Transition, Regression & Change

Transition, Regression and Change

 

 

During the course of a Toddler’s lifetime there will be changes & challenges at some point along the way. As we know, Infants & Toddlers thrive off routine- Any interruption can cause unrest, especially if the change is sudden. The most common reasons for regression in toddlers are:

 

·       Dummy / Bottle removed

·       New Baby

·       Change in Bedroom

·       New Daycare/ Change in Carers

·       Moving House

·       Accident eg car, a bad fall, negative experience

·       Parent separation

·       Illness

 

Signs and symptoms include behavioural & emotional reaction- Tears, verbalising “no” or “I don’t want to”, clinginess, heightened emotions, toilet accidents, fighting sleep & nap time, hyperactivity, food refusal and more!

 

The best way to move forward is to let your little one know exactly what’s happening and what the next step is- We have listed a few scenarios below to assist:

 

“Today we are visiting our new house, we are going to see your new room. All of your things from your old room are coming, Mummy and Daddy are coming too. Next time we come to the new house we will be able to put all of your things in your new room”

 

“We are going to a new Kindy, there are lots of new friends and teachers and toys to play with! Everybody is friendly and really nice-It still has the same things as your old kindy, playdough, puzzles, songs and story time and you can take the same bag and sheets, just like we did at your other Kindy”

 

“Mummy is having a baby- You’re going to be a big Brother/ Sister. See that bump in mummy’s tummy? It’s a baby! We even have pictures of the baby growing inside mummy’s tummy, lets take a look!”

 

By bringing elements of the old in with the new- we can associate one with the other. Your Infant/ Toddler needs to know that when entering the unknown, some things will still remain the same.

 

Try and keep your routine as normal as possible

·        If Mum does Daycare/ Kindy drop off – Keep it the same

·        If Monday is swimming day- keep it the same day when enrolling your child in their new    swim class

·       If you go to the park/ café on a certain day/ time- Keep it the same

 

Remember, if you are anxious about the lifestyle changes made- your Infant & Toddler will pick up on these emotions. If your child is upset, guide them through the changes positively without taking the emotions on yourself.

 

Change is huge in the eyes of an Infant / Toddler- By taking baby steps and making change & transition slow, your child will adjust & become resilient in their own time

 

 

This suck to sleep thing???

Quite often during a consult we will find that the bottle, breast & dummy are some of the most common causes for overnight wakes... If your baby needs one or any of the above and cannot fall asleep without sucking, then your Baby has what we call in baby sleep land- A suck to sleep association... Some parents are happy to wait it out for baby to stop in their own time, for others its a constant battle with baby waking every hour or two- causing anxiety, stress and total sleep deprivation for the entire family! 

Its not all bad, take the dummy for example- As your child moves on from the newborn phase & increases their muscular strength & eye-hand co ordination, Baby is able to learn to take the dummy in & out of their mouth. By scattering dummies in the cot or using a dummy blanket (google sleepy-tot), you can teach baby to successfully find their dummies independently during overnight wakes- Another alternative is to make a game out of putting Baby's dummy into their hand & guiding the dummy to their mouth.. The idea is for baby to independently settle, without Mum & Dad getting up ten times per night replacing the dummy

The bottle & breast are another story... Its something that your baby can't use independently without intervention from Parent/ Caregiver. If baby is falling asleep at the bottle or breast, when they wake, Baby wants the same sleep assistance he or she fell asleep with (cue bottle/breast)

How to stop it?  We have listed a couple of strategies below: 

* Follow a Feed, Play, Sleep routine (we have these available on our website under the Shop Now section) 

* Start slow if your not ready to go cold turkey

* Decrease the amount of Bottles / Breastfeeds overnight over several nights till desired feeds are achieved

* Keep overnight feeds in line with baby's age - A baby that is six months old, on track growth and development wise and has solids established shouldn't require feeds overnight 

And finally... BE CONSISTENT... Change takes time xx 

 

Making the transition from One Baby to Two...

Congrats.. You're pregnant with Number 2- The joy, the elation, a new sibling for your first born... OH MY- Two kids???? What was I thinking?????? (Insert scary who hahahah laugh) 

In all honesty, taking the leap from one child to two may not be as bad as the visuals currently going on inside your head.. It may take a few little tweaks here and there for things to be smooth sailing MOST days.. like 4 out of 7.. Which is the National Paediatric average.. The same goes for sleep.. 4 nights out of 7?? #winning 

Here are Sleep Play Grow's top tips for making the transition from one baby to two: 

1. Prep your toddler before the baby's arrival- Reading baby/ sibling type books are great for really little toddlers (13-18 months) to grasp an understanding of what's happening, Looking / gently touching Mum's belly & showing them ultrasound pictures and role play via soft toys/ dolls are great too.. By using visuals you can really express what is safe & dangerous around a new baby e.g. Gentle touch, using the "shh" cue, not picking baby up etc 

2. Keep your routine pre baby as much as possible- Toddlers thrive on routine..!  If your child has an external activity e.g. swimming, Its great to keep the momentum going and an outing that both you & your toddler will look forward to.. Look for activities which require fostering your child's independence with little adult interaction (Boppin babies, Gymnastics, Swimming, Dance lessons, Lil kickers are all great independent activities)  as you will be limited as to how much "hands free" time you will have to fully engage with your toddler during the activity

3. Buy a baby sling, ergo, baby bjorn- LIFESAVER and allows plenty of hands free time available to your toddler whilst supporting the needs of a new baby... There will be some days where the new baby just won't want to be put down & It's amazing how you can have a baby strapped to you and a also bear hug your toddler at the same time! 

