Parenting

September 2017 Newsletter

NEWSLETTER - September 2017

MW-Newsletter-Sept-2017

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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August 2017 Newsletter

NEWSLETTER - July 2017

MW-Newsletter-Aug-2017
Original article by Meg Faure

Just as you think you have got on top of your baby’s sleep routine, suddenly you will find that he changes the game plan. As your little one gets older, his need for day sleeps become less and so you will find that fitting all the day sleeps into the day with longer awake times, mean that bedtime is suddenly at 10pm.

Research has shown that the more attention given by parents to language development in the early days, the better the child will achieve in later literacy and communication skills.

How do you know when your baby wants to drop a day sleep?

There are four common tell-tale signs that its time to drop a day sleep at about these ages:

  1. Your baby/toddler is suddenly VERY hard to settle to sleep for day sleeps.
  2. Your baby/toddler starts to fight bedtime and it gets later and later because his last sleep of the day goes on too late
  3. Your baby/toddler starts to wake VERY early – like 4am – and won’t go back to sleep
  4. Your baby/toddler wakes at night and stays awake for a long period

When your baby shows one or more of these signs, its may well be time to drop a sleep

How to drop a day sleep

Every age can be done a similar way – incrementally. So lets look at dropping from two to one day sleep: At around a 12-14 months your baby will be at the right age to drop down from two to one day sleep.

  1. Move the morning sleep later – to 10am and the midday sleep to 2pm for a few days.
  2. Then move the morning sleep to 11am (with big snack at 10:30am plus a tiny milk feed – then to sleep). He will be dog tired with the new routine for a few days so you will need to entertain him to get him through to 11am.
  3. On these days, he will probably sleep from 11am until 1pm and not have an afternoon sleep. So bring bedtime back to 6pm.
  4. Every third day do two sleeps if he needs it for 2 weeks.
  5. Then in the third week, move morning sleep to 11:30 and eventually 12. That is your new routine
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Toddler temper tantrums

 

april 2015

Seemingly bad behaviour and temper tantrums seem to go together. Your delightful child suddenly stamps her feet defiantly if she can’t get her own way, or flies into a rage for no apparent reason. Temper tantrums are a necessary and healthy (but difficult) part of growing up.

Toddlers have a low level of frustration – temper is easily triggered when things don’t go according to their plan. In younger toddlers (under 3 years), most tantrums are caused when they become frustrated with their ability to perform certain tasks (such as putting on their own shoes). This is when a helping hand (not punishment) is all that is needed, and the ‘tantrum’ soon abates.

However, it is important to remember that overtiredness and over-stimulation leading to sensory overload, also contribute towards temper tantrums and bad behaviour. It is especially worse in public situations, where unfamiliar people, loud noise, bright lights and different smells are too much for her to handle. She will also know that she does not have your full attention in a public setting, so will play up in order to get it!

Avoiding Temper Tantrums / Be One Step Ahead

    • Be in tune to sensory signals: modulate or remove your child from the stimulatory environment if you see any signs of overload.
    • Try to plan outings and activities during your child’s awake time to avoid tantrums and tears.
    • Be consistent: Try to stick to a routine. Routine is important to your toddler – it gives her boundaries and predictability in her world, which helps her to feel secure.
    • Avoid hunger: your toddler needs to eat frequently, so avoid letting her get too hungry – she will become very grumpy.
    • Prevent a situation from arising: If you see that your 2 year old is struggling to put her shoes on and is getting frustrated, step in and offer to help her before she loses her temper.
    • Offer her choices whenever possible. Instead of saying “eat your beans”, rather say “would you like beans or squash?”
    • Try to choose your battles – is it really the end of the world if your toddler goes out with two different shoes on?

