How flex­i­ble is your baby?

Mother & Baby (Australia) - - Special Report -

So­cial ba­bies are very flex­i­ble. They’ll hap­pily AD­JUST TO NEW PEO­PLE and new places.

AF­TER SOME PA­TIENT WORK, YOU’VE GOT YOUR BABY INTO A GREAT SLEEP ROU­TINE. THEN SHE FALLS ILL. ONCE SHE’S FEEL­ING BET­TER AGAIN…

A. She’s ab­so­lutely con­vinced that long cud­dles and be­ing rocked to sleep is the new nor­mal. You have to start your sleep train­ing all over again.

B. It takes her a few nights to ad­just, but within a week she’s back to set­tling her­self.

C. She re­verts back to her great sleep rou­tine straight­away. Bliss!

AT HOME YOUR BABY SLEEPS PRETTY WELL. WHEN YOU GO AWAY SHE…

A. Can’t set­tle – she wakes up in the night and early in the morn­ing, and seems to be out of sorts.

B. Takes a bit longer than usual and wakes a bit ear­lier than usual, but her sleep set­tles down af­ter the first night or so.

C. Still sleeps pretty well – not quite as well as at home, per­haps, but cer­tainly noth­ing to be con­cerned about. YOU DE­CIDE TO HAVE A NIGHT OUT AND GET A BABYSIT­TER. WHEN YOU’RE OUT, YOUR BABY… A. Wakes up, sees the babysit­ter and goes ab­so­lutely ba­nanas! B. Wakes up, has a bit of a fuss that it’s the babysit­ter and not you, frets for a short while, then goes back to sleep. C. Doesn’t wake up once while you’re gone. You get back to a sleep­ing baby and a re­laxed and happy babysit­ter!

Help your knows-her-own-mind baby sleep bet­ter

“Your baby is prob­a­bly a very good sleeper – as long as she’s in her own home, with her nor­mal rou­tine and with peo­ple she knows around her,” says Ni­cole. “The prob­lems start when some­thing changes: you go on hol­i­day, have a babysit­ter or are out and about at nap time.” So the key thing to re­mem­ber is that your knows-her-own-mind baby needs con­sis­tency. Give her a clear bed­time rou­tine, and a shorter ver­sion of the very same rou­tine at nap time, ev­ery day.”

If you’re go­ing on hol­i­day, ex­pect that she won’t sleep as well, but try and give her the best chance of de­cent sleep by keep­ing her sleep en­vi­ron­ment con­sis­tent: so take the same sheets with you, along with the same white noise, and the same sleep bag. In­tro­duce her to her travel cot be­fore you go away, too, by putting her down for her naps in it for a week or so in the run-up to your hol­i­day. She will fuss about it, of course, but it’s eas­ier to deal with that fuss at home.

“The other thing that can dis­rupt a knows-her-own-mind baby at bed­time is if some­one ar­rives un­ex­pect­edly in the mid­dle of the bed­time rou­tine,” says Ni­cole. “Even if it’s some­one she’s very used to, like Dad, his unexpected ap­pear­ance, plus the new smells and change in tem­per­a­ture he brings into the room, will be enough to knock her off course. So ban helpers at bed­time!”

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