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Archive for Sleep and Settling

Keeping Baby Warm

By Jan Murray

When night air becomes colder the ambient temperature in your child’s room can drop quite significantly at around 3am.

frost

If your baby is waking around that time, make sure she is warm enough.

Sleeping bags made from natural fibres are great for warmth once your baby is out of a wrap. Unnatural fibres such as polyester can trap heat, making it difficult for your baby to regulate her body temperature.

Helping Babies and Toddlers Sleep
A thermostatically controlled heater can be useful during the cold winter months but be careful not to overheat your baby’s room and don’t leave a heater switched on all night. Episodes of SIDS are more common in winter as a result of overheating.

Avoid sleeping babies and toddlers with electric blankets on, hot water bottles or heated wheat-bags. Your baby cannot always escape from a bed, throw off bedding, or get out of a cot to cool down. A baby that becomes too hot is at an increased risk of SIDS. Keep a window a tiny bit open for fresh air.

It is advisable to keep bedroom temperature below 24°C (75.2°F) but observing how hot your baby looks and feels is a better indicator of acceptable room temperature than a monitor. Feel down onto your baby’s chest as hands and feet are usually cold. Look to see that her head is not sweating or her face is not flushed. Babies regulate their temperature through their head. Make sure their face is uncovered, while lying on their back to sleep.

Avoid sleeping your baby between two adults. Babies can become smothered by adult doonas and can overheat between two hot bodies.

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This article was brought to you by Jan Murray, Private Child Health Consultant who is an internationally renowned expert in her field. Jan encourages parents in the area of infant sleep, nutrition, activities and family balance. Jan publishes regular ezine and blog articles to provide free parenting tips, tools and resources to educate and support those caring for young babies and children.

Moving your Toddler from a Cot to a Bed

By Jan Murray

You can help your toddler make the transition from a cot to a bed when you are ready and/or your toddler shows signs that he is ready.

You may find this transition easiest to manage after he turns two years old. However, some toddlers are ready earlier than this.

Below are some signs that indicate that it is time for your toddler to move out of the cot:

  • climbcotClimbs or falls out of the cot
  • Thrashes around in the cot and appears unable to get comfortable
  • Asks for a “big bed”
  • When she is toilet trained by day and then starts to call out at night to use the toilet
  • A new baby is on it’s way and the cot will be needed. Make sure this transition happens 2 months before the new arrival.

Suggestions that can help your toddler move out of a cot and into a big bed

  • Make the changes when there are no other big changes happening in his life
  • If another baby is on the way, make the changes at least two months before or after the arrival
  • Your toddler or older child may like to help you chose the sheets
  • Idea One: Take away the cot surrounds and place the cot mattress on the floor in the same spot for a few days or a week before changing into the bed
  • Idea Two: Bring the big bed into the same room as the cot, leaving the cot assembled and start day naps and reading books on the new bed for a week before sleeping in it
  • Have a calm and comforting pre bedtime ritual established well before making the transition
  • Have some of the pre-bedtime ritual on the big bed such as reading and chatting
  • Tuck your toddler in bed firmly and ensure he knows you expect him to stay in bed
  • If he gets out of bed, take his hand and walk him back to bed calmly and confidently, with no eye contact or conversation. Continue walking him back in this manner until he stays there. Do this consistently for three weeks before a new habit is established. More information here Putting Them to Sleep

This article was brought to you by Jan Murray, Private Child Health Consultant who is an internationally renowned expert in her field. Jan encourages parents in the area of infant sleep, nutrition, activities and family balance. 

Changes in Baby Sleep Patterns

By Jan Murray

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When parents ask whether your baby sleeps through the night, the answer you give can feel like a rite of passage for being a ‘good’ parent! However, don’t worry because it is normal for babies to wake overnight for many years. The issue is really more about what babies rely on to get back to sleep. Sleeping through means when your baby wakes he doesn’t need any help to get back to sleep, it doesn’t mean he doesn’t wake up. There are a variety of factors that prevent babies and toddlers sleeping through the night. Many are learned behaviours, which could have been prevented and can be fixed.

