Sleep Regression v’s Growth Spurts

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You think you have cracked it? Your baby/toddler is finally sleeping through the night over a consecutive amount of days/weeks and them BOOM!!, 1 night of waking turns into every night. Is it a growth spurt or sleep regression, (the bane of every parents life).How do they differ? Amelia has started to wake again at night with “night terrors”,which is very common around 17/18 months, more on that next week!

So how do growth spurts and sleep regression differ? Baby will go through far more baby growth spurts during the first year than she will sleep regressions. Additionally,when reading below, you will see that sleep regressions have much more to do with mental and physical development, and less to do with simple growth and weight gain. What’s more, the sleeplessness that comes with growth spurts has a cause – baby growth spurts cause babies to wake more often at night, and early from naps, because baby is hungry and needs to eat. But that’s not true of sleep regressions; during a sleep regression, your baby will wake more at night and have interrupted naps, but you may not be able to find a cause at all (indeed, because often there is no cause that you can see – it’s due to mental and physical development). There are three sleep regressions that we commonly see happen during the first year of a child’s life, and since each one can last for 6 weeks (or perhaps more, in extreme cases!), it can feel like you are moving from one regression straight into another.

Commonly there are three sleep regressions in the first year of a child’s life.
4 Month Sleep Regression This can sometimes be the worst sleep regression,as it can feel like you have a newborn all over again.and napping well before the regression started! The 4 month regression happens because your baby’s brain and sleep patterns are maturing and changing.

8-10 Month Sleep RegressionThe cause of this regression is pretty easy to spot, for most parents – at this age, your baby is going through major developmental milestones! From 8-10 months, most babies are becoming expert crawlers, they’re pulling up on furniture and beginning to cruise around, and they may even be starting to walk. What’s more, your baby is learning a lot of hand-eye coordination at this time – by 8 months, most babies are becoming able to spot a toy they want, creep/crawl over to it, pick it up with their pincer grip, and then inspect it closely (and perhaps try to eat it!).These few months are an explosion of physical development for most children, so it’s no wonder their sleep is disrupted.

12 Month Sleep Regression
This sleep regression is less-common; not every child will go through this one. That may be because it has more to do with naps, and therefore doesn’t have the same overall impact on sleep. Specifically, this regression is characterised by a 12-month old suddenly refusing to take two naps, and refusing to sleep during the first morning nap. Lots of parents assume this means it’s time to transition from two naps to one, but we discourage this. Most babies aren’t actually ready for just one nap per day until between 15 months and 18 months. So really, this regression has a lot to do with your baby consolidating sleep differently – by 12 months, your baby is likely sleeping very long stretches at night, and getting just 2-3 hours of sleep in naps.

Growth Spurts
Your baby of course won’t experience growth spurts at exactly these times (babies aren’t nearly so predictable!) but you can use these as rough estimates. Baby growth spurts are short intervals (usually about a week) during which time your baby will have an increased appetite, and will often wake more at night to feed. And baby growth spurts affect sleep, too. During these baby growth spurts, your baby may also seem extra-sleepy, so even though sleep may be interrupted by extra feedings, you may find that your baby’s overall sleep amounts per day are greater during the growth spurt than they usually are.

•7-10 days
•2 weeks
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•8 weeks
•12 weeks
•4 months
•6 months
•8.5 months
•10.5 months
•12.5 months

Please feel free to comment & add any extra advice.

T & A xxxx

P.S. Voting for the Irish Blog Awards is now in its final week. I have been nominated for an award for Best Blog Post, for my piece on Pregnancy:The No Bullshit Guide. Voting is open to the public and takes just two clicks and 30 seconds. Every vote counts and is greatly appreciated! So please get voting here. • Tick the circle next to A Little Londoner •Scroll to the bottom and click vote. Thank you xxx

Milk Carton Bird Feeder

Today we got crafty (or I did), Amelia looked on and painted on some paper. She loves looking out at the birds, who already have a plastic feeder outside our back doors, but I thought it would be nice for “us” make one of our own.

So here is what you need:

•Milk Carton
•Scissors
•Knife
•Paint
•Paintbrush
•Brown Card
•String
•Twig

The pictures are self explanatory, be sure to take the cap off the bottle and cut out the spout, also cut the lip at the top of the carton. Alternatives to making a card roof are twigs or lollipop sticks.

Hope you have fun making this.

