May 2018 Newsletter

NEWSLETTER - May 2018

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Original article by Isabelle Dagenais (http://www.motherforlife.com)

What is the foundation of a mother and child relationship? If you bet on unconditional love, read on and find out that even this love can face troubled times.

As for every other aspect of maternity, we don’t know what personality our child will have. We all dream of a lovely baby who only cries when they need something and who can easily be calmed down and you might get lucky… But others will have a child who suffers from colic, gastric reflux or other medical issues. Some babies have “intense needs” and cry for hours every day and no one can satisfy them. This situation can cause suffering and give you a feeling of worthlessness, especially if it happens regularly.

Nevertheless, we must adapt to their ways of showing their needs! Adapting to the temper of our child may take some time, especially if they do not meet our expectations. In this case we must forget about the ideal baby… and one day, we will accept them and things will be better!

What also helps is to realize that we are not responsible for our baby’s temper. If you doubt that babies are born with their own temper, ask the mother of twins and she will tell you how different they were from the beginning. It doesn’t mean that we have no impact on our child! Of course, our perception of the situations, our emotions and reactions influence our child and that is why we should take good care of our emotional state.

Mother-child relationship

Each mother-child relationship is unique and begins long before our child is born.

Remember the time when you desired a child or your thoughts when you realized that you were pregnant. Not to mention your pregnancy and labor…

  • Did you want a child?
  • How did you react to the news?
  • What physical and psychological state were you when you were pregnant?
  • How did the delivery go?
  • How was your first contact?
  • Do you adapt easily to your child’s temper?

Each of those steps was influenced by thoughts and emotions… Each of those steps is part of your lives and of your relationship with your child.

Regret and guilt

Many of you regret some thoughts, emotions or reactions. You wish things had been different and you are afraid of the consequences on your child or on your relationship. Or you feel guilty and you want to fix the “wrongs” that you think you have caused to your child.

Is there a thought or a reaction that you had related to your child and you still couldn’t forgive yourself?

If you have regrets or if you are feeling guilty, it is important to try to forgive yourself and to accept what you have been through. Remember that you acted to the best of your knowledge and that you had no bad intentions. Make peace with the past to avoid dragging this energy into your relationship with your child. Your guilt could influence your behavior or make you feel even guiltier when your child will go through tough times.

To begin feeling better, I suggest an exercise that is in my book. Write a letter to your child and express your regrets, your emotions, your deceptions and the way you feel as a mother. Avoid censorship so that it is truly liberating and once you are done throw the letter away!

Relational challenges

Most people believe that because we wanted a child, our relationship with them will be wonderful! We believe that our love will protect us from problems and conflicts. In fact, love will help us to remain engaged in this relationship when disagreements will occur.

Through their temper, their behavior or their attitude, a child can trigger unwanted emotions. Sometimes, our relationship with our child may be difficult if we are constantly forced to face our limits and our flaws. It is as if some situations were getting to the worst of us. Most of our scars, limits and flaws will be highlighted on this road to motherhood. It is, therefore, necessary to learn to do some soul searching to understand the way we feel and learn from the situation. Blaming our child is never an option.

By taking full responsibility, we build strong foundations to this relationship that we care about so much. Whether we have a baby, a young child or a pre-teen, the goal is to build our relationship every day, to accept their temper, to tolerate a behavior that displeases us, to express compassion for their distress and to do so even if we don’t understand!

In conclusion, I want to share this inspirational quote:

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April 2018 Newsletter

NEWSLETTER - April 2018

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Original article by Vanessa McEwan, Dietician

Your digestive health is directly impacted by the foods you eat and the lifestyle you live.  By taking steps to improve your digestive health, you’ll help your digestive system to function more efficiently, improving your overall health and sense of well-being.

Try these tips for better digestive health:

  1. Eat less refined sugar.  Among the many issues caused by refined sugar i.e. (inflammation, weight gain, hormonal imbalance…), it also promotes the growth of “bad” bacteria and upset gut flora balance.
  2. Take a quality probiotic.  Probiotics are the same kind of healthy bacteria naturally present in your digestive tract.  They combat the effects of antibiotics, enhance nutrient absorption and strengthen the immune system.

