How sen­si­tive is your baby to her en­vi­ron­ment?

Mother & Baby (Australia) - - Special Report -

“The dif­fer­ence be­tween a sen­si­tive and chilled baby is how strongly she re­acts (or not) to en­vi­ron­men­tal changes,” ex­plains Ni­cole. “So a sen­si­tive baby will of­ten re­act strongly to noises such as hand-dry­ers or peo­ple shout­ing, and get up­set. She may find it hard to sleep if it’s too light in her room or if she’s put down from your warm arms onto cold sheets. These things won’t bother chilled ba­bies. Re­spon­sive ba­bies might no­tice and fuss at some changes, but not as reg­u­larly or as em­phat­i­cally as sen­si­tive ba­bies.”

Help your sen­si­tive baby sleep bet­ter

“Your sen­si­tive baby is finely tuned to what’s go­ing on,” says Ni­cole. “That’s great, be­cause she’s ob­ser­vant and switched-on, but this means she has a ten­dency to be a light sleeper and take longer to un­wind in the evening. She needs a longer bed­time rou­tine than other ba­bies to help set­tle her into sleep: if the av­er­age baby needs be­tween 15 and 30 min­utes, your sen­si­tive baby might need 30 to 40 min­utes, and a sen­si­tive toddler even longer.”

A longer bed­time rou­tine will help your sen­si­tive baby un­wind, work through any dis­tur­bances or new ex­pe­ri­ences she’s had dur­ing the day, and get used to be­ing in her (or your) bed­room. It can re­ally help if you spend some time do­ing some gen­tle play in the room she sleeps in be­fore start­ing the bed­time rou­tine. With a young baby, try look­ing at a tac­tile book to­gether; with a toddler spend a few min­utes do­ing some colour­ing in. Gen­tle ac­tiv­i­ties such as these will help pre­pare your child for a calm and con­tented night’s sleep.

“These chil­dren are of­ten sen­si­tive to loud sounds, so it’s a good idea to use white noise through­out the night to help her block out other sounds,” says Ni­cole. “If you can, keep the bed­room door shut, so she’s not dis­turbed by the rest of the family. Stick to fa­mil­iar fab­rics: if she’s used to cot­ton sheets, she’ll be up­set if you switch to flan­nelette ones. And if she’s less than four months old, she may re­spond well to be­ing swad­dled. This will help her feel se­cure and keep her tem­per­a­ture fairly con­stant, which she’ll pre­fer.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.