T & A xxx

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Apple & Blackberry Crumble

The thorny brambles are abundant with delicious blackberries, and best of all they are free,if you are lucky enough to live the country, you should take full advantage and get out picking. If not, then the supermarkets are well stocked up on seasonal juicy fat blackberries.

This Apple & Blackberry Crumble retains the texture of the fruit by cooking the fruit first. Hope you enjoy, and get a chance to make it. It’s delicious, especially served with a scoup of vanilla ice-cream.

INGREDIENTS

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For the Crumble Topping

•120g plain flour
•60g caster sugar
•60g unsalted butter at room temperature, cut into pieces

For the Fruit Compote

•300g Braeburn apples
•30g unsalted butter
•30g demerara sugar
•115g blackberries
•¼ tsp ground cinnamon
•vanilla ice cream, to serve

METHOD

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1.Heat oven to 190C/170C fan/gas Tip the flour and sugar into a large bowl. Add the butter, then rub into the flour using your fingertips to make a light breadcrumb texture. Do not overwork it or the crumble will become heavy. Sprinkle the mixture evenly over a baking sheet and bake for 15 mins or until lightly coloured.

2.Meanwhile, for the compote, peel, core and cut the apples into 2cm dice. Put the butter and sugar in a medium saucepan and melt together over a medium heat. Cook for 3 mins until the mixture turns to a light caramel. Stir in the apples and cook for 3 mins. Add the blackberries and cinnamon, and cook for 3 mins more. Cover, remove from the heat, then leave for 2-3 mins to continue cooking in the warmth of the pan.

3.To serve, spoon the warm fruit into an ovenproof gratin dish, top with the crumble mix, then reheat in the oven for 5-10 mins. Serve with vanilla ice cream.

With Falling Leaves Comes Changes in Sleep in Babies/Children

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Sleep….or lack of, is something every mother spends the first few months/years of their children’s lives consumed in thought of.

Autumn is right around the corner and along with the crisp chill, beautiful leaves,warmer clothes,pumpkin-flavored lattes (oh Starbucks how I miss you) and fires restarting in every home, the weather won’t be the only thing that changes this autumn. You may notice some changes in your baby’s sleep, too.

Cooler nights ~ Adults and children sleep better and deeper when it is cooler, just remember not to over compensate by wrapping them up too much. A baby will cry if it is too cold, it will not wake if too hot.

Early to bed ~ you may notice that your baby’s bedtime becomes a little earlier. This is normal our circadian rhythms (the signals that tell our brain when it is time to be awake, and when it is time to sleep) are closely connected to light.

Sleeping longer ~ The long, bright days of summer are fun, but they can cause babies and toddlers to sleep less at night. Bedtimes tend to be later in the summer, and since the sun comes up early, our kids tend to get up early, too!The longer darker nights of autumn means baby may sleep longer (hurrah!!!) If your baby is sleeping more at night, you may find that his/her naps are affected. That can happen because a baby’s overall sleep amounts tend to remain the same from day-to-day, so if more of that sleep is happening at night, then less will happen during the day. If that’s a problem, then you may need to work on naps by shortening your baby’s nighttime sleep, leaving more sleep available for nap time.

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Sleep tight,

T & A xxxxx

*In case you didn’t know, I have been nominated for an Irish Blog Award, under the category Best Blog Post. It is my post Pregnancy:The No Bullshit Guide that has been nominated. Voting is open to the public and takes just 30 seconds and 3 clicks. Click here to vote. •Click the circle next to A Little Londoner •Scroll to the bottom and click vote. Thanks a million, every vote counts & is very much appreciated. xx

Doidy Cup Review

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Have you tried or heard of a Doidy cup? When Amelia was much younger I remember one of my NCT girls speaking about them. We were recently kindly sent a Doidy cup from Bickiepegs and have spent the last few weeks trying and testing it.

So what is the hype about this slanted training cup that has no lid or spout (scary). Designed and made in the UK The DOIDY Cup was scientifically designed with its unique slant to teach children to drink from a rim and NOT a spout.

•Weaning ~ The DOIDY Cup is an ideal aid to weaning as the natural mouth action used is the same as in to teach your child to drink from a rim.

•Starting with a small amount of liquid in the DOIDY Cup, your child will soon become adept at drinking from a rim therefore avoiding the problems bottles or sippy cups may cause.

•The unique slant of the cup enables children to drink easily as they can see the contents without thrusting their heads forward and downwards. They also learn to put the cups down properly.

