Toddlers, Big Beds and Sleeping in them!

Over the next week, we will be posting tips on topics that parents have requested on our Facebook page. In this post we start with, 'how to keep toddlers sleeping in their own bed all night!'

When toddlers move from a cot to a bed it is a big transition for them and their parents. Most of them realise pretty quickly that they have the freedom to get out of bed whenever they want to. This new found freedom can make bedtimes and night times more stressful and challenging! However, as with most things with children, if you respond consistently and they understand the clear boundaries that you have set, this new habit doesn't have to become a problem.

Explaining to your child that your expectations are that they go to sleep in their own bed and remain there for the entirety of the night as part of their bedtime routine will define your boundaries from the word go. Try making this conversation fun and interesting, by using their toys and books - a few examples; pointing out characters in books that are sleeping in their beds, telling them their own toys get lonely if they aren't in bed with them, explaining that older siblings or other children you know sleep in their 'big' beds all night.

It is very important, especially if you have a toddler/child that migrates to your bed during the night, to make sure that they feel safe and secure in their bed and their bedroom. Talk to them about this and ask them if there is anything worrying them about sleeping in their bed. Also look at how their room is lit at night and consider a dimly lit night light if they don't already have one. If they do stir or wake in the night, this will enable them to get their bearings as to where they are, which will help reassure them.

If your little one gets out of bed either at bedtime or during the night, the best thing you can do is be consistent and persistent! Try using the 'back in bed technique'. 

Step 1, the first time they come out of bed, tell them it's bedtime and pick them up and place them back in bed, tucking them in, but saying nothing else. 

Step 2, the second time, don't say anything, just pick them up and place them back into bed, tucking them in. 

Thereafter keep repeating step 2 until they are snuggled up in bed and asleep! 

It can be a battle of wills, but stick with it and you will win! It is vital that your child sees that you will stick with it, as this sends them a clear message about what will happen if they get out of bed and will remove some of the incentive to do so.

Don't get me wrong, I know how tough this can be when doing it at the end of a long day or in the middle of the night when you would rather be asleep! But it is a technique that does work if you remain consistent.

This technique is great and one of the most popular, however all children are unique and no one technique works for them all. We do work with some toddlers or children that may need more reassurance and confidence building and alongside the parents we choose to use different methods to achieve independent sleeping in their beds. We of course can advise on this when meeting with families individually.

It is also important to point out we are not against children sleeping in their parent's beds for all or part of the night. If a family is happy with their sleeping arrangements and habits, then there is no problem. It is personal choice as to what works for you as a family unit. We just tend to work with families that have identified a habit or issue that they wish to change and we work closely with them to achieve their goals.

We are always working towards a Blissful family unit, in which ever way you want to achieve it.

Blissful Bath Times!

For many parents, bath time with more than one child can often be a bit of a juggling act! In theory, bath time is meant to be the signal that the day is beginning to slow down and that your children need to begin to unwind ready for a restful night’s sleep. However, this is not always the reality especially when you have more than one bambino; it can be busy, stressful and hectic!

Depending on the age of your children it can be made a little easier to manage by applying different techniques and thought processes. By planning ahead and considering each age and stage of your children’s development, there are various ways that you can make bath time that bit more blissful!

Older children like to feel a sense of responsibility, so by involving them in getting the bath ready, pouring in the bath foam and helping them to safely run the bath water, this can help them have a focus and feel involved. Younger children can be given the opportunity to choose bath toys, perhaps being encouraged by their older sibling as something to do together, even dropping the toys into the water is a role that can be taken on by one child. This can also be turned into a game, of who can make the biggest or smallest splash!

During bath time each child can be involved in helping each other, whether it is washing each other’s feet or passing bottles of shampoo, all these roles encourage independent skills and positive sibling relationships. As a parent we want to always encourage sibling friendships, so any way this can be done is worth doing.

