Family

11 Ways You Can Make Your Baby’s Sleeping Space as Safe as Possible

11 Ways You Can Make Your Baby's Sleeping Space as Safe as Possible

Sleeping toddler – Pixabay

As a parent of a baby, it can seem like babies never sleep. It can be especially hard for new parents, but you will soon develop a routine as you get used to it. First, however, you should also make sure your baby’s sleeping space is as safe as possible. Of course, the room itself plays a significant role in this, but you can help by installing new tech, securing the area, and good crib habits.

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Baby · Gift Ideas

Gift Guide for New Parents

A Gift Guide for New Parents
Photo by Garrett Jackson on Unsplash

Once you get to my age, with two kids of your own, you’re pretty well versed in what is and isn’t useful to give to new parents as a gift. I’ve been through various things like nappy bins (I never really got the hang of our one, to be honest) and wipe warmers to know what I would never buy again, and also remember what was an absolute godsend when my two were little. With that in mind, here are a few suggetions that will definitely be a hit with new parents:

Vests and Sleepsuits

It doesn’t matter how many new vests and sleepsuits new parents buy ahead of their baby being born, once they arrive it will never seem enough. I don’t think there are many parents in the world who have bathed and changed their baby into clean clothes, only for a poo-nami or vomit volcano to erupt! Cute baby sleepsuits are always a winner and the range of neutrals for parets who don’t know the gender of their baby is MUCH greater nowadays.

Takeaway Voucher

In the past, lots of people would turn up with a freshly baked casserole or a stash of frozen meals to make new parents life easier. The modern version of this is buying them a gift card! Either find out their favourite takeaway or go for a delivery service like Just Eat or Deliveroo and have a voucher for a meal delivered. They’ll thank you for making their lives easier AND for making sure they’re getting a decent meal between feeds and nappy changes.

Muslins

As with the baby grows and vests, another thing which new parents can never have enough of is muslins. They’re a fab multi-purpose item which can be used for wiping up spit-up, using as a shoulder guard when you’re burping baby, draping over you if you’re breastfeeding and want some privacy – there are even huge muslins which are made for swaddling baby.

Thermometer

When Sausage was a tiny baby, my Mum and Dad gave us a Braun in-ear thermometer, and we still use it to this day. It’s been an absolute godsend for over a decade and while some people may feel uncomfortable giving a gift which relates to potential illness, it’s genuinely one of the most useful, practical gifts we were given. A few years ago, we were gifted a newer, no-touch model which was fairly new tech at the time and after using it a few times, we actually gave it away and went back to our trusty in-ear model!

A V-Pillow

Although I didn’t breastfeed my two, having a large, v-shaped pillow was a huge help when it came to bottle feeding. I’d sit in an armchair and place the pillow on my lap with baby snuggled safely on top. It meant that my hands were both free for bottle holding and interacting, and we were both comfortable. It’s something that would be one of the first things I’d recommend to new parents, I think.

Maternity

8 Tips for a Smooth Departure on Maternity Leave

Author: Ines Marinho

Everything related to pregnancy can be a challenge to woman, especially if it is the first born. All is new and a bit of a scary world. The woman’s life changes completely, and every detail must be thought and planed.

As human beings, we all have flaws and no one is made of iron, so for that reason, here is a guide to help all the future mommies to prepare for the maternity leave.

From six to three months before the due date, there are a few steps that should be considered in your work.

  1. Telling your boss or work responsible

It is not new that pregnant women like to keep it a secret before the first trimester. After this period of time, it is good to start to tell people at your work, mainly your boss, that you are expecting a baby. This leaves you more time to prepare an effective plan for your leave and doesn’t leave your boss in panic to find alternatives for your absence.

Showing in your working place that you care about how the responsibilities will be spread and how much you want all to go smooth and handled professional will be a plus to your career attitude. Asking your supervisor what the main concerns about your time are, since you will be away from the working place, is also a good suggestion to make clear you are involved in finding solutions.

  1. Finding a day care

It is not soon to start finding a kindergarten or day care to your kid. Usually, some living areas have the day care centers full and guaranteeing your baby’s place is a must!

By taking the time to find the best day care during this trimester, you can spend the whole maternity leave focused only on your newborn.

Two months before the due date

  1. Creating a timeline for departure

Reunite with your boss and create a plan of how and when things need to be accomplished. Check together if an action plan can be created so things go smoothly during your leave. It is certain to have a more positive outcome when you have a plan for what will happen before, during and later upon your return.

  1. Relying on documents

Create notes and guideline documents to outline the systems you use and all of your daily tasks. This will be a major help for whoever will come to replace you within the next months. Guidance is always a plus and keeping track of how things are done during your leave.