•Children as young as 3+ months old (also can be used from birth with mom’s help) find the two handled cup easy to hold and drink from because:

•The contents are visible to them due to the sloping design,there is no forward or downward movement of the head.

•They do not have to tip the cup up to check the contents

•They learn to put the cup down correctly

•Health professionals promote the use of a DOIDY cup to help prevent premature tooth decay.

•Speech Therapists use the DOIDY to teach lip and tongue control. It is also used by the Disabled, the elderly & people with Alzheimers. Red and yellow cups are more visible to the partially sighted.

•It is more hygienic than spouted cups. It can be sterilized, is dishwasher-proof (top shelf) and freezer proof

•The DOIDY is UNICEF baby friendly and is endorsed by the NCT

*NEVER LEAVE AN INFANT UNATTENDED WHILST FEEDING or DRINKING

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So how did we find it? First up I don’t think I would be brave enough to give this cup to a 3 month old,I know the research is all there and obviously the parent would hold the cup, but I think I would definitely wait until at least 6/7 months.

In theory I love the idea and to an extent it worked. The first day of using the Doidy cup I just filled a small amount of water to begin with.Amelia was able to hold the cup,look inside,taking a sip, swallowing and put it down. So I bravely filled it up half way and this is ended in disaster.She inhaled water through her nose and ended up coughing and spluttering, and then it became a laugh and a game,she turned it upside down and thought it was great fun to pour water all over herself.

Next day we tried again, this time I held the cup for her. She eventually got the hang of taking smaller sips of the water.Three weeks later we now use the cup for every evening meal. I would never leave her unsupervised with the cup, and sometimes we still have tipping water incidents, but she most defitnetly has the hang of drinking from a “big girl cup”.

I love the range of bright colours and it is durable, it has been dropped on our kitchen tiles more times than I can count. My only criticism towards the cup is that it doesn’t come with a lid, so you are unable to take a drink out with you.

For more info on Doidy Cups and to purchase see here.

What are your thoughts on the Doidy Cup?

T & A xx

Love The Little Things Week #14

Happy Friday everyone!I’m a bit late with this post today, I’m writing this over coffee and breakfast. This week has been fairly tough for me. I have had the most horrendous cold which turned into a flu,I’ve never had the flu before and this really floored me. I have being going to bed at 5pm when my husband gets in from work, and really we haven’t left the house all week as I have not had the energy, other than yesterday evening we made it to the swings. I think not working in a hospital environment for the last 17 months means my immune system was not as great as what it was,and just generally being back at work has me a bit exhausted. Today I feel much better and seem to have my appetite back.

Onto this weeks “Little Loves”, hosted by Morgana over at Butwhymummywhy, and don’t forget to check out all the other great blogs that link up
every Friday.

READ

imageLife As Our Little Family, I really enjoyed Ka’s post ‘Dear Daddy’,where she touched on how dads also feel the guilt of going out to work and missing out on events in their childrens lives. It has given me some food for thought on how we just assume the guilt lies with the mummy.

•We got a bunch of new books for Amelia last week, do have been reading them to her.Favourites at the moment are Goldilocks & The 3 Bears and Goodnight Moon. (more…)

Tasty Ham & Cheese Muffins

These muffins are quick & tasty, and use ingredients found in every fridge and cupboard. Perfect for lunch,an after school snack or for tea time.

I didn’t have any muffin cases so I just cut some greaseproof paper into squares, I lightly greased the tin and pressed each paper square down with a cup.

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•Cooking Time 25 mins
•Suitable from 1 year +
•Suitable for freezing
•Tasty healthy snack

INGREDIENTS

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•250g of grated cheese
•270g of self raising flour
•350 mls of milk
•3 slices of chopped ham
•Chopped tomato (optional)
•sprinkle of mixed herbs (optional)

METHOD

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1)Sieve flour and make a well in the middle, pour in milk, cheese, herbs and 2/3 of the chopped ham. 2)Mix until combined.
3)Spoon into 12 large muffin tins and place a little of the remaining ham and a few chopped tomatoes on top of each one. 4)Bake at 180 degrees celcius for 25 minutes until tops are golden brown.

Serve with a side salad or enjoy just on their own!

Enjoy,

T & A xxxx

Beef Casserole with Sweet Potato and Apple

Red meat is your baby’s best source of iron and they will love it cooked with sweet-tasting root vegtables,such as sweet potato or parsnip.

I have made triple the quantity listed below to make enough for us all. The recipe has been taken from my book Annabel Karmel Weaning.

