Better Parenting

by David and Charissa Scotford

Set baby’s routine early on

I was a bridesmaid for my friend when Benjamin was 7 months old. Trying to co-ordinate feeds during the day of the wedding was a challenge, to say the least! Grandparents were called on for baby-sitting duties and when they offered to take him home so that we could go to the reception alone, it was the first time I really appreciated the fact that he didn’t need to be fed to sleep. I could feed Benjamin at the reception and then his grandparents could take him home and put him to bed.

One of the most common mistakes new parents make is to feed their babies to sleep during the day. Although this might not seem like a problem in the initial weeks, it soon becomes a habit that is not only hard to break but that also affects your baby’s ability to get enough sleep. Babies need good sleep for proper health and development. Following a basic feed, wake, sleep pattern has 3 main benefits:

Putting your baby to bed awake, gives them the opportunity to learn how to put themselves to sleep - which also means they can re-settle if they wake early from a nap.

Having a wake time after a feed means that your baby uses their energy playing and interacting then is tired when it is time for bed and will sleep longer. Having a wake time after a feed means that the baby has the chance to get rid of excess wind, especially when placed in a semi-reclined position in a rocker, so is less likely to wake during a nap because of pain caused by wind.

FEED, WAKE, SLEEP during the day. Make it a habit early on!

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Whether you are expecting your first child or have several children at different stages, 4 The Family is a parenting ministry to help you. Through DVDs, seminars and personalised support, 4 The Family helps parents in Australia and throughout the world as they tackle one of life's toughest jobs - parenthood.

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