Dealing with the Unexpected

Dealing with the Unexpected

Children (like most humans) are creatures of habit. When something unexpected happens it can throw things upside down in their little world.

Children, especially young children, will struggle to discuss the changes that happened but you will know they are affected by it through their behaviour.

 

The following are some common things that happen when the unexpected happens:

1. Increased Tantrums

2. Non-compliance/Defiance

3. Increased Emotion (tears and whining)

4. Interrupted Sleep

5. Decreased/Increased Appetite

 

Your child is being affected by the unexpected event, Now What???

First, let’s talk about a situation that we went through about a year and a half ago…

Unexpectedly, my husband and father of our then 5-year-old ended up in the hospital for just under a week. This event rocked us all to the core. I wanted to curl up and separate from the world; however, this adorable little 5-year-old had a different plan.

The little guy kept asking the same questions over and over again. He would replay the situation with his words. He would tell anyone that would listen (sometimes that meant he was telling strangers details). This was hard for me to process; however, I knew the importance of letting him talk so I did. We never shut him down. He slowly stopped talking about it on his own.

He asked to stick with his routine. I thought it was best to keep him home from school the day after his dad ended up in the hospital. He wanted to go to school. I then sent him to school. Children thrive on the expected! He was comfortable going to school and wanted to be there. So off to school he went. He also wanted to go to Beavers that night so he did.

He needed to see that Daddy was okay so we went to the hospital to see him but did not stay long. We kept the visit short and sweet.

Then he asked for answers. He needed to know why things happened the way they did so I explained things in terms I knew he would understand. I did not shelter him from the experience. Instead, I involved him and kept things as age appropriate as possible.

We often try to protect our kids. In protecting them we do not give them the information they need. This can be harmful.  Children will start to use their imaginations to come up with reasons that things happen. It is best to keep them in the loop. This really helped our little man.

In time, he was able to move on from the situation. He actually moved on much quicker then the adults did.

 

Steps to Take when the Unexpected Happens:

1. Keep to the regular routine as much as possible

2. Let your child talk (no shutting them down)

3. Do not take any outbursts personally

4. Keep things age appropriate

 

In summary, do not underestimate your child’s ability to handle the situation. Your child will thrive if you keep things age appropriate and as close to their routine as possible. If you have any further comments, please feel free to comment in the comments section under this post.

Sleep Sack: Is it really necessary?

Sleep Sack: Is it really necessary?

There are so many different gadgets and things available for infants and toddlers now that is can be overwhelming as a parent. You may find yourself asking…Is this really necessary?

Is a sleep sack something that is needed or not??

If you are reading this as a new parent I want you to fast forward in your thoughts to when your child is climbing out of the crib way before you want them to! Now stop and think about how a sleep sack can prevent a child from lifting their leg over the rail. Run do not walk to the store and get your child a sleep sack!

It is much easier to get your child into a sleep sack as a baby then it is as a toddler to prevent the crib climbing. This is the main reason I recommend a sleep sack. It is not the only reason though.

Another reason for a sleep sack is for warmth. Both the American and Canadian Pediatric Societies do not recommend blankets in the crib until at least one year of age. The sleep sack is wearable and moves with the child; therefore, it is acceptable.

How do I know which one is best?

There are so many different types of sleep sacks out there these days that he can be overwhelming. The main things I look for is temperature regulation and how easy is it for a toddler to get out of it.

You can get a sleep sack for different temperatures. Each sleep sack has a TOG label. This label will help you decide which one will keep your child warm without causing him to overheat. I had one that was made from bamboo which would flex with the temperature. You can spend a fortune on finding one that works so I would ask your local mom’s group for their favourite one and TOG level. The TOG level best for my son may be different for your child is you live in a warmer or colder climate.

To keep our little man warmer in the winter he would wear a fleece sleeper under the sleep sack. In the summer he could often be found in a light sleeper or just a diaper shirt in his sleep sack.

In my personal opinion, the most important thing to look for is how a child can get out of the sleep sack with ease. The ones with the button on the shoulder were easy for our little man to get out of. We had one with a zipper down the middle. The zipper started at the top of the sack and zipped down. The good thing with the zipper in the middle was when he started experimenting with unzipping it, I was able to turn it around so the zipper was in the back. I did this a few times and then he stopped trying to undo it.

 

As with all decisions we make as a parent the best decision is the one you make for your child. This post is my opinion of why I like a sleep sack. As always be the parent you want to be!

Have I ruined my child’s sleep?

Have I ruined my child’s sleep?

 

I will often get asked if a child’s sleep is now ruined because a parent had to sleep with the child or had to offer more support.

There are times when my little man puts things into a perspective way better than I can. Last night he was struggling with going to sleep, Thank You Day Light Savings! When he really struggles my husband or I will lay with him.