When choosing a probiotic, look for these qualities:

  • Probiotic supplements should contain 5-10 billion CFUs (colony forming units).
  • Encapsulated pills are better than liquids because they help the bacteria survive the acidic stomach.
  • Multiple strains of bacteria (different strains offer different benefits).
  1. Eat a high-fibre diet.  Include whole grains, fruits, vegetables and legumes.  High fibre foods keep your digestive tract regular, making you less likely to get constipated. They can also help prevent digestive conditions such as diverticulosis, hemorrhoids and IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome).  In addition, it can help you achieve or maintain a healthy weight.
  2. Stay hydrated.  Drinking plenty of water is good for your digestive health.  Fibre pulls water into the colon to create softer, bulkier stools, allowing them to pass through more easily.
  3. Limit foods that are high in fat.  In general, fatty foods slow down the digestive process but it is important to eat the correct type and amount of fat in your diet to supply the body of EFA (Essential Fatty acids).
  4. Exercise regularly.  Regular exercise helps keep foods moving through your digestive system and helps you maintain a healthy weight.
  5. Eat regularly. Make time to eat.  Aim to sit down for your meals and snacks and NOT to eat on the GO.  By eating the correct foods and portion sizes regularly you will experience less hunger pains and cravings.  Your metabolism will improve and you will maintain a healthy weight and digestive system.

What you eat and the quality of your digestive health are intertwined.  Following these strategies will help make sure it’s a HAPPY relationship!

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March 2018 Newsletter

NEWSLETTER - March 2018

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Original article from Nimue Education SA

Male beard growth is stimulated in the follicles by testosterone as well as the even more powerful male androgen hormone, Dihydrotestosterone.

An analysis of fashion pictures shows that beardlessness began among young men in the 1890’s, during World War I, since beards harboured lice.

Today shaving one’s beard on a daily basis is still a very common practice. A practice that in many cases has many side effects to certain inflammatory conditions such as:

  1. Ingrown Hairs
  2. Pseudofolliculitis barbae (also known as razor bumps/ razor rash)

Ingrown Hairs:

Ingrown hairs develop when the hair curls and grows back into the skin due to incorrect shaving techniques. Individuals with coarse or curly hair have a bigger risk of developing this condition. Shaving a beard can promote development of ingrown hairs and is a big contributing factor. When there’s an ingrown hair, the skin reacts as it would to a foreign body. Typical signs of an ingrown hair are:

  1. Development of bumps which are small, solid with a round shape
  2. Development of pus-filled lesions
  3. The affected area becomes darker, possible post inflammatory hyperpigmentation
  4. Inflammation of the affected area accompanied by itching and pain
  5. Presence of embedded hairs

Pseudofolliculitis Barbae:

Pseudofolliculitis Barbae is an inflammatory disorder caused by persistent irritation, inflammation of the hair follicles and ingrown hair formation after shaving. The condition usually covers part of the beard area (where the individual shaves).

After a hair has been shaved, it begins to grow back. Curly hair tends to curl into the skin instead of straight out of the follicle, leading to an inflammation reaction. Pseudofolliculitis Barbae can make the skin look itchy and red. These inflamed papules and pustules can form if the area becomes infected. If left untreated over time, this can cause keloid scarring in the beard area. Pseudofolliculitis Barbae can further be divided into two types of ingrown hairs: transfollicular and extrafollicular.

  1. Transfollicular

The hair has exited the follicle but then re-enters. While shaving, sharp edges are created. When the hair grows again, it curls and re-enters the skin.

  1. Extrafollicular

The hair does not exit the follicle and because of its natural curly nature, it curls back into the follicle causing fluid build-up and irritation.

Prevention and Treatment

  • Regular exfoliation helps to remove dead skin build-up which may block the entrance/exit of the hair follicle.
  • Nimue facial treatments are great for deeper exfoliation and lightening any scarring and post inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
  • Electric razors should be avoided.
  • When using a wet razor, a single blade or wire-wrapped blade will prevent shaving too closely and changing the blade with every shave will ensure that no bacteria is spread, and the blade does not become blunt.
  • Shave in the direction of the hair growth.
  • Shave every second day, rather than daily.
  • Softening the beard first with a hot, wet cloth or shave while showering in hot water.
  • Picking and scratching the razor bumps must be avoided as this can lead to scarring and infection.
  • Severe transfollicular hairs may require medically attention.
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February 2018 Newsletter

NEWSLETTER - February 2018

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Original article by Meg Faure

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.”

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.

The cycle of love

Bonding is more than a warm fuzzy feeling – it is a critical, deep emotional involvement with and trust in another person. It is a journey of getting to know, trust and rely on another person. 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, Dads may experience depression and anxiety in pregnancy and this will impact on 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 babe are 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 don’t feel like you are bonding. On the other hand some mums have a wonderful birth experience and 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.