Once the fun of being in the water is over, this can be the time that tiredness and challenging behaviours really start to appear. It’s our child’s way of displaying their exhaustion and their readiness for bed! It is vital at this stage to keep your mood light and fun, even if you really don’t feel like it, as it is really important to keep things as stress free as possible! Use distraction techniques should conflict occur with siblings or with you and focus their minds on roles, such as choosing their pyjamas or brushing their teeth.

It's also key to give your eldest child time and opportunities on their own during their bedtime routine, when they can be independent and not being asked to base their role around a sibling. This can be something as simple as reading in peace and quiet or having the chance to discuss their day with you on a one to one basis once their siblings are in bed or settling down.

In our view one of the loveliest ways to end the day, is all of you snuggled up on a bed, reading a bedtime story! It will bring the family together in such a beautiful and blissful way!

Transferring a sleeping baby

Tip of the Week from our Facebook Page! So many parents ask us about how to transfer babies successfully when asleep from one place to another. They often fall asleep with motion in the pram, car seat or your arms and you then want to be able to settle them into their crib or cot. 

A baby's sleep cycle is about 45 minutes long and a toddler's about 60 minutes long. A baby has two states of sleep - light and deep sleep. The light sleep will be the first 10-15 minutes and the last 10 minutes and during this time your baby will be easily woken. As your baby is falling into a deep sleep they may experience a 'jerk' or 'startle' and this can often wake them. This is a normal reflex and can be helped by swaddling them. It's the middle 20-25 minutes when your baby is in it's deepest sleep and this is the best time to move them to where you want them. Make the transition slow and steady and always placing their head down last.

Sweet dreams xxx

For regular tips and fun posts pop over and 'like' our facebook page: www.facebook.com/blissful.bambino

The School Run

As a mum to school age children aged 5 and 10 years, I have been doing the school run for a fair few years now. There is something really lovely about standing waiting for your child to come out of school, full of chatter as to what they've been up to and often clutching a junk model construction made out of cereal boxes, straws, tin foil and bottle tops! Or perhaps their offering may be a beautiful painting or drawn picture using crayons or felt pens. I've leant from working with many children over the years to never assume what a picture is of! If you ask 'is that a bonfire?', and it's not, you could be met with a rather indignant reply! Use open ended questions would be my advice! 

Then as you head home you begin to hear how their day has unravelled, whether its who helped who, or who sat by who, these are all very important details in your child's world. Often when you hear an amusing story or perhaps a tale that might of taken a slightly different turn, you smile and think how life seems through the eyes of a 5 year old.

Of course one of the questions that most of us parents ask at some point is 'so,what did you do today?', only to be met with the response of 'nothing Mum!!!'

The school run can be a very sociable opportunity for parents to get to know each other, help each other out with the collecting of friend's children, and generally that 'knowing' look that you give to each other on a Monday morning when you realise you have forgotten to remind your child it's their showing assembly and you don't have time to nip back home to collect their prized possession they were intent on showing to the entire school....yep,most of us have been there and done that! Got to love calendars as a parent!! 

It's a time to make wonderful life long friends, that are possibly experiencing the same or similar situations that you might be going through, stages and phases with their children that ring a bell when you chat, and most importantly it's the ability to relay home life to school life and vice versa ,that will make a huge difference to your child's confidence and enjoyment levels.

Make the most of it as you won't be doing it forever!

The Witney Bump to Baby Fair Event

We had a fantastic time at the Witney Bump to Baby Fair today! It was a beautifully organised event by the Slummy Mummies, in particular Mummy L and it was so lovely to see them all again and meet some of their gorgeous bambinos.

The sunshine brought a lot of local families to the event and we didn't stop talking from the moment the doors opened to closing. We met so many fabulous families and we were able to tell then more about ourselves and our passion for what we do. It also allowed them to pick our brains about any parenting topic.

The delicious cupcakes donated by Katie from Little Cow Creative Cakes were very popular and they were enjoyed in the hall's garden in the sun by many! They also helped us raise a further £40 for the Children's Air Ambulance which is amazing, so thank you so much Katie! We will let you know the total raised by the event once the Slummies have finished counting the pennies!

