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Creating Bedtime Routines - Birth to 6 Months

by Maxine
Posted August 18 2010 01:39pm
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There are things that you can do to help teach your baby the difference between daytime naps and going to bed at night. Karon Foster, a Registered Nurse and Parenting Expert, suggests starting with a consistent bedtime routine from the very first night. “Routines really help ready your baby for sleep by gradually decreasing stimulation,” she explains. New parents are often exhausted as they realize that their baby doesn’t know the difference between night and day – meaning many sleepless nights and a big adjustment to their usual sleep schedule.


Here are some suggestions you can follow to create a routine:

  • Give your baby a warm bath – keep in mind that some baby’s develop dry or irritated skin when bathed daily, so this may not work for your child.
  • Give your baby a massage.
  • Dress your baby in different clothing at bedtime, such as pajamas.
  • Make sure your baby has a dry diaper.
  • Read a book to your baby (even though baby doesn’t really know what you’re reading, this can be comforting and it is a way to bond).
  • Quietly sing a lullaby or play soothing music.
  • Keep the lighting low – use a night light or draw the blinds.
  • Keep the room at a comfortable temperature.
  • Feed your baby.
  • Walk, rock or cuddle to help relax and calm your baby.

If your baby wakes up, always respond. Once you’ve figured out and solved the reason for waking – hunger, wet diaper, etc. – keep talking and other stimulation to a minimum. This will make it easier for your baby to settle again.

For more about bedtime routines, see the following articles:


Click here to learn more about your baby and sleep.

 


Video Alert!
You can also watch this video from our Comfort, Play & Teach video series, Bedtime with your Baby, to learn more.

 

 

 

 

What is your bedtime routine? How has it changed as your baby has grown? Share your story with other parents by leaving a comment below!

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Sleeping

by Maxine
Posted August 18 2010 04:53pm
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When it comes to young children and sleeping the most predictable thing might be how unpredictable their sleeping habits can be! It can be frustrating and exhausting when your child isn’t sleeping well. In this section you’ll find articles to help you better understand sleep and your baby. 

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What is Skin-to-Skin Contact?

by Maxine
Posted August 19 2010 09:41pm
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Skin-to-Skin contact is holding or laying your baby on your chest or abdomen with your baby just wearing his diaper. This can be done immediately after your baby is born and in the weeks and months following his birth. You can put a light receiving blanket over baby.  Both mom and dad can provide skin-to-skin contact with baby.

Skin-to-skin contact has many benefits for your baby, including babies that were premature.  Immediately following birth, it helps your baby adjust to the world around her.  She is warmed by your body heat, her heart rate and breathing stabilize and her presence helps to release Oxytocin, a hormone in Mom’s body that will help in breastfeeding and keep Mom’s uterus contracted.  Your baby’s senses are heightened immediately following birth; she will smell her mom’s body, look at her parents, hear their voices and feel their touch.  Skin-to-skin contact in the weeks and months following birth continues to offer benefits to your baby such as:

  • Helps increase breast milk supply as frequent skin-to-skin contact allows baby frequent access to breastfeed
  • Baby has an increased ability to keep warm
  • Increased comfort from the warmth of your body, hearing your heartbeat and closeness of your voice
  • Improved weight gain
  • Increased baby-parent bonding
  • Improved oxygen levels in baby
  • Continued improvement in baby’s breathing patterns and heart rate
  • May help calm baby during painful procedures
     

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When Preschoolers Whine

by Maxine
Posted December 22 2010 07:06pm
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You know what it’s like when your little one starts in with that whiny tone. It can drive even the calmest parent crazy!

When preschoolers begin to whine, the most important thing to do is not to give in. If you do, it will teach your child that whining is a good way to get what he wants, and he will do it again, and again. Instead, let him know that you expect him to speak to you without whining.

Acknowledge your child’s efforts when she speaks without whining.  If she keeps whining, stay calm and ignore it until she speaks properly. If you think she is really overwhelmed by a situation, though, she may need a hug or a back rub to break the cycle.

Here are some suggestions from our experts to prevent whining:

  • Watch for situations where your child may get bored, and prepare for them. For example, have a bag of toys for your child to play with while you're on the phone.
  • Teach your child the difference between whining and asking properly.
  • Try to pay attention to your child when she talks to you in a normal voice. If you ignore her when she is asking for something nicely, she may start to feel that the only way to get your attention is to whine.

 

What do you do when your preschooler whines? How do you handle the situation? Share your story with other parents by leaving a comment below!

 

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