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January 2018 Newsletter

NEWSLETTER - January 2018

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Original article by Meg Faure

Science and wisdom tell us that play is vital for a child’s development. The problem is that as a busy parent, it may feel like an enormous challenge to find the time to play or you may find that you are unsure about how to play with your little one. In chapter 10 of Baby Sense, we talk about 4 guidelines for stimulation and we use the acronym T.E.A.T:

1. Timing

Play with your little one when he is well rested and not hungry, preferably in the calm-alert state. This is the state that is best for learning and making brain connections. You will know your baby is receptive to activities, when he is calm, making eye contact – reaching for toys and showing interest in the world.

The opportunity can present it self in normal daily activities such as nappy change time, bath time or mealtime. In addition, it is worth setting aside 15 minutes a day to get onto the floor and focus 100% on your child.

2. Environment

To focus happily on play, you will want a space that is firstly safe – without hazards such as plug holes, loose book shelves and open water. Try to de-clutter the space and not have too many toys on offer. Put your mobile device away and get onto the floor with your child and offer 3-5 carefully chosen activities or toys. In this way the play environment is conducive to fun and learning.

3. Activities

An activity is simply an interaction with your little one that enhances development and is fun. Games such as peek-a-boo or reading a book together, learning a new nursery rhyme or finger painting are all examples of activities that spark interest as well as teach vital skills. 

4. Toys

Carefully chosen toys are a fabulous way to spark your child’s imagination and teach skills. Toys should be matched with your child’s age. The best toys require one of two things from your baby:

  • A toy may spark imagination – such as a doll, a toy phone or a pretend kitchen. These toys are brilliant for encouraging language, creativity and collaboration with you. You and your little one can take on roles and pretend play together.
  • A toy may enhance skills – such as a ball, shape sorter or a puzzle. These toys demand a certain level of interaction from your little one. Watch for interest in a certain area and offer a toy that will provide just the right challenge to your child.

Enjoy playing with your little one and know that through appropriate timing, a stimulating environment and the right activities and toys, you can spark your child’s brilliance.

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Traveling When Pregnant

Traveling When Pregnant

It’s wrong to assume being pregnant prevents you from jetting off on the holiday of a lifetime. While having another member of the family on the way poses a new challenge to anything you’ve experienced before, it doesn’t need to have a significant impact on your travel plans.

That said, a vacation when pregnant will be different to your previous trips. It’s for that reason we’ve compiled a comprehensive guide, which details how to successfully head off on holiday when you or a loved one are expecting.

Regardless of the stage of pregnancy, this resource will provide travellers with the confidence to head abroad, safe in the knowledge they’re doing no harm to themselves or their baby.

READ MORE..

December 2017 Newsletter

NEWSLETTER - December 2017

Original article by Meg Faure

Summer is around the corner and we are all looking forward to spending more time soaking up the warm rays in the long sunny days. Summer means wonderful new experiences for your baby as you spend more time outdoors and may even go to the beach or swimming pool.

Now the thought of taking your baby near water should bring to mind the critical safety elements one need to consider in summer. Obviously, all babies need to be closely monitored whenever near water. In addition, the long sunny days and water play bring the risk of exposure to the sun.

Why is it important to prevent your baby’s skin from exposure to the sun?

  • Exposure to the element has similar effects on baby skin as it does on adult skin but your baby’s skin is considerably thinner and thus more susceptible to dehydration as water is easily lost through her skin.
  • Baby and toddler skin also has much less brown pigment (melanin), which protects us from UV light. This means that if a baby gets sunburnt or overly exposed to UV rays, the long-term risk of Melanoma cancers increases dramatically.
  • Sunburn is a painful condition and since your baby’s new skin is more susceptible to sunburn, you will want to prevent any chance of this otherwise you will likely have a very bad night’s sleep.
  • Exposure to water and swimming pools will cause baby’s skin to dry out quickly and it is therefore necessary to ensure that you moisturize babies skin on a regular basis, even in summer.