We also received our official certificate for the Slummy Mummies Seal of Approval as you can see in the photo! We are very proud of it and look forward to another Blissful Bambino Party with them again soon.

We very much look forward to attending another bump to baby fair in the future!

Food Throwing!

Tip of the Week from our Facebook Page! Food throwing with babies and toddlers can be very stressful for parents, especially when out in public. Most little ones will do it at some point or another and it can be them experimenting or seeking attention. Although its hard, the best thing you can do is completely ignore the behaviour! Then look to distract them with conversation, a piece of food or a new activity. This distraction does not act as reward for the throwing, but looks to diffuse it and gives it no attention. It is essential to give attention to their good behaviour and you can find by talking to them during mealtimes this keeps them entertained enough to not throw the food in the first place. 

As they get older you can explain to them why you don't want them to throw their food on the floor and for the majority they will grow out of it if it doesn't get a reaction from you or other carers..You can also try giving them a plate or area on their highchair and ask them to put the food they don't want in it. This can help give them another focus at mealtimes.

Just be consistent and patient, it won't last forever!

For regular Tips please pop over and like our Facebook Page:

www.facebook.com/blissful.bambino

Reach for the Stars!

We have been up and running for over 8 months now as Blissful Bambino and in this time we have met many fabulous families, some awaiting the arrival of their baby and others already enjoying the journey of parenthood!  It is so satisfying to work so closely with parents to help them achieve their goals, we really do love our work!

We are always looking to improve Blissful Bambino for our families and this includes our website too!  We have our Client Testimonials for the feedback on our services, which we are always thrilled to receive. We would love your feedback on our website though! Does it have all of the information you hoped for? Does the layout work for you? Are there any changes that you would suggest? Any other comments?

Please either leave a comment here or email us at blissfulbambino@ymail.com with any comments or suggestions.

Thank you so much!

Faye and Sophie
xxx

Guest Post - Yoga in Pregnancy and the Postnatal Period

Pregnancy Yoga

Yoga is one of the best ways to exercise during pregnancy. A gentle, safe way of keeping toned and supple without strain, keeping aches and pains at bay, energy flowing, relaxing mind and body, preparing for the physical demands of childbirth and motherhood.

We recommend beginning classes following the 14th week of your pregnancy and continuing throughout, once or twice a week, ideally in order to gain maximum benefit.

A minimum of 6 classes enables you to acquire a basic understanding of the main techniques. The benefits of yoga increases in proportion to the woman’s familiarity with the techniques taught, and familiarity comes through repetition and variation on a core range of practices.

As a general rule, all our classes offer an integrated mix of breath work, postures and relaxation. It involves holding postures passively for sustained periods, encouraging softness, deep internal release and developing flexibility. The dynamic movements focus on strength, stamina and toning muscles. By bringing both the passive and dynamic postures to our practice we become calm and energised, increasing our healing potential, promoting harmony, and improving overall vitality.

One of the best things about our classes is the final relaxation when you get a chance to really let go and re-connect with your baby over a 10-15 mins talk through relaxation – all the mums love this, for some it’s the only chance they get to really let go!

Please visit our website to see the benefits of pregnancy yoga classes.

Did you know you are entitled to paid time off work for pregnancy yoga classes? See details here.

Postnatal Yoga mother and baby

The postnatal period is a very special time for mother and baby and also this period is one of great change and adjustment. During this time a woman is vulnerable to stress and strain on many different levels, so postnatal yoga is gentle and therapeutic. The emphasis is upon nurturing and support, at a physical level the practices are designed to promote ease and comfort, stabilizing the pelvis, toning the abdominal region, and supporting the lower back.

We take a relaxed approach, so during the class you’re always welcome to take time out to feed, change or play with your baby.

Please visit our website to see the benefits of postnatal yoga and to Download our brochure for postnatal recovery.

