Is It Too Noisy For Your Baby To Sleep?This week’s question is from Tammy. She writes:

“My in-laws are coming to visit for a week and are under the impression that babies will sleep through anything and that they just need to “get used to” the noise. What are your thoughts on this issue? Is it possible for it to be too noisy for baby?” Read more

When Should You Take Your Child's Dummie (Pacifier) Away?Today, our question comes from Crysta, and she writes, “Is it better to take the dummy (pacifier) away first, and then try to keep my son in his own bed? Or is it better to get him sleeping in his own bed, and then take the pacifier away?”

I love this question, Crysta. It’s one I get asked often, and it has to do with props. Many children have more than one sleep prop.

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Will Putting Cereal In My Babys Bottle help Her Sleep“Cereal in a bottle will help baby to sleep better!

I hear that all the time. I know it’s an old wives’ tale. Your grandmother probably told you, “Oh, put cereal in a bottle with breast milk or the formula, and this baby will sleep all night.” The truth is that is not true.

You want to be very careful and cautious about when you introduce solids to your baby. There’s a lot of evidence that suggests starting solids too early can lead to some allergies in the future. Read more

BabyWinkz Consultancy - Mother & Baby Magazine - toddler nap

Softly softly approach to a toddler nap

In the May Edition of Mother and Baby parenting magazine, hear two sides of the argument should I drop my toddler nap at 2 years old? My stance is “NO – Children who nap when they need to are much happier”. The other side is “YES – Unnecessary daytime napping can eventually lead to tantrums”.

I take the gentle approach to sleep training, I want my clients to be comfortable about the steps they are going to take in their child’s life. Because we both want what is best for your child with as little stress involved as possible. Read my comments below.

 

 

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BabyWinkz Consultancy - Clocks go forward March 2015Spring forward

When we “spring forward,” on the 29th March 2015, it means the clocks go forward an hour, therefore the start of British Summer Time (BST). Ultimately it means one hour less sleep for you, parents (boo!). I think daylight savings wreaks havoc on our sleep schedules and can increase sleep debt in both kids and adults. There is actually an increase in traffic accidents the day after daylight savings, which just goes to show that it’s hard on people. We are already a sleep-deprived nation, so losing that extra hour only makes it worse (and more dangerous). Read more

Fired Up

Do you want to know something that really gets me fired up?

It’s when Mums (either online or in real life) are talking sleep, and I hear comments like this:

“You should just enjoy getting up to nurse all night – someday he’ll be all grown up and you’ll miss it.”

Or…

“You were the one who decided to have children. Did you REALLY think you’d be getting a full night’s sleep for the next few years?”

Or my all-time favorite…

“Well, you’d better learn to live with it!”

My fingers are starting to burn just writing about this, so I’m going to “fire back” with my top three myths about teaching your baby to sleep well: Read more

Lots of people manage a toddler and baby, you are not alone!

Having a toddler and a young baby is something that at first can seem very daunting, but many people are in that situation so you are not alone. I have personally experienced this as my daughters are a year apart, and I always remember the doctors initial reaction to me when we found out I was pregnant, he asked me how I felt and whether I had a good support network, there I was holding a 5 month old in the doctors surgery and finding out that I had another baby on the way.

You will have had 9 months to prepare your toddler for the changes which are about to take place, but how your toddler will react and what the reality of having two young children will feel like will remain a mystery until it actually occurs. In order to make life a little easier for yourself, your toddler and your new baby, it’s important to consider the following. Read more

Sleep Experts - No Cry Sleep Method

Sleep Experts - No Cry Sleep Method

No Cry Sleep Method

For many parents the idea of letting their baby cry themselves to sleep is unthinkable, and many sleep method experts agree. Dr William Sears developed the first No Tears / No Cry sleep method of establishing a good baby sleep pattern, and there are now many different No Cry sleep methods for parents to try. In this article we’ll take a look at the work of Dr Sears as well as some of the other No Tears / No Cry sleep method experts.

Dr William Sears

Dr Sears is best known for advocating attachment parenting, where the goal is the development of a strong and secure bond between parent and child. In Sears’ No Cry method you rock or nurse your baby to sleep and put them down, still asleep, in your bed. As soon as baby wakes you soothe, rock or feed them back to sleep again, giving both you and your baby the best chance of a good night’s sleep.

In 1999 a study by the Consumer Products Safety Commission warned against babies sleeping in the same bed as parents, as they felt there was a high risk of infant suffocation. The study was criticised for not taking all the factors into account, but Dr Sears has since advised that babies sleep either in a cot alongside the parents’ bed, or in a co-sleeper bassinet which can be attached to the bed, giving parents and baby their own sleeping areas but keeping them close to each other.