So, understanding that sun care is vital, what should you do:

  • Do not take your baby outdoors over midday – the reflection off water and ambient sunrays are way too risky to manage well.
  • Use multiple measures of protection than relying on one measure over the other. Multiple measures include avoiding the sun wherever possible, the use of long sleeve garments that are lightweight and sun hats together with sun cream.
  • Protect your baby by staying under a shade
  • Use a well-researched baby-friendly sun cream and be vigilant with reapplying. On this point, remember that because your baby’s skin is thinner than your skin it is more likely to absorb ingredients from sun creams so carefully consider using a reputable brand, who test their products and do not use harmful ingredients.
  • For babies less than 6 months, protect them by avoiding the sun, clothing them well, use sun hats and stay under the shade.
  • Do not apply sun cream to a baby who is less than 6months as their skin is still sensitive.
  • You can apply sun cream on the skin of a baby who is 6months and above but try a certain area first for example the back of the hand as a test sign. If the child does not react to the cream, you can continue use.
  • Your baby’s delicate skin loses moisture 5 x faster than adult skin, in conjunction with adequate sun protection it is essential to follow a regular moisturizing routine.
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November 2017 Newsletter

NEWSLETTER - November 2017

Original article by Meg Faure

In my practise and the work I do with moms, around half of babies I see (admittedly they are the more fussy of babies) have been diagnosed and/or are being treated for reflux. To put this in perspective and offer some advice, lets look at what we know about reflux.

What is reflux?

‘Reflux’ is short for Gastro-oesophageal reflux – which is basically regurgitation of stomach contents. It occurs in many babies and for by far the majority, who suffer from ‘reflux’, is actually not something to worry about.

Many babies posset or bring up milk curds and stomach acid. Some actually vomit or spit this up and others simply swallow it down and you would hardly know they have posseted if you didn’t notice a little swallow or gasp as the curds come up. In fact, so many babies regurgitate small amounts of milk curds that we could almost consider it ‘normal’ in the population. By far the majority of these babies continue to gain weight and thrive, even though they are bringing up a portion of each feed.

For other babies, the ‘reflux’ is a medical condition (GERD – GastroEsophageal Reflux Disease), which does require intervention. These babies are not thriving and are very unwell, many suffering from repeated lung infections and significant discomfort and pain due to the oesophagitis that develops when stomach acid burns the food pipe. These are the cut and dried cases and are very unusual.

A number of babies, however, are not ill with the reflux but are irritable and it is hard to discern if they are simply irritable babies or if the reflux is causing such great discomfort that it needs to be treated. These babies are thriving and not ill but are miserable. They fall into a very grey area and the question arises about whether they should be treated medically.

Should we be medicating?

The medical treatments for reflux generally involve neutralising or blocking stomach acid production or thickening the milk that the baby ingests.

In cases where babies are unwell, not thriving and have breathing problems or lung infections, due to the GERD, treatment is necessary.

For all other reflux, in otherwise well babies, the new thought is not to medicate as the treatments that alter stomach acid may lead to other issues with digestion.  If you can manage reflux conservatively in these babies, it is a way better route to go:

  • Smaller feeds
  • Limiting length of feed
  • Interrupting feed to burp your baby
  • Keeping baby upright for a little period of time after the feed
  • Raising the head of the cot for sleep time

Sensory threshold

Looking at reflux from a sensory perspective can be useful.

Sensory sensitive babies have a tendency to hyper respond to all sensory input – they are easily woken by sounds, cranky at bath time due to the change in temperature, fussy with new teats and dummies, become over stimulated in a busy setting etc. These babies have a low threshold for all sensory input. It stands to reason that interoception (sensory input from within the body) will also cause these babies to react.

So for babies with a low threshold, the mild burning or discomfort of ‘normal’ reflux makes them very irritable and they hyper respond to interoception from the oesophagus that another baby may not notice.

Sensitive babies are more likely to over react to reflux.

Before jumping into medical treatment if your baby is generally well, do the following:

  • Find out your baby’s sensory personality
  • If your baby is thriving, try not to medicate but rather manage the discomfort by not overfeeding and by raising the head of the cot.
  • If your baby is irritable look to the sensory world to calm them, before jumping into meds.
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October 2017 Newsletter

NEWSLETTER - October 2017

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What is Low Pressure Fitness?

It is a rhythmic breathing exercise system/program set to specific postures and together it creates an anticipatory/automatic response or activation of the deep core musculature. This training system is based on Hypopressives breathing, myofascial and neurodynamic techniques; postural and breathing re-education, combined with the most advanced neuro-educational methodology.

Low Pressure Fitness (LPF) conditions your entire body from the inside out. It is a global approach to training and works on the various muscle chains in the body (anterior, posterior, cross chain etc). All movement starts with the deep core muscles working together as a team to support you in that specific movement. LPF teaches you how to align your body, breathe and activate core function so that your deep core can meet the demands of every move you make and manage intra-abdominal pressure.

How does this work?

