How to deal with a toddler roaming at night - Babysense
Category_Advice & Tips>Baby>Ages & Stages>1-3 Months

How to deal with a toddler roaming at night

As soon as your toddler outgrows his cot, and makes the transition into a ‘big bed’, there may be some high jinks at bedtime. Most parents do want to foster night-time independence in their toddlers, and really do feel quite desperate at the thought of another night spent negotiating with a roaming toddler. Some children simply find that this new found freedom is a wonderful excuse for prolonged bedtimes, plus frequent visits to mom and dad’s bedroom throughout the night! If you have no issues with this, and love having your toddler sleep with you, read no further! Seriously though, before looking at bedtime and sleep itself you need to be sure your toddler is primed for good sleep habits. A clean bill of health is a good start, as is a sleep zone that supports sleep. Make sure his room is entirely safe so that he cannot harm himself. At this age, he already has deeply entrenched expectations and associations related to where and how he goes to sleep, and you can use them to your advantage Keep the light very dim and muted or use a night light, so that your toddler is never left alone in the dark. His imagination is developing at this age, which might make him fearful of dark shadows. By now you know the importance of a regular day sleep routine, but a regular bedtime routine is just as important. Bedtime is often the period of time when your little toddler is at his most unsettled. If there is no pattern to his bedtime rituals such as a quiet bath, followed by the last drink of the day (that’s milk, not wine!) in a calm sleep zone, your little toddler will not begin to recognize the necessary sensory cues that prompt sleep. Remember separation anxiety is real, and a normal phase of toddler development that may affect sleep. This phase will pass, but while it lasts, to avoid long term bad habits developing, be firm about not falling into the trap of feeding, rocking or co-sleeping if these are habits you do not wish to encourage. At this stage your toddler may become anxious at bedtime, and may call out to you frequently during the night, or come through to your room due to fears of being alone. This is typical at this age, as your toddler is developing imagination and may begin to suffer from nightmares and imagined ‘boogymen’. Use strategies to normalize separations for your toddler by playing games during the day such as peek a boo and hide and seek. Every toddler is different and the degree to which yours will be affected may vary substantially from other toddlers you know. When you are ready to tackle the situation, bear the following in mind: Boundaries need to be clearly set, and negotiations can happen within these predetermined boundaries. Your toddler needs to understand clearly the sleep boundaries you have for him. All the role players in the care of your toddler need to agree on sleep boundaries. Keep a night light on in his room or in the passage or bathroom, so that he is not in the dark should he wake. Limit television completely for at least two to three hours before bed as this has been linked to fears and increased nightmares. Encourage the use of a comfort object such as a blanket or a soft toy, and keep it in his bed so that bedtime holds that attraction of his special sensory comforter. It will also be available for comfort when he wakes in the night. Let’s do it At bedtime, if your toddler begins to negotiate or protest or jumps out of bed within minutes of you leaving the room, he needs to be taught how to put himself to sleep. This is what you must also do when he comes through to you at night. At some stage (yes, it will happen to you) many toddlers wake up and wander through to their parent’s bedroom. Begin by instilling a boundary and consistently lead your toddler back to his bed when this happens. The goal is to have your toddler sleep in his bed. Walk him back to back to bed, without admonishing him or raising your voice. Stay calm, confident and focused and encourage his comfort object. Respond by acknowledging his request: Say to him “I know you want me to stay with you Empathise so he feels understood by mirroring his request: Say to him “I would love to stay with you” Give a reason: Say to him “But I can’t because it is time to sleep” Offer an alternative solution. Say to him “ Why don’t you rather lie here with your special teddy, and I’ll sit on the bed next to you” Set a boundary: Say to him “If you lie down and go to sleep, I will sit with you until you fall asleep” Give a consequence: Say to him “If you get up again, I will have to leave”. For as long as your toddler stays in bed and makes an effort to be quiet and go to sleep, sit with him until he falls asleep (no matter how long it takes, so be prepared for this). You must stick to your end of the deal if he sticks to his. If he breaks his end of the deal, by getting up, you must remind him about the deal you made, offer him a chance to try again, but if he resists, then get up and leave the room and close the door so that he can’t follow. It is important that he remains in his room so if he is able to open the door himself install a latch. Don’t worry about leaving him behind a closed door. You are simply making sure that his room is containing him much the same as he was contained in his cot before. This is why it is important to have a night-light on and to make his room a safe environment for him. From outside the room, tell him you will return when he gets back into bed. As soon as you see/hear him get onto his bed, OR after one minute of crying (whatever happens first), go back in to his room quietly and calmly. Resist the temptation to raise your voice. If he is crying, calm him down with a hug, encourage his comfort object, wait until he has stopped crying, then re-negotiate with him. (Remember to acknowledge and empathise with his request, then give him a reason, a boundary and a consequence). Leave the room if he does not comply with the boundary you have offered him (which is to stay with him until he falls asleep provided he lies in his bed). Close the door. Return immediately to him if he does get back into bed, and praise him for listening to you. Reward him by staying with him until he falls asleep. If he cries and bangs on the door, wait for two minutes before you return to re-negotiate