Thursday, 13 September 2012


10 Ways to Get Your Baby to Sleep and Stay Asleep

 I think this is important as a first time mum; my husband working away my son woke every hour for 7 months. We as parents were against CIO and exhausted all our options and researched a lot of sleep info. It was hard as most info out there related to CIO methods. Here are some time-tested, proven attitudes and techniques for putting your baby to sleep. Most of these are applicable to infants and toddlers of all ages.

 We did eventually use sleep training, but we suited it to our child. He doesn’t sleep the full night but better than waking every hour. I read "save our sleep", Baby love and Sleep Sense. I took the theory but tailered it to the needs of my son. I still held him, I sang to him, I layed him down awake and patted him. I slowly took one prop away at a time. I only allowed 2 mins of crying and no more and the routine lasted 15 mins. This is what we felt comfortable with. I also checked this with 2 medical professionals.

“ Sleep is not a state you can force your baby into. Sleep must naturally overtake your baby” Dr Sears

 1. To influence a good night time routine have a realistic attitude about night time parenting. Sleeping, like eating, is not a state you can force a baby into. Best you can do is to create a secure environment that allows sleep to overtake your baby. Help your baby develop a healthy attitude about sleep: that sleep is a pleasant state to enter and a secure state to remain in.

 “Teach your baby a restful attitude about sleep when they are young and both you and your children will sleep better when they are older”. DR Sears

2. Beware of sleep trainers. Ever since parenting books found their way into the nursery, sleep trainers have been providing us tired parents with magic formulas promising to get babies to sleep through the night – does this come with a price and a risk. Most of these sleep-training techniques are just variations of the old cry-it-out method. Sleep training/ CIO programs involve the risk of creating a distance between you and your baby and undermining the mutual trust between a parent and your child. Value your own biological cues, your judgment, instead of  following  the messages of someone who has no biological attachment, nor investment, in your infant

Technology has also found its way into our night time routine by providing us with a variety of sleep-inducing gadgets designed to lull a baby off to sleep alone in their crib: oscillating cradles, crib vibrators that mimic a car ride and teddy bears that "breathe." All of these promise to fill in for parents on night duty - not to mention the cost especially if it only works for a sort period (then back to square one). You be the Judge about using someone else's method to get your baby to sleep. Does this advice sound sensible? Does it fit your baby's temperament? Does it feel right to you? You know your baby better than anyone trust your instincts.

3 Reasons to avoid Sleep Training/CIO in the first 6 months

It will undermine the trust your baby has for a secure and comfortable night time environment

It may prevent you from developing your own bed time techniques, routines, rituals

Could possibly keep you from uncovering underlying medical issues e.g. colic

3. Stay flexible. If it’s not working change it. Remember what worked last night may not work tonight or next week, be flexible. No single approach will work with all babies all the time or even all the time with the same baby. Create a night time parenting style that works for you. Keep working at your style of night time parenting that. Follow your heart rather than some stranger's sleep-training advice, and you and your baby will eventually work out the right night time routine for your family.

4. Decide where baby sleeps best. There is no right or wrong place for babies to sleep. Wherever all family members sleep the best is the right arrangement for you and your baby. Some babies sleep best in their own crib in their own room, some sleep better in their own bassinet or crib in the parents' bedroom, other babies sleep best snuggled right next to mommy in the parents' bed. Many parents prefer a co-sleeper arrangement. Realistically, most parents use various sleeping arrangements at various stages during the infant's first two years. Be open to changing styles as baby's developmental needs and your family situation changes.

Firm Mattress vs. Soft, swaddled or not, on their side; flat on their back or their tummy.

5. Here are some sleep tight tips, which may vary at different stages in your baby's development. What doesn't work one week may work the next.

Get baby used to a variety of sleep associations. The way your baby  goes to sleep at night is the way she expects to go back to sleep when she wakes e.g.  If your child is always rocked or nursed to sleep, he/ she will expect to be rocked or nursed back to sleep.

