My breastfed baby refuses milk from a bottle . . .
Suzy’s fourth tip: Don’t insist that your baby drinks milk at that moment, he may not be ready or, on the contrary, he may be too hungry to be receptive.
Is it a 'sleep regression'?
Suzy suggests: Don’t stress, if you handle it correctly, sleep regressions don’t last! Strictly speaking, it’s not a regression but I grant that it feels just like it. As parents you have every right to have flashbacks to those earlier months when sleep deprivation was a big, not quite so pleasant, part of your everyday life. That fear of sleep deprivation being a permanent fixture is so real. However, sleep regressions are actually a maturation of the brain and not really an actual regression. As a baby gets older, the brain starts to develop and the infant begins to develop more sleep associations. Although it worries parents that their infant is getting less sleep than before the ‘sleep regression’, it is really a positive progression because it means your baby’s brain is developing in the way that it should.
Suzy’s first tip: Try not to make lots of changes to your infant’s evening routine. For example, don’t put your infant to bed later thinking this might make him more tired and he will sleep better because it can make him overtired and this may make him wake up more often in the night or at least very early in the morning.
Suzy’s second tip: When you are faced with night wakings, treat them as such and, however tempting it may be to try lots of different things to get your infant to go back to sleep, resist the temptation. Bringing your infant into your bed when he is not used to it can create another habit because it’s a bit like a reward for waking up.
Suzy’s third tip: Check he is eating well in the daytime and pay attention that the evening meal is not too ‘heavy’ as you don’t want him waking up due to digestive issues.
Suzy’s fourth tip: If you have to go in to check your infant at night, make sure you keep it low key and really rather boring!
If you find that your little one’s sleep is still disturbed after a month or so, Suzy can get you back on track with a holistic and simple sleep plan.
Early morning wakings getting you down?
Suzy says: Just when you get to the stage where you think you are in control of your baby or child’s sleep situation, something throws in a curveball and your little one starts waking super early and refuses to settle back to sleep.
Suzy’s first tip: The room needs to be as dark as it is when it’s the middle of the night. Cracks of light will encourage your little one to be awake and stay awake.
Suzy’s second tip: Is your child waking early because he is being unintentionally ‘rewarded’ when he wakes by a cuddle in your bed? Toddlers, in particular, are notorious for this. If it has been less than 11 hours since your little one went to sleep then this has to be treated as a night time waking, encourage your child to go back to sleep in their cot or bed.
Suzy’s third tip: Could your child be overtired? Contrary to what is often suggested on forums, an earlier bedtime will usually help as one of the main causes of early morning waking is over-tiredness. This is more often the case than a baby or child being ‘under-tired’.
Suzy’s fourth tip: What time is the daytime nap or naps? If not spaced correctly it may be that the sleep situation is perpetuated because the first nap is so early that your infant wakes, has breakfast and goes straight back to bed. It’s a bit like if you wake up, have a midnight feast and go back to bed. The body clock is also regulated by food so your body expects the food and sleep at the same time and continues to request that sleep-feed-sleep pattern.
How do I teach my baby good sleep habits for the future?
Suzy says: By setting good sleep foundations your infant will have a greater memory and capacity to learn new thing, a more sociable attitude with others, a better immune system against coughs, colds, and general childhood illnesses. have increased physical development reaching milestones at a faster, more age appropriate pace.
Suzy’s first tip: Look for your infants very first tired signs before you notice that ‘scratchy’ tired cry. Some examples are, the first yawn, less and less eye focus on faces or toys and everyday objects, less fluid or coordinated movement.
Suzy’s second tip: Slow everything down with less stimulation so that your baby learns to recognize when there is a change of pace and to adapt to it.
Suzy’s third tip: A calm nappy change to create a ‘sleep association’.
Suzy’s fourth tip: Take a deep breath and think ‘calm’ whilst giving lots of lovely cuddles and putting your little one into his usual sleeping place (cot/moses basket).
Worried that perhaps your infant is not getting enough sleep? Is she ‘clingy’ or fussing a lot throughout the day? Can’t shake off those colds and coughs? Have a look at the online or in-home consultations and call Suzy…
Is this the right time to start introducing solid food?
Suzy says: The NHS recommends weaning your baby onto solid food at 6 months of age. What if your baby is ready to wean onto solid food before then? Here are just a few of the signs that your baby might be ready:
- Holding his or her head up and controlling head movements
- Sitting up well when supported
- Making chewing motions
- Being more curious about what you are eating and less interested in the bottle or breast
Suzy’s first tip: Offer simple food at the time of day when you are most relaxed.
Suzy’s second tip: Don’t rush into it, instead allow your baby to really taste and explore.
Suzy’s third tip: The easiest way for a baby to learn is by imitating the way you eat so sit and eat together and you can demonstrate by making it fun and sociable.
