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Tags: calm



Shhh, it's Quiet Time!

Permalink by Tikal, Categories: Parenting, Health, Kids Activities , Tags: calm, down time, nap, peace, quiet time

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As parents of carers of any age children, we can get rather obsessed with entertaining and stimulating the little ones but quiet time is also an important activity to undertake and build into your routine.  It gives you and the children a chance to be peaceful, quiet, thoughtful and relaxed.

Quiet time activities:

  • rest, sleep in a dim room
  • quiet colouring or drawing
  • quiet puzzle
  • quiet/classical music and relaxing in a comfy chair
  • reading a nice book
  • looking through a book alone
  • writing practice
  • a choice of activities from a craft box/book shelf
  • yoga
  • lying down with eyes shut and quiet music playing

Why bother with quiet time?

  • it gives the carer a few minutes of peace and quiet
  • it focuses the child
  • it relaxes and regenerates the child's energy
  • reduces stress or any tension they may have built up
  • gives the child independence if allowed to choose own activity
  • builds a well balanced child who has the ability to entertain themselves
  • helps with sleep

Tips for a successful Quiet Time

  • Don't expect too much too soon.  Start with a quiet 10 minutes rather than a whole hour.
  • Use the same place each time so they come to expect it and know it's always the same familiar spot.
  • Do it at the same time each day, after lunch, before school run etc. so it becomes part of the routine.
  • Make sure they have all they need so won't be calling you. Go to the toilet first, have a sip of drink and provide all the toys/books etc. they will need so they don't come wandering to find you.
  • Keep it positive - don't make any suggestion it's a punishment or anything but a treat!  If it doesn't work immediately, don't nag, just quietly explain and keep it happy.
  • Explain you'll not be there, but that you'll be next door or down stairs so they are not alarmed if you go.


Swaddling a Baby

Permalink by Tikal, Categories: Babies, Health , Tags: babies, calm, comfort, cot death, reflexes, sleep, swaddling

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Swaddling a baby is a good way to help them sleep and you can even get some pre-wrapped swaddling blankets that are easy to fit and remain in place.

Why Swaddle?

  • It's a good way to calm an unsettled baby.
  • New babies are used to the closeness of being in the womb or being in their mother's arms. They are often unprepared for total freedom and it unnerves them. By swaddling, you recreate this closeness which makes them feel calm and secure.
  • For many, swaddling is vital as its stops their limbs from flaying while they are trying to sleep.
  • It's a way to calm the Moro Reflex, that startle reflex that all babies are born with. They have an innate fear of falling and so throw their arms out if they are startled. This reflex can be triggered even when parents place babies in their cot for sleeping.  Swaddling helps prevent this from happening.
  • Studies have shown that swaddling can enhance the development of low weight babies.
  • It may reduce the risk of cot death.
  • It soothes overstimulated babies.
  • It can help with colic.

Do you need any more excuses to give your baby a special cuddle?!



How does a Comforter Help a Baby Sleep Through the Night?

Permalink by Tikal, Categories: Babies, Parenting, Health, Child Development , Tags: bed, calm, comforter, cot, relax, sleep, stress, teddy

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Comforters come in all shapes and sizes: it could be a favourite teddy, a blanket or muslin, a soft toy or even a favourite sock or top!  Whatever it is, if it helps your baby to sleep, it's probably worth having.  Studies have shown that babies with comforters of some sort do sleep better than those that go to bed with nothing.  When children have a favourite item or toy, they are more able to self soothe if they do wake up in the night, and this is essential to getting back to sleep on their own.

Parents who rock, cuddle or feed their baby to sleep find in the most part that when they wake in the night, they have to go through the same rigmarole during the night.  This is the only way that the baby will go back to sleep.  When they have a comforter of some sort, they manage to get to sleep independent of you being there.

For many children a comforter is an effective way of dealing with anxiety or stressful situations.  It soothes them and is a comfort.  It helps them deal with the situation.

What to choose as a comforter?

You may find that your baby chooses their own comforter independent of your choice.  They may always reach for the muslin or ask for a particular teddy.  However, if you are trying to decide on something, try to follow these tips...

How to choose a comforter?

1. Choose something that is easily replaceable (ie teddy that is from a high street store or a muslin that is indistinguishable from others.)

2. Choose something specifically designed for babies to use at night time: i.e. not a wooden train or a hard toy that could hurt them.

3.  Choose something that is age appropriate i.e. soft toys designed for babies (with no loose eyes or buttons that could come off during the night and present a choking hazard).

4. Choose something that is soft and warm to touch; something that can be stroked or snuggled into.

5. Chose something pale in colour because bright, highly contrasting colours stimulate babies and do not help them sleep.

6.  Make sure it's washable!

When should a baby be given a comforter?

You can place a small soft toy in the cot from a very early age.  Try holding it close against your skin for a while before bed so it takes on your smell.  This can add to the comfort for babies, as well as being able to see it.

Children between 6 months and 2 years will begin to form a real attachment to objects and will be more keen to use a comforter.  They can have it at night or when they are somewhere new or in situations when they feel anxious.

By 3 years, they may only need it at night, but be led by them.

By age 5, most children have favourites, but the need to rely on one comforter tends to have passed.  Try not to feel pressure from other children or parents to give up the comforter.  If it's doing it's job, keeping your little one sleeping through the night or helping them cope with stressful situations, then keep it!



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Hi! I'm Tikal the Toucan, the mascot for ToucanLearn. Follow my blog to find out interesting things relating to babies, toddlers and preschool children!

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