore their world and push boundaries, which is vital for growth and development. The different roles our senses play in 'falling in love' with our baby There are two aspects to bonding. The first is the emotional tone that you set with your baby by responding to her cries consistently, meeting her basic needs and reading her signals but there is also a sensory aspect to bonding. In order to enjoy interactions with another human being, we need to be able to tolerate and experience pleasure through the senses. The sense of touch is a powerful sense that is key to soothing and nurturing your baby. Baby massage, cuddling and simply feeding your baby all target the sense of touch. If your baby is hypersensitive to touch, she will have difficulty tolerating you in her personal space. This will result in you feeling ineffective as a mother and unloved. If your baby becomes fractious when touched, over sensitive to touch or is premature, begin with still, deep touch. Still touch is less threatening than light touch or stroking. Place your hand on your baby’s tummy, head or other area of her body and leave it there, containing her. When she begins to tolerate and enjoy this type of touch, you can begin to use deep massage strokes, always avoiding light, tickling touch. Smell is a fascinating sense, as it is the only sense that has direct neurological links to the emotion center of the brain (the Limbic system). All other sensory information is relayed through the mid brain and therefore is interpreted before a response is elicited. With smell, an emotional response is created before you even register the smell. Just think of how you can feel all warm and fuzzy just by smelling comfort food that your mum used to make for you. Likewise, we use our sense of smell to connect with our partners and feel amorous just smelling their pheromones. You will know that a central part of falling in love with your baby is drinking in that newborn baby smell. To assist your baby to connect with you, don’t wear perfume in the early days – let your natural smells be the one that your baby smells. Movement is the sense you will use to calm your baby. Soothing and calming your fractious little one is also an important part of being in a relationship with your baby. Other senses, such as sight and hearing play an important part in bonding as they assist with recognition and memory. Memory is important because it allows your baby to develop expectations of her relationship with you. The cycle of love There is a misconception that bonding occurs like ‘love at first sight’. The reality is that it is a process that develops over time. Bonding may begin in pregnancy or even before conception; it may occur like a flash at birth or may in fact take months to develop. Falling in love in pregnancy – Some parents have waited a long time for their little one and being pregnant brings wonderful feelings of joy. For many pregnant mums, the hormones and expectancy lead her into a love relationship right from the start. In this case, you may begin dreaming of your baby and as you rub your tummy feel the swell of love for your baby. This process has been fast tracked by technology – we know we are pregnant way before women in the past years did. By 17 weeks, most parents have seen their little one at least once. We share early photos of our baby in the womb and so begin to bond early. When your baby beings to move and wriggle you may feel love for this little person. In fact many mums mourn the end of those fluttery feelings after her baby is born. For others however, pregnancy may be difficult, unwanted or scary. Antenatal depression is being recognized more and more and we now know that it is not uncommon for a woman to feel very ambivalent towards her baby. Likewise, Dad’s may experience depression and anxiety in pregnancy and this will influence their bond with their baby at that time. The good news is that this is not reason to predict a poor or inadequate bond at a later stage. Most parents will go on to bond well with their little one later. Falling in love in the delivery room – The moment we meet our babies we expect to feel overwhelming love. For some parents, this is the experience, as they look at this tiny, beautiful, helpless being, they are flooded with feelings of love. Natural delivery of your baby will facilitate this emotional response as all the hormones released by birth create a flood of endorphins that give you a high. If the delivery is difficult or very long or either mum or baby is in danger, the feelings may be very different. Exhaustion and despair if things don’t turn out well can negatively impact on those love juices. Your feeling may be of gloom and being overwhelmed and this will mean you do not feel like you are bonding. On the other hand some mums have a wonderful birth experience, meet their perfect baby, and yet feel no love or great fascination with their baby. Once again, the good news is that this immediate emotional response does not predict your relationship with your baby and love and bonding may come later for you. Falling in love after a period of months – For other parents, love is a long slow journey. There are no A-Ha moments, just a gradual development of a love relationship. If this love develops within the context of a caring, consistent relationship, it is no problem at all for your baby. It is vital that mums know that not everyone is overwhelmed with love at the sight of their baby. If however, you never feel love towards your baby and your mothering role is a process of acting out the motions and you are overcome with depression or anxiety, you do need to get help for Post Natal Depression as this condition may impact on your baby emotionally. 1 The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2009. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. By Meg 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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