Newborns that are jaundice (yellow discolouration of the skin) or weigh less than 3000gms need to be fed about four hourly overnight.  There are also medical conditions and metabolic disorders that require babies to have regular milk feeds overnight.

Adults can easily achieve and function well on six to eight hours of unbroken sleep a night (before children!). A newborn requires around 16 – 17 hours sleep in a 24 hour period, which needs to be broken up with milk feeds. As babies get older, the amount of sleep they require for good health and development slowly decreases and the spacing of feeds increases.

swaddled

The natural day/night sleeping pattern takes a couple of months to develop. Parents can help this process by focusing on feeding newborns at regular three to four hourly intervals during the day. Feed and sleep babies in the daylight for the first six weeks but after this they often appreciate dimmer lighting to settle to sleep. Pull the blinds or curtains while sleeping but make sure you raise them when they are ready to get up. Feed during the night with soft lighting and minimal stimulation. To keep them secure and comfortable swaddle for sleeping—it encourages sleep by preventing the startle reflex (throwing arms out) disturbing them. This reflex disappears around three to four months old making it easier to transition out of a wrap and into a baby sleeping bag.

asleep

By eight to ten weeks old, babies are able to sleep longer stretches at night of four to six hours and shorter naps of one to two hours during the day. Night sleep between 6.30pm and 6.30am is still broken with the need for milk feeds two or three times until six to eight months old. By this age, babies are able to sleep much longer (10 -12 hours straight) with two day sleeps (one in the morning and one in the early afternoon). This pattern of sleep is not impossible for most babies but there can be several reasons why this is not happening for some.

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Photo Supplied by www.sunshinecoastnewbornphotographer.com

One reason why many older babies continue to wake and get milk feeds overnight (more than they require) is because they have been programmed from birth to have milk feeds to go off to sleep. Continuing to feed whenever babies wake overnight becomes an expectation even if they are not hungry. One way to avoid this happening is to help babies to fall asleep naturally during the early months and as they get older avoid rushing in when they wake overnight. Set up positive sleeping cues early and allow babies the opportunity to self-regulate good sleeping patterns without the dependence on milk feeds.

From four months old neurological development causes babies to wake and chatter—they are not asking for anyone and it’s usually not hunger. If they know how to settle, they will go back to sleep when they are ready. If babies wake erratically it could be a sign that they need more nutrients during the day. This can be fixed either by increasing breast milk, adding some infant formula feeds or introducing solids. Seek advice from your child health professional for the best option for your baby.

From nine months old poor sleeping patterns can become worse. Babies who enjoy feeding during the night usually can’t eat much during the day, which then hinders a good night sleep. Poor sleep then reduces their energy levels needed for physical activities, which further reduces the need for eating. This lack of activity makes babies less physically tired, reducing the need for sleep and the lack of ‘fuel’ can make babies drowsy and in need of a quick nap.

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They may be teething but teething doesn’t usually cause night waking but it can prevent babies going back to sleep if they wake.

Parenting styles, family environments and settling techniques vary. Consider the best options for your family to function well and ensure babies and toddlers get a good night sleep for their optimal development.

A ‘Suggested Daily Routines’ eBook is available to help sort out night and day patterns of sleep.

Read this different perspective from the babies side! Awake Training for Parents

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This article was brought to you by Jan Murray, Private Child Health Consultant who is an internationally renowned expert in her field. Jan encourages parents in the area of infant sleep, nutrition, activities and family balance. Jan publishes regular ezine and blog articles to provide free parenting tips, tools and resources to educate and support those caring for young babies and children.

Baby Sleep Patterns

by Jan

Sleep is important for babies and toddlers to be alert and learn new things and to function at their optimum level. If you are reading this you have probably found out that sleep is important for adults too!

Parents can provide an appropriate environment and opportunity for children to learn how to sleep?

When adults, children and babies have less than adequate amounts of sleep for their age and activity requirements they are often found to be:

  • more whingy
  • unsettled
  • irritable
  • impatient
  • jumpy
  • more tantrums with greater intensity
  • clumsy
  • over-active in their movements
  • regular lack of sleep will also decrease immunity levels creating a greater risk of illness.
  • concentration and tolerance levels drop

Below is a guide for your baby sleep patterns. Use it as a guide only as sleep is individual and dependent on physical activity, general health and wellbeing.

