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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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Cry it Out

by Maxine
Posted June 21 2011 03:21pm
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Our experts have looked at both sides of the debate - the Cry it Out method and the Attachment Parenting approach. Below you’ll find a series of articles that can help you get a better understanding of the Cry it Out method so you can decide whether or not it’s right for you.

Still not sure of which approach is best for you and your baby? Ask an Expert and get the answers you’re looking for.

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Preparing your baby for childcare

by Maxine
Posted January 2 2012 07:05pm
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Starting childcare can be an adjustment for the entire family. Routines will be new for everyone and some family members will adjust easier than others.

Whether it's a family home care setting or centre-based care, here are some tips to help make the transition easier for everyone.

  1. Start talking about the new routine well in advance of the first day.
    For instance, if mom will be doing the drop off, she could start talking about the ride to childcare. Talk to your child about the new routine that will take place once in care. Familiarize yourself and your child with the names of the teachers as well as the other children.
  2. Arrange advance visits.
    Advance visits, for children of all ages, allow your child to become familiar with the caregiver, the routine, and the other children. Visits can begin several weeks before the first day.
  3. Ease your child in and out.
    At the start, a parent or other family member should visit with the child for 30 minutes to two hours. Over the next few weeks, arrange to leave your child for a period of time without you. This will help the caregiver and child get to know each other. It will also show your child that you will come back. During the first full week, you may want to pick up your child a little earlier on the first day, gradually increasing the length of stay as the week progresses.
  4. Make introductions to the new children.
    Getting to know the other children and the other parents will be important for you and your child. During visits, be sure to introduce your child to children in his or her group. Similarly, don't hesitate to introduce yourself to some of the other parents.
  5. Take touches of comfort.
    Allow your child to take something that will give her comfort—a special toy, blanket, even a picture of you.
  6. Make a comfort call.
    Talk to your caregiver to agree on a time you can call during the day. It's important to plan this together to ensure your call won't take the caregiver's attention away from the children at a busy time.
  7. Touch base with your caregiver every day.
    Exchange information about your child's day or the evening at home. For instance, if your child had a restless night it is important your caregiver know so she can respond to any unusual behaviours or needs that may arise as a result. Similarly, as you head into the evening, you should know if your child was fussy at childcare.
  8. Talk with your child.
    Each day, talk with your child about special things that happened at childcare.
  9. Have an older sibling visit.
    If there's an older sibling in the same childcare setting, ask that she be given the opportunity to visit her younger brother during the day during the adjustment period.
  10. Be specific about pick-ups.
    Reassure your child that you will be back. Make sure he knows who will pick him up at the end of the day and when. Even if he is not old enough to really tell time, one of the ways children learn to tell time is when pick-up routines become established.

We know it can be hard to leave your child in childcare for the first time. Preparing yourself and your baby will smooth the transition and contribute to making it a positive experience for everyone.

How did you prepare your baby for childcare? Was it difficult for you? For your child? Share you experience by leaving a comment below!

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