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How Does Lack of Sleep Effect My Child?
How Does Lack of Sleep Effect My Child?

Aѕ parents wе inhеrеntlу hаvе a dеѕirе tо kеер оur children healthy, safe, and hарру. Onе оf thе еаrliеѕt hurdles уоu will еnсоuntеr with уоur сhild’ѕ wеll-bеing iѕ the iѕѕuе оf getting them tо sleep thrоugh thе night. Yоu mау nоt rеаlizе thiѕ, but not getting enough sleep can lead to serious health related iѕѕuеѕ during сhildhооds and then intо adult lifе. Bу establishing hеаlthу ѕlеер hаbitѕ now, уоu inсrеаѕе уоur сhild’ѕ сhаnсеѕ оf bypassing thеѕе сhаllеngеѕ.

Lack of Sleep Effect
Emоtiоnаl Issues
Fоr bаbiеѕ аnd сhildrеn thе emotional еffесtѕ of ѕlеер deprivation саn be more еxtrеmе thаn thаt of аn adult. Sоmе оf the emotional iѕѕuеѕ a сhild саn experience аrе high lеvеlѕ оf аnxiеtу, dерrеѕѕiоn, аggrеѕѕiоn, irritability, tеmреr tаntrumѕ, excessive crying аnd fussiness аnd dесrеаѕеd раtiеnсе.
Thеѕе iѕѕuеѕ gо hаnd in hаnd with thе nеxt ѕеt оf рrоblеmѕ lасk оf ѕlеер can cause in сhildrеn.
If a сhild iѕ nоt gеtting adequate ѕlеер thеу can bеgin tо diѕрlау a vаriеtу оf behavioral iѕѕuеѕ ѕuсh as hуреrасtivitу, poor соnсеntrаtiоn, poor school performance, poor impulse control, rеаѕоning and memory, fосuѕ and a drор in their IQ.

Lack of Sleep Effect
If thеѕе symptoms sound ѕimilаr tо thоѕе оf ADD аnd ADHD, they are. Hеrе’ѕ a fаѕсinаting scientific find.
Onсе thе bаbу hаѕ jоinеd us on thе оutѕidе, it hаѕ experiences two ѕtаgеѕ оf sleep, spending аbоut 50%, or еight hоurѕ in REM and the rеѕt in non-REM. Yоu can usually tеll whiсh ѕlеер ѕtаgе a bаbу iѕ in. With аdultѕ, REM ѕlеер is accompanied bу раrаlуѕiѕ so we dоn’t imаginе we аrе flying and lаunсh ourselves frоm thе bеdrооm windоw, but in newborn infаntѕ, thiѕ mechanism hаѕ уеt tо dеvеlор so уоu can оbѕеrvе them twitсhing and wriggling through thеir drеаmѕ. Thеir non-REM sleep iѕ еntirеlу раѕѕivе аnd ѕtill. A ѕmаllеr bаbу often needs mоrе ѕlеер than lаrgеr babies of thе ѕаmе аgе.

Lack of Sleep Effect
In аdditiоn to thе аbоvе, ѕlеер dерrivаtiоn in сhildrеn ѕuррrеѕѕеѕ thеir immune ѕуѕtеmѕ, inсrеаѕеѕ thеir сhаnсеѕ оf injurious fаllѕ, and creates a vicious cycle of рооr ѕlеер hаbitѕ thаt аrе hаrd tо brеаk the longer they gо on.
In thе ѕhоrt-tеrm, ѕlеер dерrivаtiоn leads tо:

  • Lасk оf concentration
  • Slurrеd ѕреесh
  • Blurrеd viѕiоn
  • Headaches
  • Trеmоrѕ
  • Hаlluсinаtiоnѕ

Lack of Sleep Effect

And a whоlе host of оthеr physical symptoms. In the lоng-tеrm, lack оf ѕlеер lеаdѕ tо imbаlаnсе in blood ѕugаr levels that соuld lеаd tо diаbеtеѕ, lоwеring оf thе immune system, heart рrоblеmѕ, obesity, ѕtrоkеѕ, high blооd рrеѕѕurе аnd a host of оthеr health рrоblеmѕ. In studies соnduсtеd оn rаtѕ it wаѕ fоund that rаtѕ would diе аftеr twо to fivе weeks оf ѕlеер deprivation. Thе асtuаl саuѕе оf death iѕ unсlеаr; it соuld either bе ascribed tо a wеаk immune system or severe mеntаl stress. Thе fасt оf thе matter iѕ thаt lack of ѕlеер can lead to health рrоblеmѕ.
Sleep Consulting by Sleepy Starz offers a range of affordable sleep consultation packages which can help with getting your little one enough sleep. Head to www.sleepystarz.com/sleep-consulting/ for more information.