One month before the due date

  1. Meeting the people who are taking your place

Meeting the people who are taking your responsibilities it is important in a way that they will take care of your job. Guide them, train them and advise them so the best results are achieved. Supervise them while they take tasks on their own, so they feel confident in the future to take all the work.

  1. Open the possibility of your replacement contacting you while you are home

Take the time to plan how can your replacement people contact you during your leave. Also, discuss what kind of issue would be important enough for someone to contact you while you are out.

If there are still meetings or events you would still like to be involved in while you are on the maternity leave, you should previously discuss the matter. Maybe there is the chance you can participate by phone, video conference or some other ways.

You can also ask your boss or work responsible if taking your child to work is an option. Some workplaces are adapting to having mother’s and even father’s bringing their babies to work. Do you know that even baseball teams high ranked in the odds to win the World Series, like the Red Sox and the White Sox, allow athletes to bring their children to work? Of course, you should see if your child is cooperative and if he or she doesn’t get startled by your workplace – it also depends what is your occupation. Anyway, give it a thought if you think it is a possibility.

Right before the maternity leave

  1. Take action towards your absence

Set up a clear stated ‘out of the office’ answer for your emails and business voicemail. On these, clarify who they can contact instead of you and when is expected for you to be back. In case of you needing to access your work while you are away, create and learn about the company’s remote login process.

  1. Thank people

While you are away, your boss and co-workers will take an important part related to your absence. It is important to acknowledge their flexibility and show them some appreciation. For everyone involved, showing gratitude is something that has no price, so just do it.

After, you can take all of your time without worries and focusing 100 percent on your baby and yourself.

Baby · Parenting

The Next Big Thing in Parenting – Sleep Education

There is a lot of information out there that teaches you how to be a good parent. It talks about how to deal with tantrums, stubbornness, how to improve cognitive development, how to feed your child well and so on. There are so many issues you have to begin addressing as parents and the first thing to do is find the root of these issues. As with all roots, it lies in the dark.

Sleep, or the lack of it, is one of the biggest issues that need to be addressed by parents. It is a behaviour that is to be observed from infancy to the later years of the child’s life. It is one of the biggest contributing factors to the cognitive and physical development of the child. Here’s why all parents need to take a good hard look into the sleeping behaviours of their children.

Sleep and Cognitive Development

The cognitive development of a child begins in its infancy. It is observed that infants who slept less than 12 hours a day experienced poorer cognitive and language skill at two years. This is because there is a lot of activity in the brain during sleep and therefore, resulting in cognitive and memory consolidation. REM sleep is important as it is during this stage that the brain is active.

As they grow up, children who struggle to sleep have trouble paying attention in school. They have behavioural issues and are mostly irritable. During sleep, memories are reactivated and transferred from short term to long term. Sleep deprivation can make them forgetful, impacting their academic performance. Therefore, it is imperative for parents to provide a good sleeping environment for their child. Clinically proven products are available in the market to foster good sleep at any age.

Sleep and Physical Development

80% of the growth hormone ‘somatotropin’ is released during the Non-REM stage of sleep. Lack of sleep can create a deficiency in the production of the growth hormone. The growth of a child can be slowed down or stunned by sleep deprivation. It not only affects the child’s height but also the weight, lung strength and immune system.

It is important for parents to ensure that children sleep well throughout the night. If they have trouble sleeping, encourage naps during the day. However, the body functions much better while sleeping at night. It is critical for parents to check for good quality mattresses in the UK and compare features and reviews.

Sleep and Mental Illness

A lot of people are suffering from mental illnesses and many teenagers now fall under the category. Sleep deprivation has been perceived to be a consequence of mental illnesses like depression, ADHD, bipolar disorder and anxiety. However, it is also noticed that sleep problems can, in fact, be a contributing factor to mental illness.

Sleep deprivation can affect levels of neurotransmitters and stress hormones causing the brain to go into chaos. It impairs thinking, emotional regulation and leads to psychiatric illnesses. The treatment of mental illness is also affected if the patient continues to lose sleep. Participants in a study with a history of insomnia were more likely to develop depression. It is important for parents to keep a watchful eye out for behavioural changes in their children. CDB oil for sleep is a revolutionary product to reduce anxiety, combat insomnia and help improve sleeping patterns. The product has no side effects and is approved by doctors.

Sleep and Obesity

Sleep deprivation is directly linked to weight gain and obesity. The hormones leptin and ghrelin become irregular with lack of sleep, leading to increased BMI. Ghrelin is the hormone that stimulates appetite and increases with one night of sleep deprivation. Leptin is the hormone that regulates appetite, metabolism and calorie burning. It essentially sends signals to the brain that you are full. Sleep increases the level of leptin, telling your brain that you have enough energy. Lack of sleep reduces the levels of leptin and motivates you to eat more than you need.