Change it every couple of days (variety)sometimes nurse her off to sleep, sometimes rock her off to sleep, sometimes sing her off to sleep, and sometimes use tape recordings; and switch with your spouse on putting her to bed (we never done this now our son only knows to go to sleep with me, unless he has no choice). If you’re a breasfeeding mother try sitting in the next room a baby can smell his mum 20ft away, give your partner a chance to develop a routine with your child also.

 There are two thoughts on the best way to put babies to sleep: the parent-soothing method and the self-soothing method. Both have advantages and possible disadvantages.

1.Parent-soothing method. When baby is ready to sleep, a parent or other caregiver helps baby to fall asleep, usually by nursing, rocking, singing, or whatever comforting techniques work.


• Baby learns a healthy sleep attitude – that sleep is a pleasant state to enter and a secure state to remain in.

• Creates fond memories about being parented to sleep.

• Builds parent-infant trust

So-called "Disadvantages": Because of the concept of sleep associations, baby learns to rely on an outside prop to get to sleep, so—as the theory goes—when baby awakens he will expect help to get back to sleep. This may exhaust the parents.

2.Self-soothing method: Baby is put down awake and goes to sleep by himself. Parents offer intermittent comforting, but are not there when baby drifts off to sleep.

So-called "Advantages": If baby learns to go to sleep by himself, he may be better able to put himself back to sleep without parental help, because he doesn't associate going to sleep with parents comforting. May be tough on baby, but eventually less exhausting for parents.


• Involves a few nights of let-baby-cry-it-out

• Risks baby losing trust

• Seldom works for high-need babies with persistent personalities

• Overlooks medical reasons for nightwaking

• Risks parents becoming less sensitive to baby's cries

6.Daytime mellowing. A peaceful daytime is likely to lead to a restful night. The more attached you are to your baby during the day and the more baby is held and calmed during the day, the more likely this peacefulness is to carry through into the night. Did you have a busy day, too many visitors, was it noisy or just too much going on. My son hates been in crowds for long periods if I don’t remove him he’s unsettled for the rest of the day. Tune in to your Childs personality

7.Set predictable and consistent nap routines. Pick out the times of the day that you are most tired, for example 11:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Lie down with your baby at these times every day for about a week to get your baby used to a daytime nap routine. This also sets you up to get some much-needed daytime rest rather than be tempted to "finally get something done" while baby is napping. Babies who have consistent nap routines during the day are more likely to sleep longer stretches at night.  Remember Structure, Consistency and stability = Happy Baby

8.Consistent bedtimes and rituals. Babies who enjoy consistent bedtimes and familiar going-to-sleep rituals usually go to sleep easier and stay asleep longer. Yet, because of modern lifestyles, consistent and early bedtimes are not as common, or realistic, as they used to be. Busy two- income parents often don't get home until six or seven o'clock in the evening, so it's common for older babies and toddlers to procrastinate the bedtime ritual. This is prime time with their parents and they are going to milk it for all they can get. In some families, a later afternoon nap and a later bedtime is more practical. Familiar bedtime rituals set the baby up for sleep. The sequence of a warm bath, rocking, nursing, lullabies, etc. set the baby up to feel that sleep is expected to follow. Capitalize on a principle of early infant development: patterns of association. Baby's developing brain is like a computer, storing thousands of sequences that become patterns. When baby clicks into the early part of the bedtime ritual, he is programmed for the whole pattern that results in drifting off to sleep.

9.Calming down. Give baby a warm bath followed by a soothing massage to relax tense muscles and busy minds. Be careful, though, because this will stimulate some babies.

10. Fill your baby during the day. Babies need to learn that daytime is for eating and night time is mostly for sleeping. Some older babies and toddlers are so busy playing during the day that they forget to eat and make up for it during the night by waking frequently to feed. To reverse this habit, feed your baby at least every three hours during the day to cluster the baby's feedings during the waking hours. Upon baby's first night waking, attempt a full feeding, otherwise some babies, especially breastfed infants, get in the habit of nibbling all night.