What I Was Never Told About Being a Father of 2 Daughters
What I Was Never Told About Being a Father of 2 Daughters

Within seconds of Emily announcing her first positive pregnancy test back in 2008 my mind turned to which brand of cricket bat I should invest in, and whether my growing boy would prefer to play for the Wallabies or Kangaroos. You can probably imagine my surprise when daughter Amber arrived just eight short months later. Subsequently, everything in my household began to turn a lighter shade of pink, and I became immersed in tea parties and dress ups (although I quite enjoy the odd tea party from time to time).

father of two daughters

The ensuingcouple of years after Amberwas born were extremely tough as my wife and I navigated ongoing toddler sleeping issues andsuffered severe sleep deprivation. But despite a rough ride early on,we’re now parents to two gorgeous young girls that continually furnish our lives with fun and laughter.

Having daughters is one of the greatest joys I could imagine, although it’s fair to say that as the only male in a family of four, I certainly haven’t got them all figured out. I thought I would fill you in on a few things I’ve learnt about being the father to two beautiful girls.

two daughters

There should be a degree in tying ponytails
My girls will (hopefully) tell you that dad can fashion a killer ponytail nowadays, and even a plait or two on occasion. Though, somebody neglected to inform me at the outset how difficult this task could be! Admittedly, Emily does the lion’s share of hair management, but on the odd time she was pre-disposed I was left floundering with brush and bobble in hand. It took some time, and tears (not mine), but I am happy to say I’ve now nailed it!

Painted nails take an age to remove
Young girls seem to love to paint toenails and fingernails.Mine are no different. Oneoccasion Irelented, allowing them to unleash their artistry on my fingers. That was before I realized how long it took to remove nail polish (in absence of polish remover!) which provided great source of ammunition for my male friends.

daughterGirls are easier
I never thought I’d admit this, but I am convinced girls are easier to manage than boys. Clearly,my only basis for comparisonis friends with boys, and the familiar cry ‘wait until she is ateenager’ is already ringing in my ears’. But aside from the sleep issues we encountered in the early years (which I don’t believe is gender specific),our girls have beenpretty easy going. You always know what colour clothes they want to wear (it’s pink), and you don’t need to worry about pointing the pipework down while unfastening a nappy for fear of a ‘hose down’.

daughter

Nobody told me how quickly they would pay attention to boys
Perhaps naively, I thought it was boys who would be the romantic aggressors and that my girls would have limited interest in the opposite sex for several years. I couldn’t have been more wrong. It really is true that girls begin planning their weddings even when they are toddlers! At the outset, the ‘boy’ of choice was me…“I’m going to marry Daddy”. Cute. I was soon crushed when the little boy from day care with the attractive curls replaced me as the boy of her dreams!

The final thing no one told me about my female dominated family is perhaps the most noteworthy. When Emily and I started raising a family way back in 2008 I had no idea that living solely with girls would immediately turn me into a feminist!

 

 

Get Your Child to Sleep in 10 Simple Steps. Bedtime Battles: No More
Get Your Child to Sleep in 10 Simple Steps. Bedtime Battles: No More

Co-founder of Sleepy Starz Pty Ltd, inventor of the Sleepy Starz Sleep Clock, Certified Sleep Consultant and author Emily Duffell knows everything there is to know about getting your fussy baby or toddler to sleep. This means not only falling asleep on their own but also sleeping throughout the night.

Sleepy Starz Sleep Clock

After experiencing sleep deprivation which in turn, led to post natal depression Emily knew all she wanted to do was help other parents and ensure they wouldn’t have to go through what she went through.

child sleep solution

A few years ago, and whilst inventing the Sleepy Starz Sleep Training Clock, Emily put her natural writing abilities to paper and wrote and published the book Bedtime Battles: No More – How to Get Your Child to Sleep Throughout the Night in 10 Simple Steps which is available in both hardback and kindle format in the Amazon stores online.

The blurb of the book reads:

Mother of two Emily Duffell brings you ’Bedtime Battles: No More!’ A guide to getting your child to sleep throughout the night. Her highly acclaimed new book is packed full of simple, practical and easy to follow techniques for the treatment of sleeping problems in children.

