New­born Q&A

Your Baby & Toddler - - Contents -

Q:My hus­band of­ten gets home af­ter I’ve put our new­born to sleep. When the baby wakes for a feed though, he then plays with him. The baby is then kept awake for quite a time af­ter­wards. How can I get baby to sleep and let his dad spend time with him as well?

A:Meg an­swers: It is hard when ei­ther par­ent works late be­cause they miss their lit­tle one dur­ing the day and want time to bond too. This usu­ally re­sults in very late bed­times (as bath­time be­comes the qual­ity time) or mid­night play­dates, as you are ex­pe­ri­enc­ing.

As much as a par­ent’s needs are im­por­tant, at this stage your new­born’s need for sleep is paramount. So play­time and qual­ity time needs to be based around your lit­tle one’s needs. This con­cept may need to be gen­tly but firmly re­in­forced with your hus­band.

Your baby needs a bed­time no later than 7pm, so do not keep him awake to play with his dad.

If your hus­band can get home by 6pm to do bath­time, this is a great time to let the boys con­nect and bond.

If he is home once the bath is over, he needs to be calm and quiet and not en­gage too vig­or­ously with the baby and cer­tainly not wake him up once he has fallen asleep.

Your baby is at a crit­i­cal age for de­vel­op­ing healthy sleep habits, which means that be­tween 7pm and morn­ing, all in­ter­ac­tions should be kept quiet and calm. The light should be kept off and your hus­band must not play with your son at all.

The best time for qual­ity en­gage­ment with the baby is ac­tu­ally early in the morn­ing. I would sug­gest that when your baby wakes for the day (any time af­ter 5am) your hus­band should take him to play.

Not only is this the best time for your baby in terms of his mood and ac­tiv­ity level but it also gives you a much needed sleep-in too. Week­ends of course are the per­fect times for long pe­ri­ods of play so en­cour­age your hus­band to en­gage in qual­ity play­time with his son then with these bond­ing tips:

New­borns: Baby mas­sage is a fab­u­lous way to bond through touch, eye con­tact and fo­cused at­ten­tion. En­cour­age dad to go on a baby mas­sage class to em­power him­self with the right tech­niques.

Over six months: A won­der­ful qual­ity time ac­tiv­ity is WWW – watch, wait and won­der. In this ac­tiv­ity, dad must take no tech­nol­ogy (cell­phones off) and just four or five toys that he knows the baby en­joys. They sit on the mat to­gether and for 15 min­utes, dad just fol­lows his baby’s lead, play­ing with the toys that in­ter­est his baby and mak­ing the sounds that he does. YB

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