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Baby Carriers (How Not to Use)

Natural Remedies for "Morning" Sickness

Morning sickness is not always the first sign of pregnancy but it's certainly the most notable. Morning sickness will typically begin at any time during the first trimester and usually stop by week 12. By this time, you'll realise that it isn't only "morning" sickness...but afternoon and evening sickness too. For some women, this nausea can strike at any time of day and continue throughout the entire pregnancy.

Unfortunately nobody can really say with any certainty what causes hormones but we do know that it's linked to changing hormones. We've compiled a list of age old and natural remedies for morning sickness - as well as some modern treatments.

Interestingly, there are some remote parts of world where morning sickness is completely unheard of! These women haven't been preconditioned by the tv and movie industries shows to believe that they must suffer from it, that's it's an inevitable part of every pregnancy. Combined with healthy eating and sleeping habits, few of these women even know that morning sickness exists.

Natural remedies to help you control morning sickness

  • Salty crackers are a popular remedy as long as you can get to them in time.
  • Try a little soft drink, especially ginger ale which calms the stomach.
  • Get plenty of rest - throughout your pregnancy you'll need to tune into your body, now is a really good time to start.
  • Try to work some ginger into your diet - ginger has lots of benefits and is an age old remedy for nausea.
  • Keep yourself hydrated! Dehydration will trigger even more nausea and this can lead to a vicious cycle which ends with a saline drip in the Emergency Room of your local hospital. 
  • Small portions are more likely to stay down (and if you can't manage to keep them down they're easier to bring up again!)

So those are the age old traditional,  natural remedies for morning sickness. But we can do better than that. On a personal note, I survived three pregnancies and suffered morning sickness until full term throughout all of them. Here's what I learned.

Morning sickness was linked to my blood sugar.
If I felt hungry, I felt sick too. I learned to watch the clock, tune into my body and eat just a little (a cracker or a slice of toast) before I felt hunger. Once that slice of toast had time to settle in my tummy, I could go ahead and eat a full portion half an hour later.

Take note of your triggers.
If you notice that long distance driving makes you feel queasy, you can take steps to prepare yourself or even avoid your triggers entirely. During pregnancy (especially early pregnancy) many women are hyper-sensitive to smells. If the smell of bacon in the pan makes you tummy turn, stop buying bacon. With a little trial and error, once you're aware of your triggers, you can avoid them.

Find your "Fall-Back Food"
We all have one food that we can eat no matter what. It doesn't matter if you've eaten an eight course meal, you can still make (just a little) room for your fall-back food. It's possibly the first food you crave for after a bout of gastro. It's something that you can fall back on no matter how nauseous you feel.

If you're fall-back food is chicken soup, boil up a bit pot (it freezes well) and make sure that you're never more than five minutes away from a small bowl of food. Your body will soon recognise what you're doing and even the smell of re-heating a cup of soup in the microwave will settled a restless tummy.

Ginger really works
Ginger has been providing us with effective relief from nausea for centuries. Granted, it has a very strong and distinctive flavour, not all of us can palate it and you're probably asking yourself "How on earth can I work ginger into my diet at 6am!?"

You'll find dried or crystallised ginger in the same aisle as dried fruit. The crystallised ginger is dusted in sugar which helps to mask that strong taste and a couple of cubes at the first signs of nausea really does work wonders.

Like mother, like daughter
It's official, you're turning into your mother! Because we share the same genetic make-up as our mothers, many of us will have very similar triggers and treatments for morning sickness as our Mums had. Talk to you mother and grandmother about how they managed this chapter of their lives.

Morning sickness is different for every woman and there's no fool-proof way of relieving yourself of it completely but by tuning into your body, with some trial & error and with some careful planning, you'll be able to manage your symptoms.