 

If your child’s bedtime is a constant source of conflict or you endure nightly wakings or broken sleep then this is the ultimate handbook. ’Bedtime Battles: No More!’ provides expert advice and a stress free approach for sleep deprived parents.

Emily understands first-hand the difficulties associated with toddlers and sleep, as well as the impact this can have on a parent. Read how Emily transformed her children’s night-time performance and why she is fast becoming a leading expert in children’s sleep issues.

Learn Emily’s simple steps to success to ensure a healthy, happy, sleeping child today.

Child sleep solution

 

Since writing the book and releasing the revolutionary Sleepy Starz Sleep Clock, Emily has launched a sleep consulting service in her bid to help babies, toddlers and families achieve better sleep.

For more information about Bedtime Battles: No More, Sleep Consulting by Sleepy Starz and the array of sleep solutions offered by Sleepy Starz, go to www.sleepystarz.com

Is It Ok To Help My Baby Get To Sleep?
Is It Ok To Help My Baby Get To Sleep?

“Is it okay to assist my baby to sleep?” The answer is yes. Your child’s health is likely to be a high priority and you already know that kids get very cranky and difficult if they don’t get enough sleep!

This is a controversial topic as some believe that assisting a baby to sleep will stop them learning the skill of self settling. I disagree. I do not see a problem with assisting a baby or young child to sleep. Having difficulty falling asleep is a common problem and some babies and children need more help in this area.

‘Assisting’ to sleep can include a variety of different things such as feeding to sleep, patting to sleep or just being in the child’s room with them and singing. No matter what method you choose to help your little one fall asleep…..it’s ok!

help baby get to sleep

Young babies especially often need a lot of help falling to sleep. Self settling is a skill that needs to be learnt and takes time. Some babies might learn this skill early on but it might take others well into the toddler years to learn. Is it ok to help a 3 year old fall asleep? In my opinion, the answer is yes as long as the parent is comfortable in doing so.

I believe it’s a myth that assisting a baby to sleep will cause them to never learn the skill of self settling. When a child is ready to fall asleep independently they will do so. What I do encourage parents to do though, is to only help the child fall asleep if they need it. If they don’t need assistance in falling to sleep then there is no need to do it.

help baby get to sleep

Some parents find they get quite anxious about their child learning to self settle. It’s important for parents to manage expectations. Is it ok to expect a 5 month old to fall asleep on their own? No, I don’t believe it is. Some 5 month old babies might be able to get to sleep by themselves, but if they cannot then there is no issue in helping them. This will not stop them learning the skill of self settling when they are ready.

Is it ok to expect a 3 year old to fall asleep independently? Whilst I don’t believe it’s ok to “expect” them to do so, I do believe its fine for a parent of a 3 year old to want them to learn this skill. And, there are lots of different things that can be done to help them learn the skill of self settling.

help baby get to sleep

As a sleep consultant I work with a lot of families who are keen to teach their babies and young children the skill of self settling. If the baby is of an appropriate age then I work closely with the baby and the parents to gently teach this skill using a variety of sleep training methods. Sometimes it only takes a matter of days for the baby to pick up this new skill but sometimes it takes 2-3 weeks.

Sleep Consulting by Sleepy Starz offers a range of affordable sleep consultation packages. To check them out head to www.sleepystarz.com/sleep-consulting/

The Easiest Way to Get Your Children to Sleep
The Easiest Way to Get Your Children to Sleep

There are 1000’s of experts and books that claim to solve all of your sleeping problems but only once in a few years is there a new product that actually comes through and does what it promised to.

Parents are often overwhelmed with the plethora of studies found on the internet and the ridiculous amount of money they have come to spend on products that do nothing more than collect dirt in their home.

Sleepy Starz was created out of the honest efforts of an Australian family who had already gone through the sleeping training process with their child. When looking for the best way to share their firsthand knowledge on the subject they decided to unite their creative forces and develop an effective sleep training accessory which would not only benefit toddlers but ultimately, parents too resulting in more sleep for the whole family!

Sleepy Starz Sleep Clock

As young children cannot read the time and their circadian rhythms are easily disturbed by even the slightest changes in their sleep schedules, the couple decided to develop a toddler sleep training clock – one that relays the concept of time through visual and calming light cues and not by numbers.

Sleepy Starz Sleep Clock

The final result was the Sleepy Starz Sleep Clock which holds an Australian patent (Granted patent number: 2015101639). “We knew we had to figure out a way to match a toddler’s sleep cycle with visual stimuli in which they could relate, as natural light does not seem to do the trick especially during daylight savings which much of Australia experiences. What’s more, we know that many parents live in areas of the world where, during certain periods of the year, there is practically no natural light at all” said Mrs. Emily Duffell, Sleepy Starz’s co-founder.