It is important to understand the core 4 is a system of deep muscles, working together as a team. This group can be briefly described as the diaphragm, pelvic floor, deep abdominal belt and back muscles. All movement starts from the core and for the core to be functional the system needs to work together, synergistically and in balance. One should also remember that daily life actions like coughing, sneezing, laughing, sport activities like skipping, running or jumping results in intra-abdominal pressure.  If one part of the team is not functioning properly or is out of balance it will also not manage intra-abdominal pressure due to these daily activities and the weakest point or member of the core team will give way or compensate. Symptoms of core dysfunction will be experienced as incontinence, diastasis recti, pelvic organ prolapse, back pain and many more.

 

 

Benefits of Low Pressure Fitness:

  • Toning of the abdomino-perineal muscles and waistline narrowing. Trains deep core muscles at its resting tone. No pulling in of belly or forced tone activation of muscles groups in isolation.
  • Prevention of muscle injury and prevention/maintenance of Hernias (Hiatus, inguinal, vaginal/pelvic organ prolapse)
  • Prevention of pelvic floor dysfunctions eg urinary incontinence (stress urinary incontinence experienced by young athletes is very common and thus, combining this with sport programs offers a great preventative benefit to female athletes). Incontinence is also a symptom experienced by many post-natal and pre and post-menopausal women, so following the LPF program will kick start or retrain your core to become functional, reduce and prevent symptoms of urine leakage.
  • Sexual performance enhancement for men and women
  • Post-natal rehabilitation, eg for diastasis recti/separation six pack muscles due to pregnancy
  • And many more

Where can I find CoreConnect and LPF classes?I received training in Barcelona in 2016 and have been working in and around Cape Town/northern suburbs for a year now. I personally suffered from abdominal separation/Diastasis recti after my second baby and this program offered a significant improvement and rehab tool for the condition. My passion is women’s health and I approach core-pelvic floor, breath and alignment from a fitness, health and wellness perspective. As owner of Core Connect and director of LPF in South Africa, I offer various options for clients either wanting to rehab pre and post-natal, pre and post-menopausal, add this to their regular fitness or exercise program. I offer small beginner groups, maintenance groups where I add full body strengthening workouts, private sessions at home or at general venues or small LPF express groups. I work mainly in and around Cape Town and northern suburbs, but do travel if needed.

I am hosting a women’s event together with my sister, Janet Kimmel, Kegels and Karma, on the 13th of January 2018, the first of many to come. This event will be geared toward women’s health and will be informational, educational, motitvational and fun. It is the perfect way to kick start your year to be balanced, well and motivated. I will be running a workshop on LPF so be sure to have a look at our website and buy your ticket for the event: www.kegelsandkarma.co.za

Where can I find LPF qualified instructors and more information?

The first professional Level 1 course was hosted in Cape Town in May 2017 and there will be a second course running in October. Word is spreading and in 2018 there will be more courses for professionals in Cape Town and in Gauteng. You can find contact details of qualified trainers on the website www.lowpressurefitness.com  or facebook page low pressure fitness south africa.

You can also contact Shirley Boerssen directly for more information on the program, trainers, how to become a trainer and more. Please see contact details below.
Looking forward to meeting and seeing you in my sessions.

Happy Hypos
Shirley Boerssen

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September 2017 Newsletter

NEWSLETTER - September 2017

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Original article by Meg Faure

Newborn babies (under 6 weeks) are generally good sleepers during the day. They are still quite sleepy and may even sleep from one feed to the next. They are very likely to wake to feed as often at night as during the day – usually 3 hourly.

If your baby wakes more often at night than during the day, she may be experiencing ‘day-night reversal’. In this case, you need to guide your baby towards more lively interactions in the day and less engagement at night.

It is relatively simple to improve your baby’s night-time sleep by keeping night feeds strictly business affairs. Here are 5 simple tips to differentiate night-time from day:

  • Unless your baby is premature or your doctor advises you otherwise, don’t wake your baby for feeds at night– take her lead for waking at night. This allows your baby to establish natural sleep cycles.
  • Try not to smile or talk to your baby at night – keep these happy interactions for day light hours.
  • Feed in semi-darkness – use a dimmer, nightlight or a passage light instead of the bright bedroom light.
  • Don’t change your baby’s nappy at night – buy the best nappy you can afford for night-time and leave it on from one feed to the next, unless she has soiled her nappy. A good quality gel nappy can be left on all night as they soak up all the urine and the bottom remains dry.
  • In the very early days (the first 6 weeks), do not ‘dummy’ your baby in an attempt to decrease night feeds. Rather feed her when she wakes for feeds at night, if more than two and a half hours have passed since the last feed.

Follow these simple strategies and in a short time, your baby will start to have one longer stretch between feeds at night and by 3 months should have a good 6-8 hour stretch once at night.

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