•Makes 4 portions
•Suitable from 6 months
•Prep Time 12 Minutes
•Cooking Time 1 hr 25 minutes
•Suitable for freezing

INGRIENDIENTS

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•1 tbsp olive oil
•1 small red onion,peel & chop
•1/2 celery stick chopped
•1 medium carrott, peel & dice
•1 garlic clove, peel & crush
•115g lean stewing steak cut into cubes
•1 tbsp tomato purée
•1 small sweet potato, peel & dice
•1 small eating apple,peel & chop
•1 1/2 tsp fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp dried thyme
•250ml chicken or vegetable stock or water
•2 tbsp apple juice

METHOD

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1) Preheat the oven to 160C (140C fan), Gas 3
2)Heat the oil in a casserole dish and sauté the onion,celery and carrot for 5 minutes,storing until softened and lightly browned.Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute,stirring.
3)Stir in the cubes of meat and sauté for 2-3 minutes until browned.Stir in the remaining ingredients.Bring to the boil then cover and cook in the oven for 1 hr.Stir halfway through.After 1 hour, remove the lid and continue to cook for another 15 minutes.
4)Purée until smooth in a food processor or place in a bowl and use a hand blender.For older babies chop by hand to the desired consistency.
5.Freeze in individual portions.

* I use babypotz for freezing all of Amelia’s meals.

Enjoy, T & A xxx

*Have you voted for us in the Irish Blog Awards? We have been nominated for an award for Best Blog Post. It takes just 30 seconds •Click here to vote •Click circle next to our name •Click vote at bottom of the page.

What My Daughter Has Taught Me

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Motherhood is without doubt the hardest job in the world. There is no manual,training course or “how to” book for each individual child.Its all a learning process, which will probably go on until she is well into her (Amelia’s) teens. So in her short 17 months on this planet, this little lady has taught me quite a few things about motherhood and myself.

1.Motherhood has taught me “the art of patience”. I am a list maker,organiser and planner. I have learned that babies/toddlers don’t care what is #3 on the list and that it’s meant to happen at 1:30 pm ( this is how I lived my life prior to baby). Plans are made to be broken.

2.Being a mum has taught me that sometimes I just need to listen to my own advice and instinct.Because sometimes….we just know!

3.Motherhood has taught me to just accept things. The house will be messy no matter how many times it’s cleaned, babies take their time at doing EVERYTHING,but destroy a house within seconds.Sometimes you just need to “let it go” (I break into song every time! Feckin Frozen!)

4.Motherhood has taught me, just because I am a mum,it doesn’t mean I always get it right when it comes to parenting, and yes, I do the wrong thing sometimes.

5.I learned about unconditional love when studying Hamlet at school. Being a mum has taught me to feel unconditional love.

6.Motherhood has taught me to love without selfishness.I see the world with fresh eyes,seeing and enjoying new things I would not have seen before.

7.Motherhood has thought me that being a good mum everyday is all about putting someone else’s (your child’s) needs first.

8.Time is so precious, it goes by like lightening.I have been taught to try and enjoy every moment, even the bad days, though sometimes I just want to forget them.

9.Motherhood has taught me to feel privileged.Privileged to have been pregnant, had a safe delivery and a healthy baby.

10.It has thought me that the best things in life most certainly cannot be bought.

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T & A xxxx

WIN a £150 WAYFAIR GIFT CARD

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Wayfair offers a zillion things home” – the largest selection of home furnishings and décor cross all styles and price points. With an unparalleled selection of more than seven million home items from thousands of brands, Wayfair helps people find the perfect product at the right price. Their extensive selection and superior customer service coupled with the convenience of online shopping, make it easier than ever before to find exactly what you want for your home at a price you can afford.

From children’s furniture to pretty cushions and other household furniture, Wayfair will have your house looking stylish in the click of a button. We have teamed up with Wayfair to offer one of my lucky readers a chance to win £150 gift card to spend on any item/items of your choice, including free delivery. The giveaway is open to residents of Ireland and the UK only. I would love this prize, the website offers so many choices of products. I have listed a few of my favourite items for children’s bedrooms below, but I could honestly furnish my whole house from the site. For a look at Wayfairs whole range go to www.wayfair.co.uk

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So, do you want to be the winner of a £150 Wayfair gift card? Here is the fun part,best of luck everyone. Don’t forget, the more options you choose to vote by on the rafflecopter below, you increase your chances of wining. Each entry is checked. So be sure to follow,like and share. T & A xxx

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