PARENTING ADVICE

Prior to 3 months of age it is difficult to establish a pattern with a baby. Most parents find that young babies often have their nights and days a little confused. By the age of 4 months most babies can be encouraged to have some daytime pattern and 2-3 day time sleeps works well with this age group. By six months of age babies adopt a pattern of approximately 2 -2 ½ hours awake and 1½ - 2 hours sleep time during the day. From nine months most babies settle into a pattern of two daytime sleeps, one in the morning and one in the afternoon 1-2 hours. At approximately 14 months toddlers may have one sleep per day instead of two. At times they may require two sleeps. At around 16 months toddlers may have one sleep per day instead of two.

SLEEP & SETTLING

  • Negotiate before bed whether 1 or 2 stories are to be read, preferably child to choose story books.
  • Kiss goodnight, cuddle time, tuck into bed and leave room.
  • From 18 months to 3 years, the child may require a nightlight or the hallway light for comfort.
  • If the child comes out of the room, tell him/her to go back to bed or return him/her to the room. Encourage child to walk back to their room themselves, and into bed.
  • If the child keeps getting out of bed, keep putting him/her back into bed.
  • Remain calm, be firm, be consistent and persevere! Children learn from repetition.
  • Reward the positive. PRAISE, PRAISE, PRAISE. Ignore the negative

 

 

PLAY

5 EASY STEPS TO HELP YOUR CHILD PLAY

  • Observe
  • Engage (join in)
  • Follow child’s lead
  • Extend the play
  • Allow child to end play

 

STAGES OF SOCIAL PLAY

All children participate in the various stages of play:

  • 0-2 year olds engage in solitary and onlooker play
  • 2-3 year olds engage in solitary and parallel play
  • 3-5 year olds engage in co-operative play

 

TODDLER BEHAVIOUR

LIMIT SETTING IDEAS FOR TODDLERS

 

Get down to your child’s level:

When talking to your child, get down to their level, use child’s name, make eye contact, holding child’s hands gently if necessary.

 

Acknowledge children’s feelings:

Allow children to speak about sad things that happen. Acknowledge their feelings of anger, using words to describe these feelings. ‘I can see you’re frustrated, point ot what you want.’

 

Be firm:
Set reasonable limits, explain them, and enforce them.

 

Be consistent:
If you allow jumping on the bed one day and prohibit it the next, it will confuse your child and undermine your attempts to her her/him to listen when you ask her/him to do something.

 

Be assertive and specific:
‘You need to sit at the table when you are eating.’

 

Use positive language:
Rather than saying, ‘Don’t stand on the chair’, say ‘Sit on the chair’

 

Give opportunities to problem solve:
Give limited choices
Cut down on warnings
Link consequences directly to the problem behaviour
 

For toddler cues, see the handout below.

FEEDING

0-4 MONTHS

By day, after a baby has been fed, they can be kept up for 30 minutes to 1 hour having some playtime.
When babies have been up for ½ to 1 hour after feed times and become grizzly this is often an indication that they are either bored or tired.
If a change in scenery or activity does not help, assume the baby is tired and settle to sleep in the usual manner, and continue re-settling when he/she disturbs until close to the next feed time.

 

4-5 MONTHS

A pattern of 5 bottle/breast feeds and 2-3 day time sleeps works well with this age group.

 

6-8 MONTHS

By six months of age most babies have commenced one or more meals a day.
Up to eight months of age it is suggested that milk is offered first and supplemented with food, 30 minutes to 1 hour later.

 

9-12 MONTHS

From nine months, food may be offered before breast or formula feeds, however it is suggested giving a mild feed first in the morning as infant has gone through the night without a feed.
Most babies now are having 3 ml feeds and 3 meals per day and supplementing fluids with water or well diluted juice from a cup.
Morning and afternoon tea can be offered with finger foods such as cut up fresh fruit, dry biscuits or cheese.

 

TODDLERS

From 12 months toddlers require 600 mls of milk products yoghurt, custard and cheese.

ROUTINES

9-12  MONTHS DAILY PATTERNS

From nine months most babies settle into a pattern of two daytime sleeps, one in the morning and one in the afternoon 1-2 hours.
From nine months, food may be offered before breast or formula feeds, however it is suggested giving a mild feed first in the morning as infant has gone through the night without a feed.
Most babies now are having 3 ml feeds and 3 meals per day and supplementing fluids with water or well diluted juice from a cup.
Morning and afternoon tea can be offered with finger foods such as cut up fresh fruit, dry biscuits or cheese.

 

TODDLERS - DAILY PATTERNS 

From 12 months toddlers require 600 mls of mil products yoghurt, custard and cheese.
At approximately 14 months toddlers may have one sleep per day instead of two. At times they may require two sleeps.

At around 16 months toddlers may have one sleep per day instead of two. Encourage a predictable daily pattern that incorporates a daytime sleep up to 3 years of age. Establish clear limits of behaviour with regard to sleep issues so the child knows what is expected of them. Follow through on a consistent bedtime ritual

 

BED TIME ROUTINE FOR CHILDREN IN A BED   

Negotiate before bed whether 1 or 2 stories are to be read, preferably child to choose story books.
Kiss goodnight, cuddle time, tuck into bed and leave room
From 18 months to 3 years, the child may require a nightlight or the hallway light for comfort.
If the child comes out of the room, tell him/her to go back to bed or return him/her to the room. Encourage child to walk back to their room themselves, and into bed.
If the child keeps getting out of bed, keep putting him/her back into bed.
Remain calm, be firm, be consistent and persevere! Children learn from repetition.
Reward the positive. PRAISE, PRAISE, PRAISE. Ignore the negative.