Baby and Child Archives

A Happy Toddler Bedtime

If your toddler bedtime is a battle time then it’s time to make a change. Here’s our top tips to have an easier and happier bed time.

Your toddler is growing up and learning so much about the world. During the day he’s learning new skills, practising his new moves and has realised that he is quite an independent little person. This is great fun but it also tiring for both child and parent.

At your toddler’s bedtime everyone will be tired. An easy and happy bedtime with your toddler going to sleep and you having a break is just what you need!

To have a happy toddler bedtime your toddler needs to be ready to go to sleep. Make sure his day time naps are neither too long nor too late in the day. If he’s slept too much during the day he simply won’t be tired enough to go to sleep in the early evening. This means that you may need to re-jig his day so that you are not in the car or buggy in the late afternoon otherwise your toddler may have an involuntary “powernap”! Of course, sometimes this can’t be avoided, but if it can, then do avoid it as it will scupper his bedtime.

Assuming he is ready for sleep at bedtime, then have a calming and relaxing bedtime routine. This could be for example, suppertime, little play, teeth cleaned, bathtime, story time and a good night cuddle. Make sure you have enough time in the day time for cuddles otherwise when your toddler has a goodnight cuddle he’ll want it last a long time!

Sometimes a child does not want to be left alone in his bedroom and then either the parent will enforce it or the parent will stay the room and read until their child goes to sleep. Remember that your child is going through lots of different stages very quickly (Read more ...)

Sleep Solutions for your Baby or Toddler

Of all the challenges parents face, getting your kids to sleep properly is possibly the biggest.

Whether it’s a screaming 6-month-old or a scared two-year-old, a full night’s sleep is a goal that can sometimes seem almost impossible to achieve.

If your baby won’t sleep through the night or you want to know how to get your baby to sleep in the first place.

Baby sleep solutions

Follow these steps to help your baby learn to settle herself without leaving her to cry it out.

Step 1: Watch for your baby’s sleepy signs: yawning, eye-rubbing and general crankiness.

Step 2: Put your baby in her cot while she’s drowsy but awake.

Step 3: If your baby cries, pick her up and comfort her with a ‘shhh’ sound until she stops crying, then put her down.

Step 4: Continue with picking her up if she gets upset. Eventually she’ll realise that although you’re there to soothe her you’ll put her down once she’s calm, and she’ll learn to fall asleep by herself. She’ll begin to associate the ‘shhh’ sound with sleep so that if she wakes the sound alone should help her settle.

This is the gentlest way of teaching your baby to fall asleep by herself. It can take a long time unless you’re really tuned in to spotting when your baby’s tired. Plus, constantly bending to pick up your baby can be hard on your back.

Tough out the tears

Try leaving your baby to cry for progressively longer periods of time until she settles herself.

Step 1: Put your baby in her cot (Read more ...)

At Find A, parents often ask us for tips about starting with a new babysitter or nanny. Here are our 10 simple tips for evening babysitting jobs:

1. House Tour: Conduct a brief tour of the house when the babysitter or nanny arrives. Include relevant door keys/locks, heating/cooling systems, baby monitor and telephone location.

2. Room Tour: Conduct a tour of the child’s room if relevant – including location of pyjamas, bedtime books/toys and nappy changing items (if required).

3. Facilities: Show your babysitter the tea, coffee, snacks, TV and bathroom facilities for the evening. Let her know what is allowed (e.g., rules for phone use, what she can eat) and not allowed (e.g., smoking, boyfriends).

4. Phone Numbers: Leave a list of phone numbers (your mobile phone, emergency contacts) and a completed ‘emergency information checklist’ (see resources on

5. Routine: Explain the steps of the bedtime routine – include the bed time, story time, tooth brushing, location of bottles, dummies and comfort toys.

6. Settling Strategies: Warn the babysitter if your child is likely to wake up during the evening. Tell her your settling strategies.

7. Cancellations: Never leave a sick child with a babysitter. Try to cancel as early as possible if you need to.

8. Timing: Tell the sitter the approximate time you expect to be home. If you are running late, call or SMS the sitter to advise her.

9. Payment: Prepare the correct change to pay the babysitter.

10. Safety: At the end of the evening, show the babysitter to her car for safety.

By: (Read more ...)

Most children can be taught word recognition at a very young age. How? It is a similar method to learning to talk – children learn to talk by being exposed to people talking around them. To learn visual word recognition children need, first of all, exposure to the written word, in print.

Use children books with interesting stories. Picture books with few or no words in them will not teach your child to read. However, exposure to children’s books with many pages of print and the occasional picture will trigger your child’s curiosity about the story as well as familiarizing him or her with the written word. If, as you read to your child, you point to the words with your finger, your child will become more familiar with those words. Eventually he or she will begin to recognize the words when he or she sees them, especially those with a high emotional attachments

Flashcards can also be used to reinforce names of objects in the child’s environment. To teach your baby to read, on pieces of 10 x 10 inch plain white card, write words, in capital letters, that describe toys that belong to your child, for example “elephant’, and on another card ‘dog” and so on. Play the following game with your child. Place all the toys on the floor. As your child picks up a toy, show him the card with the word on it and say the word together. Repeat it as man times as he or she likes. Then read to your child a story about an ”elephant” or a “dog” or whatever animal or character you made word cards for. This will reinforce the word in your child’s mind, building word recognition abilities and increasing vocabulary. Additionally, invite your child to tell you a story, and you listen, (Read more ...)

Triggers for sleep problems

In this article I have decided to write about the most common things I have found to cause sleep problems in the first 18 months of a childs life. Over the years I have found all sorts of triggers for sleep problems such as hunger, dummy use, rocking a baby to sleep, allowing a baby to start falling asleep while feeding, being cold at night, the bedtime ritual the parents are using to get the baby to sleep and things such a going away or moving house.

So when do these problems start to show?

My experience indicates that babies don’t start to surface between sleep cycles (the process of drifting between light and deep sleep) until they reach about eight weeks. Newborn babies can be aided to sleep by sucking on a dummy or feeding or having a parent rock them to sleep and they will still sleep for long periods, however at about eight weeks daytime sleeps change. If you have aided your baby to sleep, you will notice that she will only catnap during the day. This is fine at first because she will be sleeping great stretches of time at night however at about five to six months this will suddenly change. The baby who is aided to sleep will suddenly start waking at night when night time sleep cycles start.

Usually a baby of six months will show the first signs of a self-settling problem by waking at about 5:00am. Then she will begin to wake at 11:00pm, and by the time your baby is one year old she will be waking at 9:00pm, 11:00pm, 1:00am, 3:00am and 5:00am! The sooner you solve the waking problem the better.

* Is your baby hungry?
* Dummies
* Rocking your baby to sleep
* Feeding a baby to slumber
* Cold at night
* Moving house

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Is your baby hungry?

Some babies (Read more ...)

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