As we were laying there I was holding him (a great big snuggle and a hug). We were listening to a guided meditation about a Koala Bear that was not able to go to sleep (here is a link to it). The meditation was talking about how the bear was not able to lay still in his bed. My little man said to me “someone needs to hold that bear down”. I laughed to myself.

Then I realized that my little man understood what I was doing. I was holding him down to help him sleep. After he made that comment I was even happier about the fact that I was able to assist him and he knew exactly what I was there for.

A short time after our snuggle our little man was able to go to sleep. Does this mean I will have to do this every night? No, it does not. After children have mastered the skill of falling to sleep with minimal assistance they often do not want you there.

There will be a time, or two thousand, that they require extra support. There is no harm to offer the support. Some children may need you to slowly remove the support and others will adapt quickly without issue.

The point of this post is to remind you to do what you feel is right for your child. Slowly but surely you will get them to be doing exactly what is best for them.

Take care and as always, Be the Parent you want to Be!!

Sleep Regression? What is it?

Sleep Regression? What is it?

Sleep Regressions are talked about a great deal when talking about infant or child sleep. If you speak to a parent with a young child and you mention the word regression you will most likely see a look of fear in their eyes.

Honestly, I feel that these regressions are actually overrated! The fact is that there are many reasons for a change in a child’s sleep and stating if a child is (insert age) they will have a regression in sleep is not necessarily the case. I believe that a number of sleep-related issues get blamed on a specific age when in fact the change in sleep can usually be tied to a developmental milestone or change in sleep needs.

 

What is a Sleep Regression?

A sleep regression is when your child’s sleep takes a turn to the difficult side. You had a few weeks or days of great sleep and then wham, you are up several times or fighting with your child to get them the sleep they require.

 

When is it a True Regression?

Changes in a child’s sleep will happen several times. If the change in your child’s sleep has lasted for more than 4 days and cannot be blamed on an illness or growth spurt then you are in the midst of a regression.

 

The Most Talked about Regressions Demystified!

 
4-month Regression: 

This is when our little ones are moving from the newborn sleep cycle to the sleep cycle that is similar to yours and mine. They are moving from 2 stages of sleep to 4 to 5 stages of sleep per sleep cycle.

8 to 9-month Regression:

This is typically related to a developmental milestone. At this age, there is so much growth going on that is does play havoc with our child’s sleep.

Typically, the developmental milestones that are occurring at this age are as follows: learning to crawl, standing, walking and babbling.

18-month Regression

This can usually be related to increased separation anxiety. This age is famous for this! It does make putting your little one down for sleep a bit more difficult.

2/2.5-year-old Regression

This is usually when our little ones have a verbal explosion! Has your child started to talk a great deal more? This is usually the culprit to sleep-related issues at this age.

 

Thanks for the Explanation, Now what?

The best thing you can do if you suspect that your child is dealing with a sleep regression is to be patient. If your child had a good sleeping pattern before and you do not introduce any new sleep props your child should be back on track in 4 to 7 days.

If a week has passed and you are still dealing with the sleep regression then I would recommend that you look at your child’s wake time. Your child will most likely benefit from a 15 minute increased wake time.

You adjusted the wake time and are still having issues then I would look for a hidden sleep prop or a prop that your child wakes up requesting.

 

If you are a Parenting Foundations Member, please feel free to send me a message so I can help you further. If you are not a member yet you can click here to learn more about becoming a member which gives you direct access to me, Brenda from Parenting Foundations.

Bored much??

Bored much??

Before you whisk your little one off to have a nap stop to see if she is bored. Yes, you read that correctly!! Babies can get bored.

Let’s put this into perspective. Our little ones are little humans and all humans (big or small) can get bored. Yes, you try to provide entertainment for your child but your child can get bored of you 🙂

What are the signs that your child is bored?

Often a bored child will rub their eyes, look away from you, start to fuss or full on cry! These are also the signs that a child is tired.

Now what?

Before you try a nap or bedtime try switching the activity you are doing. So if your little one is laying on the floor try putting your little one in an Exercauser or Jumper. You can also try placing your child on their stomach or back. Then if all else fails to work take your little one into a different room.

The different room can act as a change of scenery. I do not know about you but I know that if I am looking at the same thing for a long period of time I do get really bored!

A great example of this comes flashing back when I talk about this. Our little man would have been about 3 to 4 months old. I was at home with him and our then 16-year-old. Well, little man was not a happy man and I could not get him to settle. His big brother was doing homework and he stepped away from his work to come help. He simply took him from me and went walking around the house. When he went in the pantry little man stopped the crying right away and he was looking all over the place.

If your child has not been awake long enough change up the activity to see if she is bored before trying to put her down for a nap or bedtime.