with him. Remember to stay calm and focused, never raise your voice and offer him lots of calming stimuli such as a hug and his comfort object. He needs to be calm again before you can re-negotiate with him. Be prepared for this to take some time. Keep going in this manner – return to him as soon as he is back in bed, OR if he will not stay in his bed and bangs on the door, increase the period of time before you respond to him by one minute each time until he eventually falls asleep. Repeat the procedure each time he wakes during the first night. If he complies with your boundary (by staying in his bed) always reward him by staying with him as you have promised (no matter how tedious you may find this in the middle of the night) until he falls asleep. If he will not comply (by jumping out of bed and running away), leave the room, close the door and leave him for one minute until you return quietly and calmly to re-negotiate! If you do have to leave the room, increase the period of time by one minute each time, until he eventually falls asleep. By the second or third night, your toddler has probably realised that if he does as you ask him (which is to stop the high jinks at sleep time), you will sit with him on the bed until he goes to sleep at bedtime, and if he wakes during the night. When this is consistently happening, it is time to move to the next step. Be patient, it may take time to get to this step. Begin bedtime in exactly the same way, but tell him (by acknowledging empathizing and reasoning with a boundary and a consequence) that you will no longer be sitting on the bed with him, but will rather be sitting in a chair alongside the bed. As before, complete your negotiation with him. If he complies with your boundary (which is to stay in his bed and go to sleep) you will stay in his room with him, but you will be in the chair. If he does not comply with your boundary, then follow the same procedure as before by going out of the room and closing the door. Continue with the programme as you did before, until he falls asleep. When he is happy to stay in his bed and go to sleep as long as you are sitting in the chair (at bedtime and when he wakes in the night), move to the next step. Bear in mind it may take you a few nights to achieve this – be patient, loving and consistent. Move the chair away from his bed to another part of the room as close to the door as possible. Repeat the sleep modification steps as above until he is happy to go to sleep in his bed with you sitting in the sleep zone apart from him. The next step is to move the chair out of the room (tell him that you have given it to the poor children). At bedtime, simply ‘linger’ in the room, maybe even stepping into the bathroom for a second or two (always reassure him that you will be back) before returning to ‘linger’ once more. Repeat the sleep modification steps as above until he is happy to go to sleep in his bed as long as you are ‘lingering’ around. The final step (this step may have taken you as little as a few days to reach, or it may be a week down the line by now), is to tell him you need to leave the room for a minute to perform a task. Reassure him that when you are finished your task you promise to return. Do as you have promised and return. Don’t forget to praise him each time you return if he has stayed in his bed. Keep popping in and out, but gradually increase the amount of time you spend out of his room. Repeat the sleep modification steps as above until he is happy to fall asleep in his bed as long as you continue to pop in and out. After a few nights of this you will return after your first absence to find him asleep. At last! Your toddler has learnt the new technique of falling asleep independently. Once your toddler is generally sleeping in his bed, you may still find he has the odd night when he is very distressed when he wakes. These are the times when he may be distraught due to a nightmare and imagination fears or separation anxiety. When this happens you may need to allow him to sleep next to your bed. By not allowing him into your bed and not making his makeshift bed too comfortable, you will not instil long lasting habits. Know that it will not last forever and is usually a passing stage. However, if it becomes a nightly occurrence and is a problem for you, start to make it less easy for him to do. Always take him back to his room first. If he insists on returning to your bedroom let him carry his own bedding and settle himself. Allowing your toddler to sleep on the floor next to you whilst you are undoing the unhealthy sleep habit of having him in your bed, may be a necessary process you will need to undertake whilst you foster confidence in him to become independent. However, if your toddler is persistently coming through to you a night, and insisting on getting into your bed, this again is a scenario that you could leave as it is if it is not an issue with you. When you are ready to reclaim your sleep space, allow him to sleep on a mattress or some continental pillows next to your bed to help him with the transition to his own room. Remember to always acknowledge his feeling: “I know you want to be in the bed with me.” Then mirror the feeling by saying “I love having you in the bed,” Then give a reason why he can’t be in the bed with you “This is my bed, and there is too little space now that you are bigger” Offer an alternative: “Why don’t you lie on the floor next to me and I’ll hold your hand” You will need to follow through on this boundary and be firm about him not getting back into your bed. If he will not lie on the floor next to you, take him back to his bed. At this point, you may have to start adopting some sleep training strategies as mentioned above. Useful tips: If your toddler voices a fear about ‘the bogeyman’, a very useful trick is to buy a plastic spray bottle from the supermarket. Fill it with coloured water, and label it ‘bogeyman spray’. As part of his bedtime ritual, allow him to spray his bed and around his sleep zone with this solution. This empowering gesture will help him to feel in control of his fears. Reassure him that he can use it again should he wake in the night. Teach your toddler these sleep rules early and repeat them often: At bedtime we stay in bed close our eyes stay very quiet and go to sleep By Meg Faure
Why your baby wakes frequently at night - Babysense
Category_Advice & Tips>Baby>Ages & Stages>1-3 Months

