Musings By Mai

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Monthly Archive: May 2015

Sunday

10

May 2015

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Help! My baby won’t sleep through the night

Written by , Posted in Baby Chronicles

I remember prior to having a child, this was the bane of many young mothers I was around. I hardly came across anyone that had figured how to achieve this monumental task till I met a lovely Scandinavian lady who although had the privilege of a nanny still stood out to me in how she managed her child. Long before I became pregnant, I asked her for help even though I didn’t need it yet (I tend to like to plan ahead on things 🙂 ) and she recommended a routine led approach to parenting and suggested I read Gina Ford’s The little contended baby book which I did. Now please note, this is not a sponsored post for Gina, neither am I saying there is something wrong with whatever approach a parent decides to opt for. I also don’t rate people that bash Gina because she has no children of her own (side note this is rude, is pushing out a child all that it takes to qualify a woman to be a mother? …thats a post for another day). I just think if you haven’t figured it out and she has given she worked with over 300 babies and most women have an average of 1-4 kids …It begs to reasons that listening to the woman with clearly more experience is a good idea. In addition Rachel Wadlove’s Sleep solution carries on a similar ethos though a bit feistier in style at times 🙂

Please ensure you check with your midwife if you are unsure of anything as I am not qualified in any areas of the sciences, just a new mother who has found these resources tremendously useful and seen that they do work after all. I have been asked by a few ladies to share my timetable and really hope it can be of benefit. First here are a few pointers to help you understand the principles behind what you are doing:

1. Remember every child is different. It may take a little longer for your child to adapt to the routine but be patient, persistent and persevere….it will work eventually. I have heard of babies as young as 6 weeks get into it, mine took a little longer and didn’t start to sleep through till 2-3months partly due to my midwife not recommending I start till about 6 weeks to get him on a routine.

2. You must get into the habit of a bedtime routine, the rest of your day is then structured around this. Providing a routine encourages baby to be less fretful as they have the security of what to anticipate next the more you teach them. Its also great for you as you can know when you will be free, able to talk and can time your outings and strolls more easily.

3.  Its very important that baby gets most of their nutritional requirements during the day…not at night! By 6 weeks, baby can go 3-4 hours between feeds, if you find you are feeding baby still every 2 hours especially on the breast where you do not know how much they are receiving its possible baby is not getting enough or not reaching the hind milk the fuller fatty milk that keeps them content for longer. There are a range of reasons why this could be the case but the most popular issue is usually positioning and a local breast feeding counsellor can help. However, I prioritise baby’s need to eat over the type of food. This is where I suggest if necessary, supplement through combination feeding some expressed milk or formula in a bottle so you know baby is eating their daily requirement at day time feeds. There is nothing wrong with formula! There are babies who cannot breastfeed because their mother is no longer that grow to be strong healthy children. It takes more than exclusively breastfeeding your child for 6 months to grow a healthy child. This I will discuss in another post more fully.

4. Establish day time naps not sleeps. Yes baby needs restful day time naps as babies can get overtired after about 2 plus hours of being wakeful. This is why they can sometimes cry and its not a cry necessarily for food but tiredness as they are trying to wind themselves down to sleep but are still young and learning. You need to teach baby and establish morning (45 mins-1hr), afternoon (2-2.25 hours) and evening (15-30mins) naps. When baby gets the required naps in the day, it helps them go down to sleep better in the evening as they are not overtired and more relaxed. Do not underestimate the power of a good nap, you know what it feels like when you get a short but good nap!

5. Learning to soothe. In order for baby to go down and sleep at required times, you need to teach baby. Yes! you need to teach them as they will only learn what they get used to doing. I urge you to avoid rocking and patting baby down to sleep. As whatever you do becomes their sleep association which you may find harder to break later when they should have outgrown it. So if they suck a dummy to sleep they will develop that habit. If you use a dummy make sure you take it out before they fall asleep otherwise you will later have to go cold turkey to get rid of it. Also, sometimes it can be useful to give baby a little of their next feed if they are too fretful and won’t go down easily just in case, they may still be a little hungry for another few mls, but be careful especially when using the breast for comfort you do not do this too often and even if you do like the dummy scenario make sure you wake baby up so they are half asleep before you put them in their cot so that they learn to go to sleep themselves. This can involve some level of crying but it shouldn’t last long (5-10mins, if a child is over 6 months crying down instead of out can take longer as the older they grow the wiser they get. Easier to train them from younger but still possible to train them nevertheless) and shouldn’t be a whaling type of cry unless they are new to this, it may be a little harder initially. You can try the crying down method if its a little too harsh for you by leaving them for 5 mins first, then check and reassure, then 10 mins,  and more before checking on them to reassure them but avoid picking them up. Please note, you should never leave a hungry, soiled or ill baby to cry out or down. You are not making them cry but rather allowing them to cry down for controlled periods of times when they are fed, clean and not ill.

I hope this has given context to the timetable. Try to be guided by it as much as possible especially starting bedtime routine at 6pm so that by latest 7pm baby is washed, fed, in bed and tucked in. You have to be committed to waking baby and feeding baby at those times regardless. If you let them oversleep the time periods in the day, it will catchup with you in the night with more wakeful hours for you. Remember that as much as this will help you get more sleep at night, you are ultimately doing it for your child and teaching them lessons like discipline, independence and helping them grow into healthy well mannered individuals. You will not regret laying a good foundation with this training. Gina also found it easy to eliminate colic in babies once they were placed on a routine that ensured they were properly fed and slept well. This is our timetable at 6-12 weeks. Eventually we will drop the 10.30pm dream/late feed once weaned unto solids. I will upload this timetable at a later date. Click to enlarge and print.