Feel free to browse other products relating to SLEEP on this site:

Settling Your Newborn to Sleep eBook

Putting Them To Sleep eBook 

Sleep or Behaviour Package

‘Mum, Baby & Toddler – together we learn’ 

‘taste it – easy baby & toddler recipes along with professional child health advice’  eBook

HOW MUCH / HOW OFTEN
All babies are individual in their needs and you will understand these needs, as you get to know your baby.

Be guided by your babies TIRED SIGNS which may include:

  • grizzling
  • yawning
  • jerky limb movements
  • rubbing eyes
  • frowning
  • pulling at ears
  • clenched fists
Ages Routine Sleep patterns Up time between feeds Down-time Type of play
1-4 wks Feed

Play

sleep

16.5 hrs 1hr 15mins 1-1.5 hrs Likes faces,singing and movement
4 -12 wks Feed

Play

sleep

15 hrs 1-1.5 hrs 1.5 – 2 hrs Mobiles, soft toys, colours, floor play, tummy time
3 -4 mths Feed

Play

Sleep

6 – 10 hrs / night (night feeds)

3-4 day sleeps

1.5 hrs 1.5 – 2 hrs Deliberately
swings out at objects, holds small rattles, books, mirror & music
4 – 6 mths Feed

Play

Sleep

Play

8 – 10 hrs / night (wakes and chatters)feeds not nutritionally required.

2 – 3 day sleeps

1.5 – 2 hrs 2 hrs Holds & touches toys,

transfers from one hand to another, mouths toys

6 – 8 mths Feed

Play

Sleep

Play

11 -12 hrs / night ( no night feeds required)

2 day sleeps

2 hrs 1.5 – 2 hrs Bath toys, vocalizing, toys with moving parts,
rolling and dancing
8 – 10 mths Feed

Play

Sleep

Play

12 hrs a night

2 day sleeps

2.5 – 3 hrs 1 – 2 hrs Peek-a-boo, cloth books, moving toys, dolls, floor play & discovering
10 – 12 mths Feed

Play

Sleep

Play

12 hrs a night

2 day sleeps

3 – 4 hrs 1 – 1.5 hrs Music, stacking blocks, play group, kitchen objects, cruizing around furnature
12 mths + Toddler

Routine

11 – 12 hrs a night,

1 day sleep

4 hrs + 2 – 2.5 hrs total Puzzles, dancing, sandpit, pushbutton or pull along toys, cardboard boxes

Most babies under 8 weeks have one unsettled period a day,

commonly in the evening and one unsettled day per week

Ages Appropriate Sleep Requirement /
24 hours
A daytime nap needs to be finish before 2.30pm or they may be difficult to settle at night.
12 – 18mths 13 – 14 hours

 

 

May have 2 short naps or 1 longer nap of 2½ hrs

The length of nap will depend on how long your child has slept at night and how stimulating or strenuous their day activities have been

18 mths – 3 yrs 12 – 13 hours A large percentage of young children still require daytime naps but again this will vary (1-2½ hrs) depending on their nights sleep and day activities
3 – 5 years 11 – 12 hours Often grown out of needing a regular daytime nap but a quiet time with books after lunch is appropriate and useful.

Toddlers require a day sleep until 2 years old but some will continue until 4 years

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if your baby, infant or toddler slept these hours!

It is important for you to learn how you can help your baby to sleep well even if it is not as much as this chart indicates; remember all babies are individual in their needs?

The Putting them to Sleep eBook will answer a lot of the questions you have concerning baby sleep.

Food and nutrition has a significant impact on baby sleep patterns.

If your baby is approaching or over 5 months old you will find my new book ‘taste it’ very helpful and easy to understand. I compiled all the answers to the many questions that parents with babies and children ask. Easy to read and simple to follow. Order your online today.

‘taste it – easy baby & toddler recipes along with professional child health advice’

This article was brought to you by Jan Murray, Private Child Health Consultant who is an internationally renowned expert in her field. Jan encourages parents in the area of infant sleep, nutrition, activities and family balance.