Sleep, feed and behave
14:38 (GMT+2), Thu, 23 August 2012
Practical night planning
Plan ahead for wakeful nights by having everything at hand that you may need, like nappies, bottles, formula, remedies, etc. Keep the lights low and conversation to a minimum, and do what you have to in bed, so that you don’t have to wake totally. Once this is done, simply cuddle together to continue sleep. Don’t check the time or count the number of times your baby wakes, and you’ll soon see that this enables you to feel more rested the next day!
Fluids for babies
As with adults, some babies are more thirsty than others. There are a few general pointers, though: breastmilk is the best beverage and food. Babies under six months seldom need fluids other than milk. From six months, water, a little rooibos, or diluted fruit juice can be given. Water should preferably be boiled and cooled until the baby is six to eight months old, and if you’re worried about the quality of the water in your area. Too many children end up not drinking water at all because parents avoid giving it them, thinking that they won’t like it, and because parents don’t drink enough water themselves. In total, water intake will seldom be more than 350ml a day before the age of one year. Fruit juices are best freshly extracted and strained for small babies, but fruit is best eaten separately. Coffee and tea are not suitable for babies.
Encourage physical activity in little ones. Ball games, bicycle riding and tree-climbing all use up excess energy that can otherwise be channelled into fighting. If little ones come to blows, separate the fighters firmly, which allows time for calming of tempers. Give strict instructions about where each one is allowed, and enforce this. Sending them to the end of the garden or the other side of the house, and forbidding their intrusion into your ‘space’, is a useful technique, too. Let them sort it out themselves, unless there’s bullying.