Elizabeth Pantley

Elizabeth Pantley is the mother of four children and she developed her own No Cry method after being frustrated by the “all or nothing” choices of Cry It Out or attachment parenting. Her “No Cry Sleep Solution” is a gentle ten step programme that includes working out your baby’s sleep barriers and keeping a log to discover your baby’s natural sleep pattern. Pantley recommends you never leave your baby to cry, instead returning to their room and picking them up every time the tears begin.

Harvey Karp

American paediatrician Harvey Karp says most baby sleep problems occur because of a difficult transition from the womb to the world. He has a No Cry method suitable for young babies that encourages good sleep patterns through the Five S’s: Swaddling, Side or stomach position, Sshhhing, Swinging and Sucking (nursing/dummy). By replicating the atmosphere of the womb he believes babies will be more calm, more content and thus more able to settle into a good sleep pattern.

Tracy Hogg

Tracy Hogg was known as “the baby whisperer” and she advocated a structured routine of feeding, activity and sleeping, known as EASY. Her “pick up – put down” method starts with a consistent bedtime routine that includes a period of quiet time, perhaps in a rocking chair. Baby is put to bed awake but picked up straight away upon crying and then held and patted on the back while the parent makes a loud Shhh sound. Once the baby is calm you place them back in the bed, and repeat if they cry again until they are asleep.

Many parents prefer No Cry sleep method instead of Cry It Out techniques as it is less stressful, both for parent and child. However, you need to be consistent with whichever method you try, as your baby will become confused and more unsettled if you switch methods frequently.

Sleep Experts - Cry It Out Method

Sleep Experts - Cry It Out Method

Cry It Out Method

Although it can be heart-wrenching to listen to your baby cry, some parents find the most effective way to establish a healthy sleep pattern with their baby is to try one of the Cry It Out methods. These methods work on the theory that babies need to learn how to soothe themselves to sleep, and if parents immediately rush in when they cry they will take longer to develop this skill. There are many sleep method experts who advocate versions of Cry It Out, and we’ll explore some of their ideas in this article.

Ferber Method

Perhaps the most well known Cry it Out sleep method expert is Dr Richard Ferber, who first wrote about it in his 1985 book “Solve Your Child’s Sleep problems” – though he has never actually called it “Cry It Out”. Ferber Method nicknamed “Ferberizing”, this method aims to encourage babies to learn how to settle themselves both at bedtime and if they wake in the night. Ferber recommends his sleep method for babies aged six months and over.

“Ferberizing” starts with an established routine – bath, story and cuddle, for example – with baby placed in the cot while still awake. If the baby cries, on the first night the parent should wait five minutes before returning to the room for no more than 2-3 minutes to talk to the baby and stroke or pat them. The baby should not be lifted from the cot, rocked, cuddled, fed or given any kind of soother. If the baby continues to cry the parent should then wait 10 minutes before returning, then every 15 minutes until the baby is asleep. On the second night the gap between visits should be lengthened by 5 minutes to 10, 15 and 20 minutes, and so on.

During night time wakefulness Ferber originally recommended the same routine, but now suggests parents wait five minutes to see if the baby settles on their own, but then uses rocking, feeding etc to send baby off to sleep. This ensures both baby and parents get some sleep at night, and should not affect the overall development of a good sleep pattern if Ferber’s method is stuck to consistently at bedtime.

Weissbluth Method

Dr Marcus Weissbluth, author of “Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child”, believes that many sleep problems occur because babies are overtired. Weissbluth’s Cry It Out method aims for parents to put in place a fixed pattern of regular naps and consistently early bedtime to prevent overtiredness, which can lead a baby to be unable to sleep. He suggests that from a young age babies should be put down for a nap after two hours of wakefulness, and left to cry for between 5-20 minutes. Between 4 and 12 months he says babies need no more than two proper naps a day (in their cot – never in the car or pushchair)  followed by an early bedtime. They should be left to cry for an hour at naptime, but at bedtime parents should not return to a crying baby at all as they need to learn that it is now “down time”. This “extinction” method can be very hard on parents.

Whether you prefer Weissbluth’s hardline attitude to baby sleep patterns or Ferber’s more gentle approach, Cry It Out methods are not easy. As with everything though, every baby develops at their own pace.

Baby Won’t Sleep Cause of Sickness?

As parents we want to see our children healthy and happy. There is nothing that grieves you more than when your child is in pain and you can not do much to help. My daughter Chloe suffers from Asthma and has done since she was born, she has a constant cough and in the winter a continuous cough, which carries on throughout the night. The nights I have had to tend to her and give her medication, she takes it and always goes back to her cot with rarely any fuss. But it is upsetting to see her this way.