Baby sleep techniques

Inspired by Gina Ford and Rachel Wadlove baby techniques

Sunday

10

May 2015

0

COMMENTS

UK GE Election 2015 – Making Your Voice Heard

Written by , Posted in Musings

“I think it’s important to learn how to sacrifice some of your wants today to ensure financial prosperity in the future.” – Tara Fela Durotoye, successful CEO House of Tara International.

What does such a statement have anything to do with the UK general elections? Everything. In fact if you can’t connect why I challenge you in that you have failed to completely inform yourself on the merits of what you ought to have considered before voting. Before you clap me down on the various policies the party of your preference put forward that were right for the country, indulge me for a moment to explain.

Running a business or even a group of people towards a common goal is a tough feat. A feat most of us are never really prepared (rather trained) for through school and takes a tremendous amount of resilience to stay the course with in establishing success. It is very easy to make jabs at a company on how they could do x,y,z better but when you are in the driving seat and realise that if you want to increase your staff pay today (in the short term) it means you cannot also afford to increase their pension contributions (for the longterm). What a perfect world and an easy job it would be if you could just do both and “always perfectly” make your employees happy… right? Except the reality is you can’t. Often we have limited resources to contend with. In the same way, how nice would it be for you to be able to go on all the extravagant holidays you wanted in a year and pay your rent or mortgage at a far down the line future date instead and just well…enjoy yourself! Sounds a tad too ridiculous? Well it is! You have to (not suggesting you do or even considering you do but have to!) make sacrifices and choices, planning for the future and putting off some wants today in future anticipation you can enjoy them better at a later date, or not…the choice is yours.

Now take on managing an entire economy. What makes you think that compromises are not inevitable? Put aside whether you are more socialist or capitalist and come to terms with this – we are where we are. Explanations are good for us to learn from and that but to move forward we will have to make sacrifices in building the future economy more of us will thrive in. There are merits to policies on either side but they both have consequences to face now and in the future. Lets take the NHS for example. I for one I’m immensely grateful to have access to a largely reliable yet imperfect medical system. There are countries in the world (and yes even developed ones) where access to such facilities can only be dreamt of. There is a part of me that feels we ought to be more grateful for what we have, because there are people out there that work even harder than you do and simply don’t have that privilege.

The NHS as you can imagine is a socialist concept. The idea that we all chip in our bit and have access to good quality healthcare regardless of social class or background is a novel and brilliant idea. Now thats all well and great, here comes the hardwork that requires thinking…how do we pay for it? Before you open your mouth to rant on about how it needs to pay more, do this more and do that more, try something that although difficult will help in galvanising these ideas more clearly. Think. How do you pay for it? Well we all chip in our bit through taxation. So naturally, if you want to get more out of the system what could you do to “make it better”? Tax more! Now who would like that? So we all want to get these tremendous benefits but how many are willing to pay for it? There has to be a place for understanding that the pressures of running a large scale, national socialist welfare system where you allow people not work to chip in their bit (with the exception of those unable to i.e. disabled, babies e.t.c.) means you go to the other extreme where you start to penalise people that do work hard, earn their kip and then decide they should put way more into the system to support others that won’t. On so many levels that is wrong and just bad manners and a thoroughly poor way to train up the next generation. Stop looking for someone else to pay your way through that is “privileged” and do your bit. Then here comes the next question, well there are lots of hardworking people who really shouldn’t be taxed anymore than they are as it will continue to squeeze their standard of living in the same way those people that work really hard and are fortunate to accumulate their fortunes should have the option afforded them to be able to choose how they wish to spend their money. Well since we can’t go abolishing the NHS completely,  instead of  taxing everyone, we could tax the rich but will that ever be enough? And isn’t that argument just tired already? The reality is we have to look at ways to make the system more efficient and less wasteful. This is where the privatisation of the NHS kicks in or at least elements of it. Please stand up now and offer a better idea other than taxing more, abolishment or privatisation if you have one and if not then try to understand. You cannot take out of something you do not put into. Sometimes you have to make sacrifices now for a better tomorrow. The truth is, selecting even an alternate party into government does not guarantee you a better economy for the future in the same way that Labour’s Tony Blair discovered. Whilst he campaigned against the privatisation of the NHS by the Conservatives prior to his ruling term, he quickly had to do a u-turn after his second term and continue down that path of “modernisation” because the realities of running such a significant welfare system that is in many ways imbalanced in its inputs eventually puts pressure that common sense solutions must prevail even if they do not satisfy all.

Avoid being encumbered by press stories that seek to appeal to the intellectually inept who fail to do any thinking of their own and are easily swayed by the opinion of others without doing any research or analytical thought themselves. I saw someone in support of an alternative party, annoyed they had lost push a press story that listed all the reasons that we were in trouble as a nation because Conservatives were in power. What this person failed to realise is a quick scan of points 1 to whatever highlighted consistently an opinion based on “they plan to sneakily do this and plan to sneakily do that”. When you understand this is a real job you couldn’t even dream of being able to handle for a day, respect those in power whether you agree or not and do your bit to make it a better tomorrow for the next generation. What that means, I leave up to you to decide after some careful thought and analysis of your own.