Suzy’s fourth tip: Avoid the temptation to wipe up every mouthful. It will be messy because this is an important part of learning. Try not to clean up until the end of the meal so that you don’t distract your baby from enjoying this new and exciting experience.
If you have further questions about how to get started on a positive food journey, Suzy can get you set up and give you a realistic schedule and some sensible and balanced menu plans.
Do you have a picky eater?
Suzy says: There is nothing more frustrating than preparing a nutritious meal to find that your toddler just won’t eat it. Worse still is when they get to the point where they will only eat about 4 different foods and even that is hit or miss! Then follow the tantrums too. It’s tempting to put the television on and spoon it in but this is a big mistake because this prevents the toddler from learning to recognise signs of feeling full, concentrate on the taste and so much more…
Suzy’s first tip: First and foremost, sit and eat with your little one and have the same food.
Suzy’s second tip: Don’t focus on, or discuss at the table, what your child is or isn’t eating as this is too much pressure and has an adverse effect. Instead, make it a sociable occasion.
Suzy’s third tip: Offer a varied and balanced choice and include one food you know your child might eat.
Suzy’s fourth tip: Lower your expectations of the quantity you expect your little one to eat.
If you have tried all the above and you are still worried, Suzy’s has lots of experience and techniques. Call Suzy now to see how she can help you.
Interesting Facts and Figures around sleep
- 1 hours extra sleep in each 24 hour period affects intelligence by 2 years
- There is a 94% significant improvement in an infant’s sleep disorder if it is a behavioural one, when a tried and tested sleep training technique is used correctly
- 75% of children have sleep issues in their lives and most of them are preventable
- Sleep techniques can reduce infant sleep problems and associated maternal or paternal depression for up to 16 months (Anna Price and Armstrong 2012)
- Humans should spend one third of their lives sleeping
- Infant sleep problems can lead to poor maternal mental health and postnatal depression (Harriet Hiscock 2001 & 2017)
- 3% of infants have obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) according to the British Lung Foundation, it is most commonly found in infants between 3 and 7 years old.
How to make a smooth transition from a cot to a bed?
Suzy says: There’s always going to be that underlying fear at first that your toddler will get out of bed a lot in the night and sleep will be disrupted for the whole family. It’s true that this might happen for the first few nights because it’s normal for a child to test the boundaries with their newfound freedom. However, how you handle it makes a significant difference…
Suzy’s first tip: A bed guard may stop your precious little person from falling out of bed. Perhaps put some sponge type matting on the floor beside the bed, giving a softer landing!
Suzy’s second tip: Make a visual count down with your infant for 5 days previous to ‘big bed’ day.
Suzy’s third tip: If you have enough room, put up the new bed about two days beforehand and allow your little one to have story time there. This helps to familiarize him/her with the size of the bed and a slight change of sleep environment.
Suzy’s fourth tip: Two days before the big night, go on a special outing with your little one to choose sheets etc. Allow your little one to choose what s/he likes. Lots of praise!
Suzy’s fifth tip: Consistency and a gentle ‘no negociation’ attitude after saying ‘goodnight’ are the keys to whether you will be disturbed for just a few nights or for several weeks to come.
If you need support during this transition or your child is already getting out of bed and waking you up, Suzy can show you how to motivate your child to stay in bed.
Flights with infants and a lot less tears
In the days when she worked as a Maternity Nurse Suzy travelled worldwide with babies and siblings from the USA to China, around most of Asia and all round Europe so she has a few tips to share with you:
Suzy’s first tip: When you are boarding the plane make a positive move to say a kind word to the people around you and ‘sniff out’ the kindest looking person. Why? Because you never know whether you might need their help during the flight! If you really don’t like asking for help there is more of a chance the kind person will offer to help if you have been friendly earlier.
Suzy’s second tip: Keep reminding yourself that when travelling with a baby, after the flight, those people, you know, the ones with disapproving looks, you will probably never ever see again so if your baby cries, try not to stress too much for their sakes. If your baby gets really upset concentrate on cuddling your infant to sooth him because he is so much more important than the ‘disapprovers’! Perhaps walk along the aisles – it will be less of a problem for your baby and you, and other passengers.
Suzy’s third tip: Tie your infant’s toys, spacing them out, along a length of ribbon or, even better, the plastic toy links you can buy so that if your infant drops a toy you can pull on the other end of the ribbon to get it back. It saves you trying fruitlessly to bend over like a contortionist, with your baby still on your knee, to pick up the toy. It’s also easier to gather the toys together when they are all on the same ribbon/links so that when you are tidying up before you land all the toys can be dropped neatly into the relevant bag.
Suzy’s fourth tip: During landing and take-off, encourage your infant to have a drink, breastfeed, bottle feed or suck on a pacifier; swallowing relieves ear pressure at high altitudes.
When you get back from your holiday, if you struggle with your infants’ jetlag, she can help you get right back on track either via online consultation or by working with you in person.