Why your baby wakes frequently at night

The big question is why do babies wake frequently at night? Here are the top 5 reasons babies wake too often at night along with what to do for each reason: Your expectations are too high for your babySimply put, you need to examine what you expect from your baby. Newborns wake often at night. If your baby less than 6 weeks old is stretching for three hours or more, they are doing the right thing. Solution – adjust your expectations. If your young baby is waking more than two hourly or not settling at all after a feed, you are right to be concerned. Solution – swaddle your newborn tightly and play white noise; don’t change her nappy at night unless she has soiled it. Nappies are generally absorbent enough for urine not to disturb her and by changing her nappy you may wake her up to much during a night feed, which may make her unsettled thereafter. Your baby is hungryAt around 5 months babies start to wake more frequently again as they start to need a little extra nutrition at night. Solution – Either reintroduce a night feed such as the early morning (1am) one and feed when she wakes OR if she is over 4 ½ months and there is no history of allergies, you could introduce rice cereal. After 6 months some babies start to wake more often because they need certain Essential Fatty Acids that are found in proteins. Milk no longer supplies all the EFA’s your baby needs. Solution – If your baby is over 6 months old introduce proteins such as chicken, lamb, beans, legumes, cheese and yogurt. If your baby is older than 9 months add in fish, egg and nuts as well (if there are no allergies to these in your family). Your baby is not sleeping enough during the dayAs strange as it sounds, if your baby is over tired because she is not sleeping enough during the day, she will wake more often at night. Solution- Make sure she has enough day sleeps by watching her awake times (refer to Baby Sense). Once she has been awake for her age appropriate awake time, watch for her signals and put her down to sleep. Your baby is uncomfortableIf your baby has been a good sleeper or can effectively put herself to sleep in the evening and most nights and then suddenly wakes at night frequently, you can bet your bottom dollar she is uncomfortable. Solution – Make sure she is warm enough and not too hot. Invest in a room thermometer and maintain the room temperature at around 20 degrees Celcius. If it is cool in the early mornings, use a sleeping bag. Check that your baby is not teething – make this decision during daylight hours – if you can see or feel a tooth under the gums. If your baby has lost her appetite and feels like she has a fever take her to your doctor as she may be ill. Your baby has developed a bad habitFrequent night waking can be put down to habits if your baby is over five months old (particularly common from 7 months onwards) and need to be fed, rocked or patted to sleep in the evening and for day sleeps. Solution – You will need to help your baby relearn strategies to self sooth that she can use independently. Dummies must be put into her hand so she learns to do it herself. ‘Doodoo’ blankies such as the Baby Sense Taglet are great as they are easy to use. At the end of the day some sleep coaching may be necessary as you teach your baby to sooth herself. Frequent night wakings are the bane of a new parent’s life. The good news is that there is light at the end of the tunnel and most babies do sleep through consistently eventually. However along the way, all babies have period of disrupted nights until they are in pre-school. By Meg Faure
The importance of sleep - Babysense
Category_Advice & Tips>Baby>Baby Talk>Sleep

