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Waking In The Night

Permalink by Tikal, Categories: Parenting, Health , Tags: nightlight, nightmares, sleep, tiredness, waking in the night

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Why do children who have slept well for months or even years, suddenly start waking in the night?  There are many reasons why this could happen and many things you can do to help them.

How to avoid waking in the night:

  • Wear them out!  It works for most people, so give them plenty of activity and lots of fresh air.  Even if its cold, wrap out and go to the park and run around for a while.
  • Check they are not over tired and lacking sleep.  Move bedtime earlier if you think they may not be getting enough sleep.  Under 5's need at least 12 hours sleep (including naps).
  • Have a calm bedtime.  Read books, sing gentle songs and have a cuddle before bed.  It will put them in the right frame of mind for a long, easy, calm sleep.
  • Make sure they go to sleep alone.  Don't stay in the room until they sleep.  Make sure they can do it themselves otherwise you may find they can't go back to sleep when they do wake up in the night because they expect you to be there.  It's not their fault; it's all they know!
  • Noises downstairs can wake a child.  Try to be quiet and not have the tv on too loud so they are not disturbed.
  • Try a nightlight if you think it may prevent them feeling scared in the night.  A little glow can really comfort them.
  • Excuses abound when children wake up; runny nose, drink, toilet.  So have all you need nearby so they can reach for a sip of water if they are thirsty or get a tissue if their nose it running.
  • Nightmares.  Try not to to have scary stories before bed or tv that involves baddies or monster etc.  Avoid grown up tv too as the images can be very real.
  • Stay calm and kind.  It's not their fault and they will probably get through the phase and sleep will be restored for the hole household!

How to Make a Dreamcatcher

Permalink by Tikal, Categories: Kids Art and Craft, Kids Activities , Tags: craft, dreamcatcher, dreams, nightmares, sleep

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A Dreamcatcher is a handmade object made up of a small wooden hoop with some woven thread or wool knotted around it and then decorated with little feathers and beads. The idea is that the dreamcatcher is tied above a child's bed at night and used to protect them from bad dreams.  Only good dreams are permitted to get through the woven web and bad dreams stay in the net and don't interrupt the sleep.  They simply fade away in day light.  However, good dreams trickle down the beaded, feathery strands that hang below onto the sleeping child.

The dreamcatcher originated in Ojibwa Nation in the 1960's and was adopted by other Native Americans over the years.  The idea of dreamcatchers to help children sleep has become more and more popular since then and now dreamcatchers come in all shapes and sizes.

If your child suffers from nightmares or wakes during the night after bad dreams, make them a dreamcatcher!  Get your child involved and maybe it will help with the night time wakes!

Making a dreamcatcher

  1. Collect some bendy twigs and secure them safely into a circle using some wire or tightly wound string.
  2. Cut some more lengths of string.  Secure one to the circle, stretch it across the other side of the circle and wrap a few times to secure.  Thread some beads onto some of the strands.  Do this with all the string until you have a spider's web effect.  Lots of crossed strands of string securely tied onto the wooden circle.
  3. Tie a few more strands to hang down underneath the circle and thread more beads and a couple of feathers.
  4. Hang above your child's bed.

"Sweet Dreams!"


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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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