When your baby is ill, they are often fussy, uncomfortable and have difficulty sleeping. The regular night time routine will be flipped upside down and previous soothing techniques will not work. For example your baby who has started sleeping through the night may suddenly start waking up several times or a baby who loves the car may scream all the way home.

Colds, diarrhoea, fever are just a couple of illnesses that can be caused by harmless viruses and tend to go away on their own. Babies are born with some of their mother immunity to illness, further enhanced by breastfeeding; they are not immune to ever changing viruses. If you are unsure or worried about your baby’s health do not hesitate to check with your physician.

When a child is sick, sleep is a key ingredient for their recovery. When you have visited your physician / doctor when ill, after prescribing medication they always advise you to get plenty of rest and sleep, this same principle applies to children.

Here are some useful tips to help you deal and prepare with your infant during illness

1. Monitor

To understand when your baby is sick, you have to understand what they are like when well and that is what a parent knows best. No body understands their child more, than the parent or primary child career. To understand if your child is ill or if they are recovering, monitor daily their temperature, behaviour, temperament, intake of food and liquids, interactions with others and sleep patterns. These indicators are the best tell tell signs.

2. Medication

Depending upon the age of your infant, there are only a few over the counter medicines allowed, consult your physician and /or pharmacist to ensure you are prepared and fully stocked. Some parents prefer the “Ole Wife’s Tale” style of medicine which is the use of only natural products such as a teaspoon of honey. Do your research and consult a medical professional first, as these could be harmful if incorrect dosage is administered or the child is not the correct age to be consuming the ingredients.

3. Thermometer

There are various locations where the temperature of a child can be taken and internet research can give lots of different answers all citing to be the correct “average” temperature of your baby. As a general rule, a temperature of over 37.5 (99.5F) is a fever. The word “fever” can scare and petrify the hearts of any parent. It means “an elevation of body temperature above the normal and is a sign of illness,” such as viral, bacterial or other type of infection. A fever is not an illness on its own.

There are now various thermometers available on the market and can be very baffling.

Digital thermometers – Digital thermometers are quick to use, accurate and can be used under the armpit, mouth or rectum.

Ear (or tympanic) thermometers – They are put in the child’s ear and can be very annoying and unpleasant for the child.

Digital pacifier/dummy – This is less irritating than an ear or rectal thermometer, it is fast, convenient and non-invasive. It can also be pleasant if the child is used to a dummy.

 Strip-type thermometers – Strip-type thermometers, which you hold on your child’s forehead, are not an accurate way of taking their temperature. They show the temperature of the skin, not the body.

Infrared thermometer – No contact thermometers. The laser is pointed at the child’s forehead and provides accurate reading on a digital screen. It is quick, accurate and can be used on a fidgeting child.

Mercury-in-glass thermometers – Mercury-in-glass thermometers haven’t been used for some years. They can break, releasing small shards of glass and highly poisonous mercury.

4. Room temperature

The ideal room temperature is 16-20ºC.  18ºC (65ºF) is perfect. An infant sleeping in a room that is too hot has an increased risk of Cot Death and SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). It can be very difficult to estimate the room temperature, so use a room thermometer in the rooms where baby sleeps and plays is best. To help cool a room, open a window and close the curtains or use a fan, but do not place it directly onto your baby.

Use sleepwear for babies and not t-shirts or other daytime clothing, as baby sleepwear should be fire-retardant. They should never be sweating or hot to the touch, especially in the hands. If you use blankets, loose or soft bedding, tuck it snugly along the sides of the mattress. But not any higher than chest level and a baby’s face should never be covered during sleep. Be sure that you do not tuck blankets so tightly that the baby cannot move. The most appropriate covering is a “Baby Sleep Bag,” they are wearable blankets with armholes and neck openings.  They help the baby stay at the right temperature through the night without the problem of traditional blankets and sheets being kicked off or getting tangled up.  There are various sizes according to your child’s age, weight and length. Available in various designs and Tog ratings (describes the level of warmth in a product) and can be worn throughout the year.

5. Food and drink

A child may not have much of an appetite when sick, so increase their fluid intake to prevent dehydration and constipation. Avoid undiluted sugary drinks such as juice and carbonated drinks, as these can worsen digestive illnesses. Keeping your baby hydrated is very important as dehydration can cause complications and may result in hospitalisation. Monitor for decrease in urine production, lack of tears, dryness in the mouth and sunken eyes as these are indicators of dehydration.

Once your child has started to recover return to the bed time sleep routine, it is a benefit for the whole family. Continue to monitor your child, give them medication as and when needed and watch their temperature. Every child needs consistency, rules and expectations to live by, so they know what is expected of them on a daily basis. They will grow learning responsibility and understand consequences, therefore less likely to push boundaries.