The importance of sleep

When Samuel wakes for the fourth time at night and will not be settled without a feed, feelings of despair mixed with a small dose of panic come over his mom. She knows that he should not need a night feed at all at this stage and yet in their small house, with a toddler in the next-door room, she doesn’t know how else to settle him quickly and quietly. Four night-feeds later, her hours of sleep that night are less than the feeds he received… and it’s off to work for mom. Working a busy day is the reality for many moms and sleep deprivation is often part and parcel of returning to work. How well she functions is another issue. Why is it that we fall apart and all areas of our lives suffer on little sleep? Why is sleep so important? And why do we feel so rotten on broken sleep. Theories abound on the precise benefits of sleep but these are a few: While we sleep our brains process and ‘file’ the experiences we have when awake so sleep is vital for memory. During sleep waste by-products of the days brain processes are expelled and new fuel is stored for the next day’s brain activity. Sleep has a vital role in the mastery of skills and learning. It is this third option that is gaining ground in the science of sleep literature. Research with rats has shown that the same neurons (brain cells) that fire during a certain activity during the day, e.g. negotiating a maze, fire when the rat is in Rapid Eye Movement - REM (light) sleep that night. This shows that the brain carries out practise runs of the new activities we learn each day, when we sleep. So the research is indicating that for learning and strengthening of neurons, light sleep or REM sleep is essential. This shows how vital sleep is for our baby’s development as they learn new skills everyday in the first year. So what happens during deep sleep? Well this is where the research gets really interesting - it appears that synapses or brain connections are in fact broken down during deep sleep! This sounds like something to be avoided at all costs – but in fact pruning or decreasing the number of synapses is essential or the brain would become over loaded and consume too much energy. This explains why babies who don’t sleep well at night are more susceptible to sensory overload or overstimulation the next day. As any sleep-deprived mom will attest, sleep is so important. We now know it’s for the processing of skills and learning as well as the pruning of the brain cells to prevent overstimulation. So it stands to reason that babies who are learning new skills each day need their sleep, but remember … the same goes for mom. If you are sleep deprived and battling with your baby’s sleep, use Baby Sense to solve your problems. References: TIME Magazine, January 2005 By Meg Faure
The impact of Day sleeps on Night Sleeps - Babysense
Category_Advice & Tips>Baby>Ages & Stages>1-3 Months