Parents need to notice unusual appetite changes and regulate sleep cycles. Uncomfortable mattresses can often lead to sleep deprivation. Before purchasing popular brands like Kluft mattresses, it is imperative to first compare brands by features and quality of materials.

Sleep and Immune System

Sleep is essentially important for the body to rest, repair and heal. The relationship between sleep and the effective functioning of the immune system is quite complex. Sleep deprivation fundamentally suppresses the immune system. With increasing sleepless nights, the body’s ability to fight germs and illnesses decreases, making your child more susceptible to ailments.

With each phase of sleep, our body builds the ability to function efficiently. In a completely relaxed state, our body takes the initiative to repair damaged tissue and regrow new tissue. It is not through sleeping more but with sleeping efficiently does the body function the way it needs to. Parents can visit mattress brands, carpets and rug stores and do sufficient research to create a relaxing, nurturing sleeping environment for their child.

Sleep and Risk of Injury

Children who don’t get sufficient sleep are groggy, clumsy and tired. They may not be able to react to emergencies at the same speed. This can lead to children getting frequently injured and requiring medical attention. It can also slow down the process of healing from an injury. A research conducted among student athletes found that sleep hours was the strongest predictor of injuries.

It is a vital part of parenting to take on an active role in determining the sleeping behaviour of the child. In case symptoms of sleep deprivation are noticed, parents need to immediately encourage the child to use relaxation techniques like meditation and breathing exercises to help them sleep faster. The best way to combat insomnia is to create rigid sleep schedules from a very young age.

Healthy Sleeping Rituals

It is never too late to start healthy sleeping rituals. It can be beneficial for both, the parent and the child. Some healthy sleep rituals include relaxing music, warm chamomile tea, avoiding caffeine and sugary treats, a warm bath and an active life. It is a lifestyle change and would require you to take a closer look at how you treat your body. Physical exercise during the day can also help you fall asleep faster.

Reading stories in a tranquil voice to your child is not only a relaxation exercise but also a bonding opportunity. It is imperative to take time out to ensure that the child feels safe, comfortable and protected during the night. Anxieties during the day can often keep the child up at night if they are unable to process their emotions thoroughly. Therefore, it is important to spend time with your child every day, asking about their day and consciously creating a safe space for them to disclose information.

Baby

Five Methods That New Mums Can Use to Get More Sleep

So your precious little one is home from the hospital and you are finding yourself constantly tired. Sleep deprivation is common in new mothers once the nurses are gone and no longer doing the work for you. If you are experiencing a lack of sleep because of your newborn, don’t worry. You are not the only one. Some of these tips may help you increase the amount of sleep you get so you can have energy to last the day.

Nap Time for Both

Sleep when the baby sleeps. If you lay the baby down for a nap and that wonderful mattress is calling for you, don’t ignore it. The laundry can wait, the cooking can wait. Answer that call and take a nap as well. You will feel invigorated when you wake up and you will not drag through those other chores that you put aside for a while.

Also delegate the work. Your spouse may work, but so do you! Save some of the chores for them. Just because you are home with the baby doesn’t mean you have time for all of the housework. Split it up. They live there as well, after all.

Pump Early

Some new mothers have a tendency to pump for breastmilk in the middle of the night. There was no more time in the day after cleaning dishes, washing and folding clothes, cooking, and caring for the baby. This is another reason to delegate the work off to others (if you have older children, put them to work as well). By giving you more free time, you will be able to pump before you go to bed, rather than at 2:00 in the morning.

Taking Shifts

So your spouse has to get up at 5am to go to work. You have to get up at 1, 3, 5, and 7 to take care of the baby’s needs. If the two of you take shifts during the night, you can split up the work and lessen your lack of sleep. Yes, they may have to go to work, but that doesn’t mean you should face the full brunt of sleep deprivation. Let them go to work lagging. You do.

Alternate Nights Off

New mothers tend to have a hard time not being the one to answer the call of their crying baby. Until they are sleep deprived. Then they force the spouse out of bed to tend to the newborn’s needs. Whereas doing things in shifts at night can help reduce your sleep deprivation (but increase your spouse’s), try alternating nights off. This way you each will get a decent night’s sleep every other night, allowing you both to get through your days easier.

Separate Rooms

Do you have a spare bedroom? If so, make use of it. On your nights off, or when you are not on your nightly shift, try sleeping in the extra room. Don’t want to be away from your baby? That’s okay. It’s called motherly instinct. Not sure if your spouse can handle it alone? You do, why can’t they! It’s sink or swim, and 10 times out of 10 they will swim. It’s okay to leave your significant other with the responsibility.

If the extra room is an office or study, oh well. Put a bed or futon in there and get some shut eye while your other half listens out for your little one. You can shut the door and have it a little quieter; if there are any problems, your spouse will let you know. Separate yourself so you can get some sleep.