Sleep Training: Children Waking Up Early

Unfortunately not all children stay in their beds until the desired time, hopefully my useful hints and tips may help you develop some solutions so that your child stays in their bed a little bit longer! 

First of all what is a suitable time for your child to wake up? As usual there is no correct answer for this as each child and family are different. If possible I would aim for your child to be waking up at 6:30-7ish. I’ve asked all my twitter followers what time their child wake up and those who replied said sometime between 5:30 and 6:30. Hopefully my hints and tips will help promote your children staying asleep until 6:30-7:00.

1) Firstly I recommend purchasing a Gro clock. These are fabulous, the clock has two images either sun or stars, which helps to communicate when it’s time to wake up or go back to sleep. If your child normally wakes up at 6 begin by setting ‘daytime’ for 6:15, as this will be achievable for your child then gradually over the course of two weeks push the ‘daytime’ forward by 5 minutes each day until eventually it will reach a suitable time.

2) If you child does wake up try to use simple short sentences such as ‘back to sleep now, it’s still night time’ if you begin to engage your child with conversation they will become more awake. Furthermore if your child comes into your bedroom, I would recommend taking them back into their room, otherwise this can easily become a habit which can lead to your child joining you in your bed anytime during the night.

3) If your child’s bedroom is quite light in the morning try Black out blinds, these help to ensure that room will stay a bit darker. The Gro company also make a portable black out blind which is handy or black out material can be purchased from most fabric shops.

4) If your child sleeps for long periods in the day or goes to sleep quite early at night try cut out or reducing day time sleep or pushing back bedtime by 10/15 minutes. This will hopefully mean you child will be more tired and will thus stay asleep longer in the morning. Alternatively if you child goes to sleep late at night they may be more inclined to wake up early in the morning. I would recommend a 7 o’clock- 7:30 bedtime is suitable for children upto the age of 5.

5) Children often kick their covers off at nighttime which can make them cold and then will lead them to wake up, so try to tuck the duvet in so it’s less likely to be kicked off. 

6) If you’ve tried a number of these things and still aren’t getting anywhere, explain to your child that providing they can be quiet they can get up once they wake and can read books or play with a small toy until the sun comes up. If your going to do this put a small pile of books near your child’s bed so that they haven’t got to begin searching for things to read or do! 

7) As usual I recommend a sticker chart, place one next to your child’s bed and they can then immediately receive a sticker for their good work if they’ve stayed in their bed until the desired time.

8) You could also give your child a glow in the dark star to put on their ceiling or wall. Your child will love the see their star collection growing as a result of all the good sleeping that they’ve done! 

I hope you’ve found these tips useful! Please let me know how you get on!



The Twinkle Diaries

Sleep Training: Attachment Theory

There are many different techniques and tips in how to get your baby or child off to sleep. What will suit one baby and family may not suit others. In this blog I am going to inform you of 3 other professionals who suggest other forms of sleep training, based more around the attachment theory which focus’ on developing a very close bond between mother and baby by doing things such as feeding on demand and allowing baby bed share with parents.

The Paediatrician William Sears has written The Baby Sleep book. In this he discuss’ creating a routine and approach which is nurturing and very child- centred. Rather than teaching your child to fall asleep independently he recommends that your baby should fall asleep when they are ready. He encourages co-sleeping, rocking your baby off to sleep as well as feeding your baby to sleep. By doing these things and developing the physical closeness between mother and baby, he believes this then the formation of positive and healthy sleep associations.

Elizabeth Pantley author of The No-Cry sleep solution has developed a gradual and gentle approach to all areas of your baby’s sleep based around the individual baby’s needs. Elizabeth recommends rocking or feeding baby until they are drowsy at which point you then put them down and respond immediately if baby cries. To help develop baby’s sleep pattern she recommends keeping sleep diaries, which is an excellent idea to monitor baby’s patterns

Tracy Hogg author of Secrets of the Baby Whisperer very much agrees with William Sears that all sleep associations should be positive and nurturing however she disagrees with elements of his techniques. Hogg was concerned that allowing baby to fall asleep on ‘props’ for example rocking or feeding in order to get to sleep could cause later issues. Therefore she highly recommends that when your baby does cry pick them up, then put them back down and repeat as many times a necessary until baby is content or asleep which is similar to the controlled comforting method.

If you would prefer to use one of these sleep techniques, do have a read of their books or websites to ensure that you choose the best routine that is most suited to you and your baby.

The Top Teeth Cleaning Tips

I know teeth cleaning can be a challenge so hopefully these handy tips will help you! It is recommended that children clean there teeth twice a day for 2 minutes in total 1 minute focusing on the top teeth and another minute covering the bottom teeth.

1) A parents enthusiasm is contagious! Showing your child that teeth cleaning can be fun and interesting will hopefully convince them To agree! Why not clean your teeth with your child so you can do it for the same time, copying you will help teach them how to clean properly.

2) It may be helpful to get a mirror at the child’s level so they can see what they’re doing and you can point out any bits that they’re missing.

3) Get an exciting tooth brush, there are so many out there. I recently purchased ‘Twinklers Wave flashing tooth brush’ These are great because it flashes for 1 minute, so your child can clean the top teeth for 1 minute then the bottom teeth for another minute. What could be more fun?

4) Using an egg timer, phone charger to stop watch will also help your child clean teeth for 2 minutes- and that’s something your child can be in charge of doing!

5) If you struggle to clean teeth before school why not get another set of brushes and paste downstairs to save time as you won’t have to convince your child to head back up stairs before the school run and it will help ensure you get it done.

6) There’s a great app called ‘Aquafresh Brushtime’ which informs your child how to clean their teeth and also times them whilst a song is playing. It’s really simple, once the teeth have been cleaned points are given and clothes can the brought for the toothpaste character.I’ve introduced the app to some children recently who love it, and now keep asking to clean their teeth!

7) Always try signing with you child especially babies, songs such as:
‘this is the way we clean our teeth, clean our teeth, clean out teeth
‘this is the way we clean our teeth, Everyday’

8) Try singing this to the tune of here we go round the mulberry bush! This is such a fun thing to do! Let me know of any other teeth cleaning songs out there!

I hope you find these hints and tips useful! Your children’s teeth are very delicate so keeping them nice and clean is very important!

Happy brushing!!

Sleep Training: Gradual Extinction

This describes the gradual removal of the parent from the baby/child’s room. Before the bedtime routine set up a chair or stool somewhere in the babies room, it should in the baby’s line of vision. Depending on the size of the room will depend on how far away you position the chair- ensure that the child won’t be able to touch you from the cot but is near enough for them to know your presence.

Carry out the usual bedtime routine which should be the same each night as well as calm and relaxing for your baby.

Once you have put your baby down in their cot, quietly go and sit on the chair or stool – you will then stay there until they are asleep. You can then leave the room.

The next time they wake up in the night gradually move the chair away and closer to the door. You will repeat this movement until you are sitting outside the chair with the door open.

You should never make eye contact with your child once you’ve put her in her cot. This is vitally important. I recommend that you focus on another part of the child’s body (i.e. her shoulder or her tummy). Try to keep interaction with her to the absolute minimum until she falls asleep, but if your child is upset, you can reassure her with your touch – hold her hand and even hug her – as long as her bottom stays touching the cot. Again, though, don’t look at her!

It may be very time consuming to sit and wait for your child To fall off to sleep however this method is great at building a trust between you an your child- which helps their confidence to fall Asleep by themselves.When she wakes in the night you do the same thing all over again – Your child might be stunned and angry at your refusal to pick her up or give her any attention, but she won’t cry due to fear of being left.

Mami 2 Five