Maintaining Toddler Sleep with a Newborn

Maintaining Toddler Sleep with a Newborn

For your toddler to be healthy and happy, his sleep habits must be consistent.  This does not have to change when you bring a new baby home from the hospital. When your child's sleep habits are not disrupted by the new baby and his familiar routines are not changed, he will be much more likely to maintain his good sleep track record! As a result, he will no doubt be more secure with the new addition to his family. A few tips can be useful to both your children and yourself.  

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Is my baby ready to drop to one nap?

Is my baby ready to drop to one nap?

As your baby grows into a toddler and their need for sleep decreases, it is still extremely important to provide an opportunity for naps and rest time through to about 3-4 years of age. Most toddlers are ready to transition to just one nap somewhere between 14 and 18 months of age. (some toddlers transition as early as 12 months and some as late as 2 years)

As your baby’s nap times transition, your baby might not continue to nap the same amount of hours and the night time sleep may lengthen (temporarily or permanently) to accommodate the missing hours.

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Dropping from Two Naps to One

Dropping from Two Naps to One

Bringing a baby into the world and then caring for them can be a daunting process for most new mums and from the very start it seems that majority of conversation topics and questions revolve around sleeping. How do you get your baby to sleep? How do you make sure they stay asleep? Are they getting enough sleep? How will I know when they are ready to drop from two naps to one?

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Babies Sleeping Makes More Babies

Babies Sleeping Makes More Babies

I received exciting news today! There is a baby due in September and the parents say it's all thanks to me. I know right?! What the? I don't help people conceive! Aaaaaaaah, but then again; I kinda do. Hear me out...

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Paracetamol Use During Pregnancy Linked to ADHD in Children

Paracetamol Use During Pregnancy Linked to ADHD in Children

A recent scientific study got me thinking – how many people would use paracetamol during pregnancy thinking it's an innocuous 'safe' drug? I know my doctor recommended I use it for pain relief while pregnant – it is the most commonly used medication for pain or fever during pregnancy.

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Helping Children Deal With Anxiety

Helping Children Deal With Anxiety

How often in our busy lives do we look to our children and think how wonderful it would be to be a child again. An age that carries little to no real responsibility and appears void of stress and anxiety. The truth is, whilst there can be no argument that most kids have it pretty good, like adults they can all suffer from anxiety due to stress or fear at times in their small lives and to them it can feel very big and overwhelming.

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Introducing Dr Caroline Hendry

Introducing Dr Caroline Hendry
We have an exciting announcement for The Baby Sleep Company community! We have secured Dr Caroline Hendry, Editor of the prestigious Development scientific research journal (Cambridge, UK) to bring us the latest in the scientific research that affects us as parents.  You wont find any irrelevant articles being reviewed here and the reviews wont be mind-numbingly boring - we promise! Trust me, with three kids and a business my attention span is amongst the shortest. Dr Hendry is an incredibly intelligent person but she's able to bring the science to the masses, which I love.
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Travelling with Babies

Travelling with Babies
Few words are as likely to have parents breaking into a cold sweat as quickly as ‘travelling with babies’. From horrendous flights to limited food options to disrupted sleep patterns – holidays suddenly aren’t looking so fun once you have babies in tow. You’ll have to manage flight delays and foreign jarred baby food yourself, but I can give you a few pointers on some other things you should consider!
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A Tale of Two Families

A Tale of Two Families
An interesting flow-on effect of being a Certified Children's Sleep Consultant is the sheepish looks you get from people you meet at BBQs or parties when they 'confess' to 'still' feeding their baby through the night at the ripe old age of, say, 9 months "I know she should be sleeping through by now but I honestly don't mind feeding her" they'll say to me. And you know what I think? Great! Go for it! I'm not Miss Sleep Consultant Judgey Pants – do what works for you and your family!
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What is dreamfeeding? How do I do it? Will it work?

What is dreamfeeding? How do I do it? Will it work?
I get asked about dreamfeeding a lot. No one gets more advice (a lot being unsolicited!) than a mother who's baby is "still" not sleeping through. A common remedy is to try introducing a dreamfeed.  A dreamfeed is the term used for feeding a small baby very late at night (normally between about 9-11pm) with the aim of having the baby sleep a longer overnight stretch without waking up for more food.