The impact of Day sleeps on Night Sleeps

There is a true saying that sums up the relevance of day sleeps on nighttime sleep: Sleep Begets Sleep, which literally means the more your baby sleeps, the more he will sleep. A good day sleep routine, made up of regular age appropriate day sleeps enhances night sleep and helps your baby sleep better. The reason is that when babies are sleep deprived and overtired during the day, they become fractious and over stimulated and it is hard to fall asleep and sleep well through sleep cycles when one is overtired. The impact of exhaustion on sleep If you are experiencing any of the following sleep problems with your baby, you need to be sure he is having enough sleep during the day: Bedtime antics – Overtired toddlers and babies become difficult to put to sleep. Due to overtiredness, your baby may become busier and more animated in an attempt to stay awake. This hyperactive, alert state feeds on itself and makes falling asleep difficult. If you have difficulty settling your baby to sleep or if bedtime ends up being after 8pm due to challenging bedtime behaviour, the chances are your baby is not sleeping enough during the day or you are starting your bedtime routine too late. Night waking – When babies are overtired, they may fall asleep with ease and into a ‘dead’ sleep but 90 minutes later wake and then repeatedly wake at night. If you have ruled out other causes of night waking, have a look at your day sleep routine – maybe your toddler is overtired. Night terrors – Babies who scream and cry at night but appear to be asleep and are difficult to soothe whilst screaming are said to be having ‘night terrors’. These differ from night mares as your baby will appear to be fast asleep whilst crying. Night terrors are directly related to overtiredness and are usually seen in toddlers and babies who are not getting enough day sleep or are going to bed too late. Manage day sleep routines to enhance nighttime sleep To make sure overtiredness is not impacting negatively on night sleep, deal with the following day sleep issues: Midday sleep – A good solid stretch of sleep over midday enhances night sleep. A longer midday sleep emerges by 6 months old in most babies. Your baby may sleep for between an hour and three hours at midday, depending on his age and how many other sleeps he has during the day. To encourage a longer midday sleep, try the following: Have a consistent sleep space for midday sleep from a young age. Other day sleeps can be more flexible but the midday sleep should consistently be taken in the nursery. Darken the room with block out lining on the curtains or blinds Play white noise to keep your baby in a deeper sleep during this sleep Have a milk feed before the midday sleep if possible so his tummy is full of nice sweet milk Regular sleep – Clearly the message is not to keep your baby awake all day. Follow the Baby Sense guidelines for ‘Awake Times’ to gauge how long your baby can be happily awake before going back to sleep. Instead of a rigid routine, put your baby back to sleep during the day when his ‘Awake time’ is up and when he signals fatigue. Less than six months of age 3 – 4 sleeps are common. Between 6 and 12 months of age the number of day sleeps reduces to 2 – 3 sleeps and after 14 months most toddlers drop down to 1 day sleep. But this day sleep remains important until the preschool years. Early to bed – Even if you are a working mum or dad, do not be tempted to keep your baby up later than 7:30pm to interact with him. Young babies should be in bed by 6:30 or 7pm at the latest. By keeping your baby up, you will not shift the morning waking and are very likely to face bedtime battles as your overtired baby resists going down to sleep. Furthermore, bad habits like rocking to sleep or feeding to sleep may become entrenched as you have to resort to extensive calming measures at bedtime to settle an overtired baby. Wake from the afternoon nap – The only time when sleep during the day can have a negative effect on night sleep is when this sleep happens too late in the day. Read up on the ‘Awake time’ for your baby’s age in Baby Sense/ Sleep Sense then make sure your baby wakes from his last afternoon sleep that length of time before his bedtime. In other words, if your one year old can be happily awake for three hours before the next sleep and bedtime is at 7pm, you should not let him sleep after 4pm or he will resist going to bed. So if your toddler is asleep at 4pm, wake him up. In summary: Day sleeps are vital for good night sleep habits Watch your baby’s awake times and develop a day sleep routine Do not make bedtime too late Follow these guidelines and you will be that little bit closer to a good night’s sleep! By Meg Faure
Choosing and introducing a security blanket - Babysense
Category_Advice & Tips>Baby>Ages & Stages>3-6 Months

