How Can I Develop a Routine with Baby Number Two?

As an antenatal teacher & sleep consultant, I am frequently asked about how parents can support baby number 2 into a positive sleep routine whilst still being present and meeting their eldest child’s needs. I have answered my most commonly asked questions below.

“I have a 6 week old and a 2.5yr old. When is the best time to work on developing a routine for my baby?”

At this age you don’t need to implement any schedules or routines and your little one doesn’t yet have the ability to form an internal body clock. Go with the flow and let your baby eat and sleep when they want – I highly recommend a sling for this age group which will allow you to care for your baby whilst spending lots of quality time with your toddler as they adjust to life with their new sibling.  

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Positive Sleep Tips for Your Responsively Breastfed Baby

I believe in responsive parenting and when it comes to sleep support, learning your baby’s sleep cues and responding to their sleep needs is step one in helping your baby feel happier and better rested.

Many ‘routines’ for infants do not support responsive feeding or parenting. Some suggest sleeping and feeding your baby by the clock which is usually not in-keeping with your baby’s natural sleep and feeding patterns. This can be challenging and may impact on breastfeeding and milk supply. Others suggest separating feeding from sleeping, and again these often don’t work as it is very normal for your baby to want to feed to sleep.

Here are my tips for creating a responsive routine around your babies sleep and feeding rhythms.

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Dummies: The Good, The Bad & The Helpful

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Dummies seem to be one baby item which divides the nation – love them or hate them, here is our guide to using and loosing your baby’s pacifier.

THE GOOD

According to the Lullaby Trust, there is some evidence to suggest that dummy use can reduce the risk of SIDS. In addition, there has been significant research to show that sucking can actually help with pain relief. Anecdotally sucking on a dummy may help with pain management for babies with reflux and there are also known benefits for premature babies, where dummies can be used to develop their suck reflex while they are unable to orally feed. Some babies are “suckie babies” – sucking on a dummy calms and relaxes them and can even help them drift off to sleep.

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How to develop the best routine for YOUR baby.

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Sadly, babies aren’t born with user manuals – how simple life would be if they were! Many parents (myself included) struggle with the unpredictability of babies and aim to set up a routine and structure to their day. For many babies this can be a really positive change. Babies often thrive on routine and parents can find that once a routine is established, their babies nap better, settle better and improve their night-time sleeping. Continue reading “How to develop the best routine for YOUR baby.”

The Myth of “Normal” Baby Sleep Patterns

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On meeting a new baby for the first time, one of the most common questions asked to new parents is: “Are they good? Do they sleep?” My response to this question would be: “Yes, of course she is good, she’s a baby.” And: “No, of course she doesn’t sleep, she’s a baby!”

Sadly, I fear that the frequency of these questions has caused parents today to equate good parenting with babies who sleep. As a sleep consultant I am constantly faced with parents feeling insecure about their abilities. Statements such as: “I know I have broken her” and “I know it’s my fault he doesn’t sleep well” make me really sad.

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Wind-Down Time : The Key To Successful Naps

renderedWe all know that feeling – when you come home from a night out or a work event and you are really shattered but your brain just won’t switch off. Most of us would find it impossible to go straight to bed and sleep. We need to unwind first, to calm our active brains. Our babies need this time too.

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Confessions of a Sleep Consultant Whose Child Isn’t Sleeping!

CONFESSION

If I had a pound for every time a friend or a client said, “oh your children must be amazing sleepers,” I would be a very rich lady! The truth is that ALL children will go through bouts of sleep problems, and mine have been no exception. In fact, when I was in the process of completing my sleep consultancy training my second child Poppy went through a sleep regression phase that left me sleeping huddled under a blanket on her floor – something I had sworn in the past I would NEVER EVER do!  Continue reading “Confessions of a Sleep Consultant Whose Child Isn’t Sleeping!”