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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!

Nap Time: Great For Baby and Essential For Mum!

Permalink by Tikal, Categories: Babies, Parenting, Health , Tags: baby, naps, sleep, tiredness, toddler

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Naps are vital for little ones for so many reasons, but they are also an essential time for Mums to have a break too. Keep you baby and toddler napping during the day for as long as you can, for their, and indeed your, benefit.  Make sure you take time out when your baby sleeps: no cleaning or tidying or cooking.  Just have a relax or a nap yourself!

Why do some babies not nap?

  1. Over tired. This is the most common problem for disrupted napping during the day. Once babies get too tired, they have trouble relaxing enough to sleep and they fight it.
  2. Change in routine or place of nap disrupts their familiarity with napping and causes them anxiety.
  3. Over reliance on sleep aids or other sleeping techniques that you later withdraw.
  4. Overstimulated prior to going to sleep or a nap.  It's important to "wind down" and go to be in a calm and relaxed state.  Overstimulated babies may wake fitfully because they were not relaxed on going to bed.
  5. Lack of routine.  If a 9 month old knows that every day after lunch they have a nice cuddle, they will calmly go and find their teddy and snuggle up for a lovely nap, they wil get used to this idea and expect it.  After lunch comes nap.  This is very important indeed and can be an essential tool when dealing with sleep.
  6. The moment has passed.  As soon as you see the signs that your baby is tired, get them to bed directly.  If you delay, you could lose that window of opportunity and find yourself with an over-tired baby instead of one that was ready to be put down to sleep.

The key is to get to know your baby and when they are tired get them straight into their cot for a good nap - all babies differ, but you will learn to spot sleep signs quite quickly!

Signs that a baby is tired:

  1. They get fussy and moody.
  2. They rub their eyes.
  3. They yawn.
  4. You feel they have been awake too long.

How long do babies stay awake before they need a sleep?

  • 0-6 weeks: about 15-45 minutes! (Seems short, but it's true!)
  • 6-12 weeks: 45-90 minutes.
  • 3-4 months: 2 hours.
  • 4-6 months: 2-3 hours.
  • 6-12 months: 3-4 hours.
  • 1-2 years: 3-5 hours.
  • 2-3 years: 5-7 hours.
  • 3-5 years: 5-12 hours.

Sleep tight!


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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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