For some people it can be a lifesaver; bubs goes down for the night around 7pm, mum then rouses her enough to feed her but not to wake her up fully around 10pm (before she goes to bed herself) then hopefully baby sleeps through until around 5am which means mum has enjoyed a blissful 7hr sleep.
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Kids Sneaking Into Your Bed?

Kids Sneaking Into Your Bed?
This is such a common problem – I have a lot of people telling me that their kids won't sleep in their own bed and they're constantly coming into their parent's room.  If you don't mind and it works for your family then that's great! However, if you are like many of my clients and feel that everyone would get a better night's sleep if there were no nocturnal bed visitors then the tips below might help you address the issue.
 
Spend time during the day talking to your child about how important it is that they stay in their own bed. It can help to have them repeat it back to you so that you know they've really heard and understood you.
If you've grown so used to kids sneaking in you should consider putting a bell on your door so you wake up when they're on the move. The best time to reinforce the new plan is when they're in the process of moving rather than when they're already snuggled up with you.
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The Dangers of Intermittent Reinforcement

The Dangers of Intermittent Reinforcement
Whether you have decided to get rid of a dummy or that it's time for your child to sleep in their own bed all night, you need to be aware of the dangers of intermittent reinforcement.  We're all guilty of 'giving in' from time to time but when it's concerning a habit that needs adjusting or a problem we're trying to fix it can end up making the issue a lot worse than it already was. If a child learns that 'no' really means 'not yet' or 'maybe later' then they will continue nagging/whining/crying until they get what they want – often resulting in even more tears and sorrow than we were trying to avoid in the first place. Research also shows that it takes longer to break a habit that is intermittently allowed than one that is constantly allowed (like co-sleeping or free use of dummies) – if there is a clean and clear break from what used to be okay and what isn't any more, kids adapt to the new rules more quickly.
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Sweet Relief from Eczema

Sweet Relief from Eczema
According to the Eczema Association of Australasia, eczema is “a recurring, non-infectious, inflammatory skin condition affecting one in three Australasians at some stage throughout their lives“ and in my experience the reality.... of seeing a child suffer from the all-consuming symptoms of eczema can be devastating. Although my kids have been lucky enough to have dodged the eczema bullet, I’ve seen plenty of families try product after product hoping that it will be the thing to provide them with some sweet relief. Eczema usually occurs in early childhood – first appearing around 2 months and disappearing around 6 years of age. Frustratingly, this condition makes sleeping for babies and young children even more difficult as they’re likely to be very uncomfortable and will stay awake incessantly scratching their already damaged and sensitive skin.
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Ditching the Dummy

Ditching the Dummy
A lot of mums are very sheepish when they tell me that their toddler or baby uses a dummy for sleep. Often it surprises them though (and it may surprise you) that I am not anti-dummy. I know right?! Baby whisperers known for confiscating and banning dummies! Let me explain... In my experience the mums who feel like they need to ditch the dummy are most often mothers of toddlers 2 to 3 years of age. I find that a lot of mums feel pressured by friends (and mother-in-laws!) to phase it out but feel very anxious and torn because they’re nervous that it may cause a sleep regression. Well, I’m here to say that if your toddler likes to have a dummy in bed, can find her own dummy in the night and doesn’t need it all day long then I don’t agree with your friends or mother-in-law!
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Dress for the Season: Autumn Edition

Dress for the Season: Autumn Edition
As a Certified Child Sleep Consultant, a question I get asked a lot is ‘what should my baby be wearing to bed at the moment’ and with good reason! A cold baby can be a frequently waking baby and a hot baby is going to be pretty uncomfortable too..... The weather at the moment in Brisbane is in that awkward ‘still humid in the evening but could get colder at 3am’ stage which makes for a bit of a dilemma at bedtime. My rule of thumb is to dress your little one for 3am, not 7pm. Even on a hot night, us adults can find ourselves reaching down to pull the kicked-off sheets back up in the wee hours of the morning so when you’re talking about a baby who can’t pull those covers back on you need to consider this temperature drop.
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