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Month: March 2018

Tips for Helping Your Little Ones Get Through The Dreaded ‘Daylight Savings Time Change’

Daylight Saving Time EndsFor both kids (and parents alike) getting through the beginning or end of daylight savings can be a really daunting and difficult time. Whilst an hour change in time might seem like a small change for adults, for children this is a really big period of time that can impact on their sleep cycles and we end up with grumpy & overtired kids which isn’t fun for anyone! This will then interfere with not only their sleep routine but ours, as parents also! We’ve all been there and it’s not an enjoyable time!

For mums and dads, there are things we can do to make this challenging time a bit easier:

• It’s important to understand that the start or end of daylight savings is a big thing in a little child’s normal night-time process. Kids generally love routine and actually thrive off routine and daylight savings throws everything into havoc. If we, as parents, can mentally prepare ourselves that there is a challenging period of time with our kids’ sleeping coming up then I think we can cope with it better. For a lot of young children daylight savings start or end will often affect their sleep routine and we will need to adjust our normal day-to-day family lifestyle/night-time routine to suit our kids at this point.
• Remember, it doesn’t last forever! Unless there is some sort of underlying medical issue such as reflux or iron deficiency for example, most kids will jump back into a good bedtime pattern within 1-3 weeks…I promise there’s light at the end of the tunnel if we do the right things.
• Being there for our kids and providing extra comfort is really important. Little children need a lot of comfort at the best of times, but being overtired and cranky (as they do not understand their new routine can be really hard on them!) There’s a good chance that you will need to provide extra comfort and settling techniques for between 1-3 weeks at daylight savings beginning or end. For babies, settling techniques include:
o Feeding
o Patting
o Rocking
o Singing
o Presence in their room
o Dummy/pacifier
Each family needs to work out what works best for them.
• For toddlers and older children you may want to try:
o An extra book
o Singing
o Presence in their room
o Patting
o Reasoning
o Rewards such as stickers for performing the desired behaviours
Again, work out what works best for your family.

Sleepy Starz Child Sleep Package

For children themselves, day light savings start or end can be a very troublesome time, but there are definitely things that parents can do to help make their transition easier. These include:

• Start now! In the early hours of Sunday 1st April we’ll be putting our clocks one hour back. One of the best things to do with kids is start moving their bedtime back by 10 minutes each night now, in the lead up to daylight savings beginning. Start the whole bedtime routine 10 minutes later. If the normal bedtime is 7pm, change the bedtime to 7.10pm on the first night, 7.20pm on the second night and so on until you have achieved the desired bedtime. You might need to do this gradually over a period of 2-3 weeks as one hour is a big thing for young children.
• Bedtime routines are crucial. With the start of daylight there is a change in light in the child’s bedroom. Try and stay in control of the light and what the child is used to so it doesn’t startle them come bedtime. It is widely known that light will affect melatonin levels (and melatonin is what helps us all sleep…so let’s keep it dark if possible!)
• For older children/toddlers, talk to them about possible changes that might be happening and prepare them for these changes. Toddlers understand a lot and they often do not respond well when confronted with something completely unexpected.
• For younger babies who we cannot reason with try and use the above technique of changing routines in 10 minute increments. Push back a bedtime feed (if only by a few minutes) each night over a period of 1-3 weeks.

Another great tool for toddlers in the lead up to daylight savings is the Sleepy Starz Sleep Clock which gets children excited about going to bed. The clock uses child friendly and calming images to teach children when it’s time to go to bed and when they are allowed to get out of bed in the morning. The clock was specifically created to fit into any child’s normal bedtime routine and actually works because it uses the theory of night is for sleeping and day time is to be awake. However, it does not have the outside environment in terms of light and dark which is confusing to children when daylight savings comes around and it’s still light outside at 9pm.

