So, the dummy, the pacifier, what name does “it” have in your home?
Many babies have a dummy and many have had it from a very young age. Having lived and nannied abroad in different countries over a number of years I have seen some countries use it more than others, Spain for example it seems every child on every corner has one, and it’s just part of them. When my son started nursery a few years back now they asked if he had one and I said no, they looked shocked and a little bit confused, but truth be told it was not for want of trying, he just did not want it.
So does it really matter if your child has a dummy? Well, let’s explore its uses and then you can decide, it’s a family personal choice I feel.
First of all, the benefits of a dummy, what are they? Well, some research tells us that using a dummy when you pop your baby down to sleep reduces the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) however it is advised to introduce it once breastfeeding has been established. No one has been really able to tell us exactly what it is about a dummy that may help reduce the risk we can only speculate and ask the researchers their thoughts.
Now it’s recommended to introduce the dummy once breastfeeding has been established as I mentioned and this is due to nipple confusion, although I have yet to meet a mum that has had a problem with this. And which one to use? Again the shelf is flooded with different brands all trying to use cunning words and pictures for us to part with our cash but recommendations say go with an orthopedic approved brand such as NUK or Tommee Tippee. Why? Well orthodontic dummies are designed to prevent tooth misalignment and possible orthodontic issues later in life, as baby teeth come in and eventually give way to adult teeth. And what is different about them to a “normal” dummy, well orthodontic dummies feature a nipple that is flattened on the bottom and rounded at the top.
Some are glow in the dark. My sons was and I remember in the night on the odd occasion I tried to introduce it looking for it was super easy. It shone and I could just grab, plug, go..! But it does not always happen like this, sometimes parents find themselves on the dummy run countless times throughout the night. This is when baby wakes and can’t self settle themselves back to sleep unless they have their dummy in their mouth. Some babies go to sleep with a whole bunch of them, one in two out, four at the bottom of the bed, just in case they need an extra one in the night!
And then it happens, parents become more attached to the dummy than the child and are too nervous to remove it for fear of upsetting their child and the unknown sleepless nights that may lie ahead. In all honesty with the many clients I have worked with who have decided to “ditch the dummy” it really has not been as bad as they had feared. It was easy, quick and painless. Of course it does come down to a few things such as how attached they are to it, temperament of the child and age. Smaller babies in my experience have found it easy to ditch their dummy than the older toddlers.
Do you need to use it or indeed offer it at all nap and sleep times? Do you need to use it when they are not going for a sleep? Well you may find your child is very attached to it and they ask for it or when they are just having a little grumble it’s the first thing we reach for, plug in and BOOM.. baby is calmer. Of course it may help with establishing a good sleep routine, so I guess it is the child’s cues we go with here if they indeed need it at nap and sleep times. Most babies do. Of course do not force them to use it, if it falls out or they spit it out leave it, there is no point forcing a “crutch” on to them if they choose they do not want it.
Now the negatives of a dummy, well it’s a sleep crutch, a sleep association that needs you the parent to give it to the child. And it becomes part of the child, as I mention above many children get very attached to their dummy and take it EVERYWHERE they go! And of course it can disrupt sleep, and that is when you find yourself on the “dummy run”!
There are a few dummy “keepers” as I like to call them out there, one of which is the jelly cat. It has a little clip on it that actually holds onto the dummy so in the night if your child has lost the dummy you can teach them to “seek and find” their jelly cat and in turn the dummy will be there. It’s a bigger item to find in the dark cot therefore easier than feeling about for a little dummy that may have fallen down between the cot bars.
So, how do we cease using a dummy? There are a few ways of course as with anything. Some parents like to slowly cut the end of gradually over the course of a few days, this will stop your child being able to suck it so easily and not be so much “fun” for them. Sometimes you can cut the usage down but this can be confusing for some children and really depends on the age and understanding. For toddlers and older children the dummy fairy may come one day and leave a little star dust and gift in place of the dummy which is super exciting and some parents like to just go cold turkey. Cold turkey is good for young small babies and really is not as bad as you may fear…
so....Is now the time to “ditch the dummy”…? You need to decide and work out why you want to ditch it and your end goal. Go for it…. You may be pleasantly surprised…and better slept for it….!
Good luck guys
How to cope with isolation…
This is a tricky one and to be honest I don’t know if I have the answer. This last week has been many things, tricky, busy, calm, noisy and full on to name a few emotions and feelings. There are many reasons we may find ourselves in isolation with children, not just this virus that is trying its hardest to take over the world. There are times when chicken pox takes over in your home or maybe the norovirus, whatever it is some days can be hard and others easier.