Choosing and introducing a security blanket

Whatever you call it; security blankets (baby comforter) are the best sleep tool a weary mother could wish for. The basics of choosing and introducing a security blanket. Why: At around 7 months of age separation anxiety emerges and night time sleep can be negatively affected by your baby waking to call you back for comfort. By introducing a sleep blanket early on (soon after 3 months) you encourage your baby’s need for comfort to be transitioned from you to a blanket. Of course you are still essential when a real need such as pain arises, but when your baby wakes in the middle of the night just to be soothed back to sleep, a security blanket makes a good second best. If better sleep is not reason enough, research has shown that babies who have soft security objects are better adjusted on temperament measures, such as happiness, attention and impulsivity than those that have no attachment object. So not only will your baby sleep better but in the long term she will be a better adjusted child. What: The following principles are essential for choosing a security object for your baby: A good attachment object has sensory soothing qualities, such as soft fleece, smooth satin or comforting soft fabric Choose something small enough that the smothering risk is limited. Make sure it is something that is readily replaceable! Don’t use that precious limited edition bunny you found abroad. Examples include a soft toy, blanket, burp cloth or the unique and optimally designed Baby Sense Taglet How: To help your baby attach to a security object choose one only and offer it to your baby along with your comfort. Whenever she cries from about 3 months old. If your baby is tired or over stimulated or has hurt herself, place the blanket or soft toy on your shoulder so that as your baby cuddles in to you, she receives comfort from the object too. A security object is the best bedtime buddy system and one that is easy to manage. Make sure your baby has something comforting at night when she goes to bed. Reference: Lehman, Elyse Brauch et al. Temperament and Self-Soothing Behavior in Children: Object Attachment, Thumbsucking, and Pacifier Use. By Meg Faure
Your baby’s temperature regulation for comfort and safety - Babysense
Category_Advice & Tips>Baby>Ages & Stages>1-3 Months

Your baby’s temperature regulation for comfort and safety

After 9 months in a perfectly regulated environment – the womb - it becomes one of your baby’s first tasks to regulate his body temperature. It takes a while for this ability to develop and intermittently you may find that your baby is too hot or has freezing hands. Because of this, many parents fall into the trap of wrapping their babies too warmly, with too many layers or in a fleece blanket. There is an enormous risk for your baby if he becomes too hot. Research has shown that overheating young babies has been linked to SIDS or cot death. There are a few critical guidelines you should follow when deciding how many layers your baby needs and which clothes, blankets and accessories to buy for your new baby. The optimal temperature for your baby’s room is 18˚ to 20˚ - any hotter than this and your baby will be uncomfortable and at the risk of SIDS when sleeping. Invest in a good room thermometer and use a fan to cool it down or a humidifier or panel heater to warm it to the right temperature. As a rule of thumb always ensure your baby has one more layer on than you do. So if it is a hot day and you are wearing a T shirt put a vest under your baby’s T shirt and he will be warm enough. Swaddling is so important for a calm baby in the early days, even in hot weather. If you are swaddling your baby on a hot day, let him wear only a vest or even only a nappy under the swaddle. A folded blanket is worth two blankets so if you are folding your swaddle, bear in mind that there are double layers on your baby. The heart shaped Baby Sense Cuddlewrap is specially shaped to allow use without folding - meaning half the layers of fabric cover your baby. Never use a polyester or fleece swaddle. Dress your baby in 100% cotton clothes only, as natural fibers regulate temperature and breath better than synthetic fabrics. Never use polyester or synthetic fabric blankets as synthetic fibers do not breathe and cause the baby’s temperature to rise dangerously. This means all synthetic blankets, polyester filled sleeping bags and fleece blankets pose a risk for small babies. In the summer, use a 100% cotton sleeping bag over a single layer of clothing at night, as even warm summer nights cool down in the early hours of the morning. Remember if you cover your baby with blankets at night to tuck then in well or use a sleeping bag because loose blankets pose the risk of suffocation if they move over your baby’s face. Never use a duvet until the age of 2 years old. To tell if your baby is hot or cold when sleeping at night, look at his position. If he is splayed out with his arms and legs well away from his body, it probably means he is too hot so remove a layer of blankets. By dressing your baby appropriately you will ensure your baby is comfortable and at the right temperature, which is essential for happy days and peaceful nights. 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

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