She went on to add, “The Sleepy Starz Sleep Clock projects child friendly and calming bedtime scenes which eases toddlers’ transition into deep sleep. Parents and children can choose which images they like best, from the seven available options in the Sleepy Starz Sleep Clock, according to their toddler’s and their own personal preferences. Moreover, thanks to its three built-in sleep settings, the Sleepy Starz Sleep Clock offers a customized sleeping experience, which is already delighting both toddlers and parents alike across Australia. When time lapses, the Sleepy Starz Sleep Clock gently transitions to a brighter and calmer light, which much resembles that of daytime. The clock combines the expertise of child experts along with our personal experiences with sleep training our children. We know how efficient the Sleepy Starz Sleep Clock is – and now other parents can see so for themselves too.”

The Sleepy Starz Sleep Clock is available for purchase on the company’s website www.sleepystarz.com and will be in stores soon. Sleepy Starz has also launched two apps, which accompany the product, in the iTunes Store and the Google Play Store.

TIPS FOR HELPING YOUR LITTLE ONES GET THROUGH THE DREADED ‘DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME CHANGE’

For 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.

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/

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.

Jane 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/.

TIPS FOR BRINGING A BEDTIME FORWARD

TIPS FOR BRINGING A BEDTIME FORWARD

Getting your little ones to sleep can be a difficult task at times. There are so many factors that can impact upon sleep as well as a lot of reasons why your child may not want to go to sleep. Howeve, it’s important that children get the right amount of sleep for their age as lack of sleep can have long lasting affects on health.

7pm is the bedtime I recommend for babies and toddlers. Newborns are different and having a set bedtime of 7pm is not a real expectation. With that being said, parents of newborns can still have an aim of a 7pm bedtime as the bay grows. The reason I recommend a bedtime of 7pm is because this is a time when the sun is usually down and night time is here (except for during daylight savings of course). Night time helps increase melatonin which is the sleepy hormone. Another reason 7pm is a good bedtime is because it allows for enough nighttime sleep before the child needs to be awake in the morning for daycare, pre-schoool or school.

If you have a little one staying up late, there are a few things you can do to help bring this bedtime forward:

  1. Having a positive bedtime routine in place that is used consistently every night is really important. Children thrive off routine and this can help them feel settled and relaxed. A bedtime routine should start between 30-45 minutes before you want your child to sleep and should include things like breast, bottle or cup of milk, bath or shower, massage, book, song etc. The most important thing is with bedtime routines is consistency.
  2. Slowly bringing the bedtime earlier by 5 minutes every night can be a really helpful technique to use. For example, if your child is going to sleep at 8.30pm every night, on night one ensure that the child is in bed and ready for sleep at 8.25pm. The next night, make the bedtime 8.20pm and so on.
  3. Don’t let your child sleep in the following morning if they have had a late night. In bringing the bedtime forward, we are trying to adjust their body clock.
  4. Ensure that daytime naps are not too late in the afternoon. Around 3-4pm should be the latest that a child has a sleep. Napping too late in the afternoon can make for a sleepless child come bedtime.
  5. Use a tool such as the Sleepy Starz Sleep Clock. Whilst parents might “lie” (in the child’s eyes) that it’s time for bed, using a product such as this helps the child understand that it’s bedtime  by using images the child can relate to. Further, the Sleepy Starz Sleep Clock gets the child excited about going to bed and involved in the bedtime process which helps them feel special. For more information about the clock go to www.sleepystarz.com/sleep-clock/

Any changes you make in your little ones life take time and consistency. Bringing a bedtime forward won’t change in one night, but 4-5 nights (sometimes longer) is a realistic expectation if you keep it consistent.

Meditation for Mums

Meditation for Mums

Being a mum is commonly accompanied with the feeling of constantly being pulled in a million different directions. Juggling responsibilities, trying to be there for family and friends, coupled with a feeling of unshakeable exhaustion it’s easy to lose sight of yourself. 

Sometimes making it through the day intact seems like a monumental achievement. Your weary bones cherish the quiet moments of lying in bed as your head churns through the items pending on your to do list, and there are many. 

You tell yourself you “should” eat better, you “should” exercise and you “should” get to bed earlier, but let’s face it with everything else on your plate you just do what you can. 

