So many parents - even of toddling or pre-school age children - struggle to get their children to sleep for the whole night without waking up or without them slipping into their parent's bed.
They wake; they demand milk; they need cuddles; they refuse to go back to sleep and they disturb you and everyone else in the house. And, at the sound of the child stirring at night send shock waves through the parents even if the little one is just turning over or breathing a little heavier than normal. So, even when they are not really awake... the parents are!
When sleep is in short supply all sorts of other repercussions occur. You're grumpy, your partner is grumpy, other children in the house are effected; your efficiency slips and everyone has a rotten time! Do you go to a doctor, let them scream it out, get up and give them everything they demand in order to get a easier and quieter life? It is incredibly hard and unless you're in the situation you really don't know how much endless sleepless nights can disrupt all your lives.
Why do they wake? Here are some thoughts:-
How to help:
Many children go through a stage, as they develop, where they take to biting objects, but worse, they start biting you and other children. This can be caused by a number of different factors:-
What can you do?
A baby's teeth start growing in the womb - while a mother is pregnant, the tooth buds appear in the gums and these are the foundations of milk teeth. Between 4-6 months milk teeth begin to break through the gums although this differs between different children. By age three, most should have a full set of teeth.
As each tooth develops, the gum above becomes very red and sore and swollen. Baby's cheeks can look flushed and they may get restless and irritable for some time prior to the tooth appearing and indeed once it breaks through. Eventually you'll see a tiny white bump on the gum. This is the new tooth!
Help through teething
Offer lots of comfort during teething and lots of cooled boiled water to drink. If your baby goes off food, try to offer more milk to keep them sustained and offer little meals more often, rather than trying to get them to eat if they don't want to.
Dealing with sore gums
Teething does not result in fever, chestiness, rashes, diarhoea or convulsions so if you baby gets any of these symptoms, take them straight to the doctor.
Every baby seem to go through that stage, where they pick up objects, off the floor, and put them straight toward their mouth; why on earth do they do this?! The answer is simple - it's all about exploring objects and textures! There are more nerve endings in a baby's mouth per square millimetre than any other part of their body. If they want to learn about or explore a new object, putting it into their mouth is an effective way to learn about it.
Whether they want to taste it, feel it or smell it, without much exception the item will end up in their mouth. This is perfectly natural and there it no real need to worry if you are sure that you home is relatively clean and that your baby has access only to things that are age appropriate.
How do I stop a baby putting things in their mouth?
The simple answer is keep things out of reach! A baby should only be able to get at things that are designed for an appropriately aged baby and nothing more! If you don't want dribbly keys, don't give the baby your car keys. If you don't want your mobile phone to be sucked, then don't give it to a baby! Certainly don't let them have access to anything small enough to be swallowed.
When will they stop putting things in their mouth? Babies up to the age of two may still put things in their mouth. This is because they want to learn about the world around them. By two they can use their hands much better to for exploring and experimenting, so putting things in their mouth should become less frequent. By the age of 3 it shouldn't be an issue any longer.
Why does it happen?
Just don't worry too much about it. It's something all babies do in varying quantities.
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