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Interesting Facts About Pregnancy

1. Tuesday is the most popular day for babies making their arrival in the world.

2. The number of multiple births has increased by more than 400 percent in the last 20 years.

3. During pregnancy, the average woman’s uterus expands up to five hundred times its normal size.

4. Nearly all babies are born with blue or blue-grey eyes. Permanent eye colouration develops during the following months.

5. A baby born before 37 weeks of pregnancy, is considered a premature baby.

6. The largest surviving baby ever born weighed 14 pounds, 13 ounces and was nearly 23 inches in length.

7. Unborn babies can hear things from as early as 12 weeks.

8. A pregnant woman’s dental health can affect her unborn child.
9. The average weight gained during pregnancy is 26-32 pounds.

10. At 16 weeks, the human fetus is 6 inches long and has all its organs formed

11. Only 25% of couples actively trying to conceive will experience pregnancy within the woman’s first cycle. However, 90% of couples will achieve pregnancy within the first 12 months of actively trying.

12. Fewer than 10% of babies are born on their exact due date, 50% are born within one week of the due date, and 90% are born within two weeks of the date

13. Pregnant women at a healthy weight should eat an extra 300 calories per day.

14. While not all pregnant women will crave pickles and ice cream specifically, pregnancy cravings are rooted in the body’s extra need for minerals and comfort-inducing serotonin

15. Pregnant women usually experience a heightened sense of smell beginning late in the first trimester. Some experts call this the body’s way of protecting a pregnant women from foods that are unsafe for the fetus

16. The feet do not actually get longer or wider during pregnancy, most women do gain up to half a shoe size, due to increased fluid volume in the foot

Is it safe know...

10 Tips To Hide a Muffin Top

We understand that you don't want to get dressed up everyday but when you do, you want to look fabulous. We also understand that dressing your new post-baby body in something flattering can be quite overwhelming so here's 10 simple tips to hide a muffin top and accentuate your postpartum body.

These days we have a range of shaping underwear to help us hide muffin top and flatten out bodily lumps and bumps. This is ideal for special occasions but they are too uncomfortable and hot for everyday wear. The alternative is to camouflage those extra bits around the tummy. 

1. Wear a camisole: 
Camisoles aren't as fitted or effective as shape-wear but they do provide a similar body hugging result with ten times the comfort.

2. Look for prints and texture:
If clothes could play war games, prints and textures are the ultimate camouflage. Not only will they hide dribble and food stains, but they also help conceal bulges.

3. Look for rouched tops:
Folds are forgiving

4. Look for garments that flow away from the waist and hips. 
A-line and Empire-line tops and dresses are fitted around the bust and flare out around the waist. They have great camouflaging capabilities.

5. Wear dresses:
Dresses are very flattering to most figures and can be dressed up or down for every occasion. Most fit-and-flares, some empire cuts, trapeze frocks and dresses with front and side ruching can work wonders to smooth out your silhouette, especially if they have embroidery, prints or beadwork.

6. Wear higher rise pants, jeans and skirts.
The ultimate way to feel girdled and comfy is to lift the waistline and wear pants/skirts that hug the muffin. 

7. Wear knitwear
Cotton, viscose and merino wool blends have a thicker texture which makes them less clingy and more flattering. 

8. Wear Woven
Woven fabrics have a certain rigidity that skims the contours of your body rather than clinging to it and highlighting the bulges.

9.Layer your clothing
In cooler weather, layer a structured jacket, cardigan or jumper over a pretty top. If you want to draw attention up to your bust, makes colourful (or textured) layers around the neckline. To draw the eye down to your hips, wear a longer top under your top layer. An open jacket or cardigan (or even a scarf tied vertically) will create a slimming lean line down the length of your body. 

10. Stand tall and be proud!
There's nothing more beautiful than a new mother. Be proud. Good posture and confidence makes any outfit look better.