When my daughter came into the world I would often hear the words “I’m so tired” tumble out of my mouth whenever anybody asked me how I was. I cr aved sle ep more than I craved chocolate but even when I did manage to get some sleep I’d still wake up feeling tired and foggy and then I’d eat chocolate! 

Prior to having my daughter meditation was part of my routine which offered a deeper dimension to my life, allowing me to experience a nourishing stillness and inner calm that sustained me through all of life’s ups and downs. 

Once my beautiful little screaming cherub came into the world I let my practice slip away preferring to get some sleep over meditating. While getting some shut eye was always helpful it didn’t help ease my frenetic and foggy mind.

I didn’t like the way I was feeling or thinking so I began to incorporate mini meditations into my day. Those five to ten minutes made a big difference in clearing my mind, relaxing my body and giving me a feeling of inner calm even when chaos reigned. This allowed me to be more present and enjoy the journey of being a mot her more fully. 

My daughter is older now and she respects mummy’s meditation time. I guide her through short meditation journey’s to help her cope with life’s challenges and hope that she too will incorporate it as a steadfast tool to carry her through life. It’s such a natural way to use the power of our mind to cleanse, nurture and realign. For me meditation takes the edge off everything, gives me a greater perspective, and promotes a feeling of inner wellbeing. 

It’s like my heart and soul take in a deep refreshing breath and exhale the noise, clutter and stress that I unknowingly hold onto. I can really tell the difference on the days when I don’t meditate.

We all want to be the best mum we can be. Being more focussed, relaxed, less stressed, more present, engaged and happier within yourself and with life are qualities you can achieve with a small investment of your time. 

While the responsibili ties and chores are not going to magically disappear there is a way to create a way of life that supports your mental, physical and emotional wellbeing. As with any practice, the more you do the better you get at it. 

With my beautiful friend and mother of two, Genie Pepper, we’ve designed some simple, enjoyable mini meditations for mums. We’ll be launching The Key For Me meditation app in a few weeks time. Please feel free to try out some of our free guided meditations to get you started. 

There is nothing to lose but a tremendous amount to gain that requires nothing more than a few minutes of your day. It’s worth it.

By Rosemary Sherro 

www.thekeyforme.com

TERRIBLE TWO’S AND TANTRUM THREE’S

TERRIBLE TWO'S AND TANTRUM THREE'S

Every parent loves their children but there will always come a time when that love is pushed to the limit. Toddlers are cute and funny but the toddler years can also be a nightmare. The terrible twos are called that for good reason. Sometimes just being prepared can make all the difference in the world and can prevent those outbursts of chaos known as the temper tantrum. There are some ways to better handle the outbursts but no two children are alike. Not every method works for every child but there are certain solutions that work overall for these typical behaviors.

Frustration is the primary cause of the temper tantrum and the frustration can be boiled down usually three things. They are either tired, hungry or a good combination of both. The tantrums usually happen at an inconvenient time. Of course no time is truly convenient. The terrible twos are when the frequency and intensity of the temper tantrum generally tends to increase.

Tips To Get Through The Terrible Twos and Tantrum Threes

Keep a journal. Write about every frustration, every tantrum, every humorous moment–yes, there will be many of each. Someday, when you have more energy, you may find you actually have a book. You might even want to consider two journals: one that is strictly your personal thoughts that no one will ever see until you write your book and the other for your child–a reflection of those early years as he/she matures. Older children love reading about themselves.

Do lots of outings and special activities at home. I know that sounds impossible with a two-year-old but persevere. Your outings might be for the location–zoo, butterfly pavilion, etc, or outings might have a specific purpose–find blue things, find flowers, find 3"s, or do story-time at the library.

Give your toddler a safe place to release their anger and emotion. Sometimes, letting it all out really does help them feel better rather than suppressing the frustrations and keeping the emotions bottled up.

Try your very best to remain calm. This is hard but any outwardly expressed anger or frustration will elevate the force of the tantrum. Pick up your child and hug them while whispering something interesting into their ear.

Remove the child from wherever it happens to be that the temper tantrum is taking place and tell them that they can only come back when they are finished and they are smiling. Once they do return, talk to them about what just went on. Try and find out what it was that set them off and how you both may prevent it from happening again in the future.

Simply ignore the temper tantrum if at all possible. Do not listen or react in any way while the child is screaming. This will help instil the understanding that the proper way to get your attention is to talk to you, not to scream at you.

For more tips and information about toddlers go to www.sleepystarz.com

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