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28-08-2016
dr Amit bang

Sleep

Developing good sleep hygiene is one of the most important aspects of child care. Certain aspect already been discussed in the section on sleep for babies 0 to 6 months of age. In India most parents put their babies to sleep in the same bed as themselves. In such a case every precaution has to be taken by them to ensure that the baby is not harmed when they roll over or move in the bed. If one cannot be sure about it, then it is better to put the baby to sleep in a crib to start with.

First and foremost step in developing good sleep hygiene is to put the babies in bed when they are drowsy and allow them to fall asleep all by themselves rather than putting in the bed after they sleep off You can rock them, or sing to them drowsy. If you rock them, sing to them. Or feed them till they go into deep; they will expect you to do the same to put them back to sleep when they wake up at night. From the very beginning ensure that babies do not develop any such sleep associations.

Babies should not get used to only the mother putting them to sleep. Fathers also should take an active interest in putting their babies to sleep. You can also give the baby a nice bath with warm water before bed time. An infant (0 to 12 months) has to be put to sleep on his/her back. And never on the tummy. This is to avoid accidental suffocation and death. Give dinner at least 1 or 2 hours before bed time. Establish a good bed time routine. Be consistent and firm about it. Never try to force the children to sleep when they are not sleepy at all. That will only make the child resist you more secure, and will lead to further sleep problems.

My son is 11/2 years of age. He always  needs me to rock him for falling asleep. Is there any other easier way to make him fall asleep?
Whenever he wakes up in the middle of the night I have to rock him to make him go back to sleep.
You are facing this problem because you have got your son used to getting rocked for falling asleep. You have to gradually and consistently wean him of this habit. Otherwise you will have disturbed sleep, and thus feel extremely tired during the day time. Try giving him his favorite safe toy to hug every time you put him to bed. Do not panic if he cries and asks you to rock him. Be firm; but of course do not let him cry for long. After 3-4 days, he will understand that you are not going to rock him to put him to sleep. He won’t expect you to rock him when he wakes up in the middle of the night because he has learnt to fall asleep by himself.  

My son is 11/2 years of age. He wakes up at night at least twice to drink milk. Is it okay?
Most probably you give him milk every night just before he sleeps. In that case, he would have started associating his sleep with drinking milk. That is why he wants to drink milk to go back to sleep whenever he wakes up at night. Try to wean him off this habit by following  steps similar to what I have written in the previous answer.

My daughter 4 years of age goes to bed only at 12:00 am. She resists if I try to put her to bed early. What should I do?
It is not too late to regularize her sleep. Enforce strict bed time routine. Let the atmosphere at home be quiet and relaxing before bed time. Discourage her form watching TV and playing active sports just before bed time. Encourage her by giving small gifts whenever she goes to bed on time.

My son is one and a half years of age. He grinds his teeth during his sleep. What is the problem with him? Will it affect his teeth in some way?
This is known as ‘bruxism’. It is a relatively common problem with young children. It is said that some children relieve their daytime anxiety and stress by grinding their teeth at night. Try to relieve your son’s daytime anxiety-You might be forcing him to ear what he doesn’t like to, or might be forcing him to toilet train. Try to see that there is no inconsistency in the way either parent handles him from time to time. Do not force him to go to bed. Take him to bed when he feels sleepy.  

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How this class will help the parents?

This class will:

  • Guide the parents in creating interest in foods.
  • Help the parents in their battle against junk foods.
  • Make them aware of how much nutrition actually is required.
  • Guide the parents in creating interest in foods.
  • Promotes the child towards the ultimate aim of developing proper eating habits.
  • Teach the parents about food pyramid, so that they can plan out a proper balanced diet.
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MY BABY is central India's first parenting class. Baby care classes are platform where parents can sit together on an issue related with their child's problems like nutrition, behavior, habit formation etc., and come out with a solution. The aim of such classes is to make parents focused towards promotion of health and habits of their child.