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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