About Satya Yoga

Zena, Founder of Satya Yoga Oxford is a passionate teacher who discovered yoga over 10 years ago at the Sivananda Centre in the Bahamas in 2003, then spent a year teaching at the Sivananda Centre in Putney. When pregnant with her first baby, she decided to qualify with Birthlight (www.birthlight.com) and began teaching pre and postnatal yoga and is now on a 3 year British Wheel of Yoga Diploma course with Maarten Vermaase for general yoga classes.

Please visit our site for Yoga classes timetable.

Guest Post from Louise Hamilton, Author of Mummy Diaries: Pregnancy - Stumbling into the Unknown

I was asked by Blissful Bambino to do a blog post about my book, and why I wrote it. It sounds silly but I instantly got writers block. Why did I write my book? 

Well, I know I had a tough time during my pregnancy, and in the early stages getting it all down on paper was a great way to organise my thoughts, and come to terms with the idea of becoming a mum. Then it became habit, a comfort, a therapy, a friend. Now you’re all probably rolling your eyes ‘A friend? In a diary?!  She must have been a real loner!’ and you’d be completely wrong. I have so many friends who were there for me, but I felt an overwhelming sense of loneliness as I was the only one of my group of friends who had fallen pregnant. I felt like no one truly understood what I was going through. Also the future of my relationship was uncertain. The pregnancy itself was unexpected, it was unplanned and even though I’d been with my partner Luke 2 1/2 years we didn’t feel ready for this life-changing news. Luke and I lived separately, and since finding out I was pregnant, he was behaving like an ostrich with his head in the sand – refusing to even acknowledge the pregnancy ‘situation’.  

I felt like I was in a crowded room screaming and no-one noticed.  Everyone was just busy getting on with their own lives and although they were there for me as much as a friend can be, there were days and evenings of stabbing loneliness. I didn’t want to put all of my problems onto my friends, so I discovered the Babycentre website and chatted to complete strangers who were going through similar stresses. 

The trigger to discovering the online chat rooms, which formed the foundations of my book, was a threatened miscarriage I had when I was about 7 weeks pregnant. I have never been so scared or been in so much pain in my life, I was bleeding excessively and after a hospital trip I was ordered complete bed rest. It was an agonising 2 days before I could get up and walk about. I had a scan which confirmed baby was alive, and until I gave birth 6 months later I never really fully relaxed. 

Basically, I had a pretty rubbish time of pregnancy, my partner was as much emotional support as a toothbrush, and I was the first of my friends stumbling into the unknown that is motherhood. I was scared, didn’t know what to expect, my body and relationships were changing - although I was in denial about it I was drifting away from my friends. 

I was a hormonal and emotional mess, and none of the baby books I had read mentioned anything about things like: excessive discharge, leg spasms, intense nightmares, chubby lady area, crusty nipples – GIANT nipples, boobs so veiny that they resemble a road map, hot sweats, weeing when you laugh, cough or sneeze – or just for no reason.. (All thoroughly unattractive). Pregnancy as a whole is completely unknown territory – it feels like every day you wake up with a new pregnancy symptom or ailment. Having your whole body taken over – you’re growing an entire new human being from scratch - is amazing, so each new symptom, movement, the sheer size of your swollen belly and the fact you can’t see your feet or reach them to even put socks on is all unexpected to someone who has never been pregnant before!

So, my diary was full to the brim with my scribbles – how did it turn into a book?

Well, I used to read extracts of my diary to my friends and depending what the extract was about it would physically affect them. They would giggle, or hug me then leave the room to have a cry.  It was only when reading about one particularly amusing incident with a girl inappropriately groping my pregnant bump in a bar, and I responded to this weird gropey girl by grabbing her sizable breasts, that one of my friends (after spitting out her mouthful of tea) said I should type it out properly for others to read. I didn’t think anyone would be interested in my scribbles but it appears people are!

