Devel­op­ment

Mother & Baby (UK) - - CONTENTS -

Q My twoyear-old has started ask­ing me to leave the light on in her room. Will it af­fect her sleep? Toni Pegg, Es­sex

Light can block our body’s re­lease of mela­tonin, the hor­mone that makes us feel sleepy. A night light, in pink, red or or­ange as this type of light doesn’t af­fect sleep, is a good com­pro­mise. Put it across the room or on the floor at the foot of the bed. Think about why she might be feel­ing she wants the light on, too. A longer bedtime rou­tine with ex­tra cud­dles might re­as­sure her, or you could spend time play­ing in her room to make her feel more com­fort­able there. KP

Q My new­born sucks his thumb al­ready – can I still swad­dle him? Sara Essery, Stir­ling

How great that your baby has dis­cov­ered how to self-soothe! If you feel he still has a strong star­tle re­flex, then I would swad­dle him with one arm in and one arm out. Make sure the thumb that’s left out is the one he sucks though! You’ll find great tu­to­ri­als on how to do this on YouTube. Oth­er­wise, pop him straight into a sleep bag, and see if he set­tles without be­ing swad­dled. KP

My eight­month-old wakes up and pulls him­self up to stand­ing in his cot. But he doesn’t seem to be able to sit down again! What should I do? Hay­ley Grif­fiths, Berkshire

Your lit­tle one has just learnt some­thing and wants to prac­tise his clever new skill! If he is stand­ing and happy, let him have a few min­utes to ex­plore, then go in and gen­tly tell him it’s sleep time, lay him down and come away, keep­ing in­ter­ac­tion to a min­i­mum. Don’t worry if he pops up again – just give him a few more min­utes and re­peat the pro­cess. You may need to do this lots of times but it’s im­por­tant that he knows you are al­ways com­ing back, and this stage won’t last for long. KP

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