I won’t lie, yesterday was a hard day for me and the children. It seemed my son just wanted to shout and destroy everything in his path including his sister and all he wanted was to watch TV allllll day… but today is better. I don’t know why. It just is. We started off doing a mini exercise class on YouTube with the fab Joe Wicks, seriously love him! Then we did a yoga class with cosmic yoga kids. After that the children just wanted to be in the garden and who could blame them, its warm today and the sun is shining in our part of the world. I have set the garden up with a few different stations thanks to a great friend of mine with her ideas! Reading, Duplo, small world animal play, mud kitchen, water play, balls, tunnel and chalk drawing. And so far so good, I can even write this blog as they play. It’s actually a joy to watch them today, happy and calm and super sweet watching Chloe reading her books while Leo is washing the “corona virus bugs” off various parts of the garden with a fairy washing up liquid bottle. Good old fairy liquid! They just seem too happy to play on their own just now and not need me to guide them. And that’s great, we can’t be their entertainer all the time, its one thing I am concerned about, if I am constantly providing the entertainment for them will they get used to this and not be able to find their own fun and make believe..?
Who knows how long it will last but I am happy with the half hour I have had...
I’m also finding it super supporting to have friends in the same boat. We all are cheering each other on from my neighbours next door with their kids to my friends far and wide on what’s app. Modern technology has a lot to answer for these days and it has been so awesome to have sooooo many kids play activities online and live by so many awesome “play givers”! I guess that’s what is keeping us going!
Here are a few pictures of us today, playing with smiles…lets hold on to these moments….tomorrow could be a whole different ball game…!
Happy playing guys….
Congratulations on the birth of your new-born! You have waited a long time to meet your new edition and now they are suddenly here! Can you believe it?
I am sure many of you have bought many books, been to the classes and read many articles and joined mum groups and still feel slightly overwhelmed by this massive life changing event that has just happened.
Here I want to talk a bit about new-born sleep and some of what to expect and of course what not to expect! In my experience as a nanny and as a mum I have yet to see a class or group informing parents to be on sleep expectations so I for one felt like had been hit by a 10 ton truck and totally unprepared when the sleep deprivation hit me. Of course we all know a good night’s sleep will be a distant memory for a long time but no one really explained to me how to cope with it or anything about new-born sleep.
So how many times have we head the phase “I slept like a baby last night”..? Well, in reality babies don’t sleep all night and we find ourselves going round in circles feeding, changing, pacing the bedroom floor and feeding again to get this tiny bundle to settle back into a peaceful slumber. Honestly we just want to sleep like a log, uninterrupted! I remember well my husband used to say “you slept well, you slept 6 hours last night”, what he failed to understand that those 6 hours were broken up into 3 or 4 segments and that is the killer…broken sleep.
So when you arrive home from the hospital and start really bonding and getting to know your baby you will notice how much they do sleep. In the day for sure! This is because the maternal melatonin tank is full. Melatonin is the sleep hormone. It’s what helps us all sleep. And then as the days turn into weeks pass at a crazy speed you will notice your baby is awake longer periods. This is because the maternal melatonin is wearing off. And we need to help sleep along...
How can we start to top up those levels of melatonin in your baby body? Well, night time breast feeding for one has a higher content of this hormone so if breastfeeding is going well for you then feed away. Having a dark room with black out blinds help hugely. The dark triggers the melatonin to start working.
It’s a great idea to be aware of your baby’s awake windows so as they grow you know and can understand how long they are capable of staying awake.
Here is a guide for you but please remember this is just a guide and all babies are different. These awake times may vary 5 or 10 minutes either side from baby to baby.
New born 40-60 minutes
3 - 6 weeks old 1 hour 25 – 1 hour 30
6 - 9 weeks old 1 hour 30 minutes
9 - 12 weeks old 1 hour 30 – 1 hour 45 minutes
So I will leave you with a few of my top tips for new-born sleep….
And what not to expect, well don’t expect sleep to be an easy natural thing for your baby. Many don’t know or really believe that sleep is a learned skill. This skill is nurtured and taught over time, after your baby has made their way through the 4 month sleep regression or as I like to call it a 4 month sleep “progression” and can be easy for some and others have to work a little harder at it. Many days you may question why your baby is not sleeping, is it colic, is it wind, or are they hungry, do they have a sore tummy? Just breathe, go with it and it will all make sense…
Of course I could go on and on about this topic but for today we shall leave it here.
If you feel you would like some more information on new-born sleep don’t hesitate to drop me a message to find out….