 
Tackling Temper Tantrums

    • As a parent, it is always important to help your child make sense of what is happening and how she is feeling. This way, your toddler will learn to trust her feelings and solve many of her own problems. Try and get into the habit to always acknowledge how your child is feeling by giving it a name, then to mirror the feeling, then offer some sort of distraction. So when your toddler performs when denied an ice cream, try handling it in a different way. Say “oh dear, are you cross that you can’t have an ice cream, I would be too if I were you because you are so tired, but I tell you what, let’s go and have a look at the balloons and see if they have a blue one – that’s your favourite colour, and then we’ll go home for a sleep”. This way, your child will get the message from you that whatever she is experiencing is not dangerous, not out of control and can be managed.
    • Stay calm in the storm of the tantrum! Your role is to contain her distress, so don’t stomp out the room, try not to shout if she shouts, or be angry if she is angry (this will only lead to two toddlers in the room!). If your toddler will allow you to, help her to sort out what it is that is causing her frustration. If it is too late for that, give her a big, firm and deep hug, and try and keep her close to you in this way until her anger subsides. Try to stay with her even if she won’t let you touch her, and offer that cuddle for later when she is calm. The storm of emotion she is going through can be frightening for her, so she needs to know that you are there for her.
    • Use ‘time out’ (if the tantrum warrants it) from the age of 2 years.
    • Walk away if you feel that you are losing control – take some deep breaths and count to ten, then return.
    • Don’t give in to the tantrum – if you do this you will only be re-enforcing the negative/bad behaviour. By conceding, you will only be teaching your child that all she needs to do is have a ‘frothy’ in order to get what she wants. It is best to ignore the behaviour, and rather focus on the reason for the tantrum in the first place. By ignoring the tantrum, you are giving her a message that this behaviour does not move you, and she will most likely stop.
    • In the throes of a tantrum, don’t plead, beg or negotiate – it will give your child a message that you are anxious and not in control.

Always remember to praise and acknowledge your child when they have handled a difficult situation well, or if they have done as you have asked. This way, you only ‘reward’ positive behaviour, and largely ignore the negative behaviour.

Toddler Sense Secret: By the age of 4 years, most toddlers have learnt that there are other, easier ways of getting what they want, so you will notice that temper tantrums will lessen.

Surviving the morning rush

dec 2014

I am a mom of an absolutely gorgeous little 2 and a half year old toddler girl – Yes I say this while I am sitting in front of my computer at work, she is at school, husband at work and I have some peace and quiet.

I do not know how your routine works in the morning but mine is crazy, I have everything worked out to the minute – Well that was until my two year old decided that she wants to dress herself and not just that BUT also choose her own clothes. Now, I only have one girl – I do not know if boys are the same – but can you just take a minute and imagine you have 3 or 4 girls! Madness.

My husband leaves at 6am in the morning for work, so I get up when he leaves and then get myself ready. Those who know me I do not ‘faff’ I hardly wear make-up and all those fancy things. Anyway, get in the shower, get myself ready, (during that time Izeblla woke up) and opening and closing my shower door asking me why she must go to school, why am I showering, why is the cat in the room…..why why why… Then I get dress, put Lollos on for her – yes my child watch tv in the morning that is the only way I can get something done. I am not one of those super moms. Then I pack her lunch box and get her cereal ready. And again she gets cereal in the morning – not eggs and toast, not flapjacks…. I seriously do not know how working moms manage to do that. If you do it – please email me your secret. Then give her, her cereal – ( this again is a topic on its own) When should they start to eat on their own? Are they eating enough? And And And. THEN – the dressing part…

She runs to her room, as if it is a game. Now, I do try to mentally prepare myself for this time of the morning, sometimes I handle it better than other – then I count to 100. But the other days I just can’t help it. I must just add I am a very strict mom, so at the beginning I told her what to wear, she had no choice in the matter – it would end up being a big screaming match, Izebella in tears, I am so angry because she does not want to listen! Then I decided I have to take a different approach – I can no do this every morning So I started reading up about it – and I came across a very interesting article in Edunews. I will give you the link below. Bottom line is that you need to let them dress themselves. It is a very important stage of growing up. I started following the advice that they gave in the article, and it is not always easy but I do understand my little girl better.

I must also admit that I do sometimes change her shoes (gum boots with a church dress) just before we go out, while she is busy – then she does not even notice it 🙂

Ps. Bear in mind this is actually a milestone – like taking that first step – I know it does not feel like it but let’s try and celebrate it.  Click on the link below and you will find the article in the online magazine. http://www.edunews.com.na/ – Page 32. Enjoy your day!