4. Include your toddler in the day to day stuff- Toddlers love to help!! The can be very useful in helping to do nappy runs, grabbing the wipes, singing the baby a song, giving baby a gentle cuddle and even a source of entertainment for re directing & distracting an overtired and cranky bub

5. Sleep Play Grow recommend you do one 1:1 activity per day with your toddler- This could be a swim, watering the garden, setting up the train set, a drawing activity, an outing to the shops, a walk to the beach- Whatever you and your toddler enjoyed together pre baby- Toddlers will love the undivided attention- even if its just 20-30 mins 

6. Create a busy box for your toddler - This box can have any age appropriate activities your child can play independently and is great for putting on the floor in front of you while your feeding the baby or if your having ONE OF THOSE DAYS! You can change up the toys weekly to keep your toddler engaged.. Things like Lift the flap books, stacking cups, magna doodles, cause & effect type toys are great for young toddlers while older toddlers will love surprise type toys- new play dough, wrapped type toys -shopkins, avenger eggs etc ... Once you've stopped feeding baby pack the box away and only use during feed times/ when you need toddler engaged in a semi structured environment within arms reach 

7. Keep your little one's sleep on track - Having a baby and a toddler wake at 3am together is not fun for anyone.. ! I recommend keeping your white noise in your toddler's room for as long as possible to block out those 3am newborn cries... If you're unsure how to maintain that sleep balance- An in home consult or attending one of our Saturday workshops may be just what you need! 

 

 

 

 

 

Starting Solids

Just made it through the Newborn Stage? Feeds on track? Feeling great that you've finally figured this feed, play sleep thing out (yup, totally a thing- email us if you'd like to find out more) and now its time to start solids... Starting solids is totally an individual thing- Some families like to start at four months of age, for others it could be six months.

The general consensus is that if everything is on track, your baby is having four hourly feeds, sleep is going ok, they're getting a little cranky at those in between times and that hunger roar is loud and clear ... Its probably time to start solids. They will also start to mimic you (open their mouth and drool) while watching you eat! 

Start smal.. and thin. You want that farex OR baby porridge (I'd recommend the bellamy's brand) to be super runny at first- mixed in with a fair bit of breast milk or formula.. After a week or so- Once they've adjusted, you can start to thicken it up... Once its thickened and things are going well, feel free to add a little fruit puree.. 

A few of our clients LOVE Sophie Guidolin's 6 month + baby oatmeal- Recipe Below 

  1. Pour boiling water over around half a cup of pitted Medjool Dates with half a cup of oats in an airtight container for around 5 minutes. Ensure enough water to cover the entire mixture, as the oats will expand as they soften.
  2. The dates will turn into a soft, jelly texture as the time goes on.
  3. Once cooled, puree with the food processor or baeba. (baby food maker)
  4. Add in apples, pears or mango puree to the mixture. It turns into a delicious creamy, soft oatmeal. 

I always recommend starting with breakfast as this will help initially sustain them throughout the day- Its also implementing a healthy habit that will continue for years to come... Breakfast IS the most important meal of the day! 

To move forward and start trying other foods- Puree Banana, Apple, Pear (I steam then add a little of the apple broth or pear broth to the mixture and puree), Sweet Potato & Pumpkin.  I aways try flavours individually with babies before mixing them as a combo.. That way you'll know exactly what your baby likes, rather than dismissing both foods. 

It can be an adjustment for your little one. Place a small amount on a spoon and let them take it off rather than using the spoon to tip into their mouth/ throat... Remember, they are used to sucking from bottle or breast, their natural reaction will be to suck from the spoon.. They will also start to use different muscles in their mouth which can take a little while to perfect.. Don't expect too much too soon- Its a learning process for BOTH parent & baby x 

The Early Riser

As it's now well on it's way into spring/ summer here in Australia, It's getting light here in sunny QLD at 4.30am which means earlier wake times for lots of Babies and Toddlers! 

What can you do about getting a couple more hours of zzz's in the wee hours? Here are my Top 3 tips to minimise the dreaded early rise... 

1. Make sure the room is DARK- You can do this by purchasing a GRO BLIND (google it if unsure) that has little suction cups that stick to the window - Best invention ever and and they block out heat in your little ones room as an added bonus! 

2. Keep your white noise on from the time our little one goes to sleep till the time they wake- Perfect for blocking out those chirpy birds! 

3. Treat the early wake as you would a night time settle.. As in, settling Bub as you normally would if he/ she was to wake in the night

Final Tip: Be realistic about your morning wake times... If your household is generally up at 6AM, Half an hour of baby snuggles sounds like the perfect way to start your morning!