The most challenging part of the book-writing process was converting my jumbled scribbles into a readable and professionally laid out book!  Another challenge was opening up completely. My book is an honest account and was written from my original diary so I had to be 100% honest with many a topic which I felt should be kept private. I had to learn to wear my heart on my sleeve and learn also, that nothing was out-of-bounds. Reading my book back, the honesty really adds a true connection to the reader and I am really happy with it. There is nothing like this book out at the moment and I really feel it could help so many; I now just need a bigger audience! 

Another challenging aspect is dealing with criticism. Being so honest and making my story available to the public was always going to invite the general public to pass judgement on my life. Luckily on the whole my book has been well received - I currently have TWENTY THREE 5-Star reviews on Amazon, but there is 1x1 Star and 1x2 Star reviews which hit me hard – I wrote
blog post about this last week on my blog with the title “Bad reviews = Bad sma-shmoooos!”. 

My daughter Jennifer has just turned 3, so my pregnancy ended quite a while ago. My life has changed dramatically since Jenny was born, I am a mother and a completely different person with different priorities. Luke and I lived separately for over a year. Finally the penny dropped for him after a series of events around Jenny's first birthday, and since then he decided to care less about what his parents thought and more about own his little family.  In the last 18 months we have bought a house together, got engaged and are planning our wedding for May 2014. I couldn't be happier, it's true that good things come to those who wait!

I am busy writing my second book which is all about what happens after the birth, written with the same honesty as the first.  I am up to baby's first year fully written but I may carry on through to Jenny starting pre-school as I feel it will make a much better, well rounded book. 

My first book is available in ebook format on Kindle, Kobo and iBooks. It is on offer throughout May on Kindle for only 77p so grab it while it’s cheap! 

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Mummy-Diaries-Pregnancy-Stumbling-ebook/dp/B00AO5MDL0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1368100019&sr=8-1&keywords=mummy+diaries
 
I also love connecting with my readers: www.facebook.com/mummydiaries
 
Twitter: @Mummy_Diaries 

Website: www.mummy-diaries.co.uk
 
Thanks for reading,

Lou xxx

Author of 'Mummy Diaries: Pregnancy - Stumbling into the Unknown'

Tips on the Buggy Battle

We have been asking parents on our facebook page to tell us what they would like tips on this week. So we will post these tips on here too!

We were asked about how to manage a toddler that won't get into their pushchair, but won't walk either. A challenge faced by many, getting into car seats is another common one!

All toddlers will start to show signs of wanting to be more indepedent at some point. This is a normal part of their development and where possible it should be nurtured and encouraged. However their new found independence can make certain activities more challenging.

Here is a suggestion on how to deal with the refusal of getting into the buggy!

The most important thing about dealing with this situation is being consistent and not letting it become a battle. I know it can be easier to give in when they are kicking their legs and screaming when you are trying to sit them in the pushchair, but stick to your guns! Give in once and they know that behaviour works! Remember to remain calm throughout this process, you are the one in control and they are just testing your boundaries. Tell them it's time to get into the pushchair and make it sound exciting, tell them where you are going and talk to them whilst getting them in. Sometimes this can be enough distraction that they will get in without a problem.

If this isn't enough and they arch their back and start refusing, then move to use a greater distraction, keeping your tone light when telling them about it. For example, continue to start the process of putting them in and offer them your car keys to hold or point out a plane in the sky. Use any form of distraction, but make sure whilst doing this you have achieved getting them strapped in. Then get the pushchair moving quickly and chatting about something else to engage them. Always using interesting and light hearted tones in your voice.

With getting toddlers to walk, again lots of encouragement and make it exciting and engaging. Give them a focus, for example, lets walk to that red car and see what else we can see when we get there. Distraction is a very useful tool here too, pick a flower with them, point out a dog walking past, it helps take their mind off that they didn't want to walk. But do remember little legs do get tired easily, so when they have walked a distance give then lots of praise.

Good luck and do let us know how you get on trying the above! It will work, we promise, it may take a little time for those used to throwing a tantrum and then getting out of the pushchair or car seat, but stick with it!