The Sleepy Starz Sleep Clock is a must have for parents of fussy toddlers and can be purchased from www.sleepystarz.com/sleep-clock/

Sleepy Starz Sleep Clock

Baby Bedding Maintenance for Easier Sleep

Providing your baby with efficient protection against germs and a good sleep every night, is a great challenge. The proper cleaning and maintenance of the baby bedding is crucial for the way your baby sleeps. There are too many irritants we use when it comes to laundry, and you need to limit them as much as possible. We all know how difficult this can be – the hand-to-mouth reflex is very strong in babies, which combined with the weak orientation, makes them stain magnets. Here are a few tips for baby bedding maintenance, which will help your baby sleep easier.

How often should you wash things? Most new parents ask this question with panic in their eyes. Babies and children have very strong senses and gentle skin, so you’ll have to prepare yourself for a lot of laundry for the near future. When your baby is very young, you will have to change bed sheets and pillow cases even a couple times a day. However, once your little one grows a little, you will get into a somewhat reasonable routine. The best washing frequency for things like bed sheets, pillow cases and mattress pads is twice a week. The bumper pads need to be cleaned at least once a month, because they collect a lot of dust and general grime. Blankets, covers and everything else similar you might be using in the baby crib, should be laundered at least twice a month. The pillows also need to be washed at least every 6 weeks – it will protect your baby’s sinuses, and healthy sinuses mean healthy sleep.

Always use a natural detergent.Even detergents, which are supposed to be baby safe, sometimes contain chemicals and fragrances, which can disturb your baby’s sleep. The traditional laundry detergents can cause skin rashes and nose irritations, which will keep your little one up all night. And nobody wants that. When you buy the laundry detergent, make sure it doesn’t contain any irritants or allergens. Alternatively, you can try this simple and hypoallergenic DIY laundry detergent: grate 3 bars of castile soap and mix them with 6 cups of washing soda. You can also add a few drops of coconut oil if you want; the smell is proven to calm babies. Use 1-2 tablespoons per load.

Wash on a gentle cycle.The softness of the baby bedding is crucial for your baby’s strong sleep. To keep it soft for longer, it’s recommended to wash all the bedding on the gentle cycle of your washing machine. The gentle cycle will also help preserve the fabric, so the items will last for longer. The drying time will be a little longer, but it will all be worth it in the end. Another thing you need to remember about laundry is, that the baby items should be washed separately from your other laundry, there’s no need to mix the germs.

Line dry baby bedding when possible.Dryers can be disastrous on delicate baby bedding. Natural sunlight, on the other side, is a great disinfectant, so you should take advantage and line dry your baby’s bedding whenever you can. Clean bedding that smells fresh from being outdoors will also soothe your baby to sleep. If you live in a house or apartment, which doesn’t have an option for an outdoor clothesline, then get a drying rack and put it out on a balcony or near an open window.

The mattress.Baby mattresses are often washable on only one side. Follow the instructions on the label to clean them and remember to dry thoroughly. If your baby stains the non-washable side, avoid using moisture to clean it. Remove any solids with a knife, and blot up as much as you can with an old towel. Get a bowl of soapy water and use only the foam to sponge clean the fabric. Then rinse with a clean sponge. Make sure it’s thoroughly dry before you place your baby on it again.

Calming fragrances for your baby’s bedding.Smell is a very pervasive sense, and it’s vital that your baby’s sleeping area is soothing on an olfactory level. The sense of smell in newborns is a lot more sensitive than in older babies and toddlers, so it’s not recommended to use fragrant products in the first three months. But from three months onward you can use smells to calm your baby before and during sleep. Some smells which work great are lavender, rose, vanilla and chamomile. You can use those in laundry, or just place a burner for essential oils some place safe in the nursery. Nowadays you can even buy stuffed toys impregnated with a soothing scent, that will help your baby sleep better.

Baby Sleep SolutionJane Wilson is a Melbourne-based business manager, blogger and a mum. Just like every modern woman, she struggles every day to find the balance between taking care of her daughter and developing a successful career. She manages Fantastic Cleaners Melbourne– a professional cleaning company, which provides safe and tested services for everything around the home or office. She also has a personal blog called Modern Housewives, where she shares tips and advice for women in similar situations. For more information go to https://fantasticcleaners.com.au/melbourne/.

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