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Mamma Musings

Mamma Musings

Baby Sleep Guidelines – Newborn to 12 Months

newborn baby

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You just had a baby and you are unsure of what to expect based on the baby’s sleep schedule. However, when your baby is only a few weeks old, there won’t be a sleep schedule to go by and your baby will be sleeping from 18 to 20 hours a day completely broken up. That is because they run completely on instinct as they will not have the days and nights together as they would not know since they were in the womb in the darkness for 9 months. And they would be rocked to sleep during the day because of the mother being active and be more active themselves at night as the mother goes and sleeps. They also need to feed every 2 to 3 hours because their stomachs are very small and can only hold in so much at a time. Additionally, they are growing constantly and will be hungry whenever they are ready which is why they will literally feed 2 to 3 hours each day and night. 

And it does not matter what they are wearing when they go to sleep. They could be wearing their sleepers or one of their brand new baby christmas outfit and they will sleep because there is no point in changing them for naps they will take during the day if their clothes are clean. However, in order for you to understand your baby’s sleeping patterns, this newborn sleep guideline will be helpful to you:

First Born To 4 Weeks Old

During this time your newborn will be sleeping most of the time but they break often to be fed and changed. They will sleep from 2 and a half to 4 hours at a time and in between sleep phases they can sleep for 45 minutes to an hour. This is why they are up all the time to be fed and changed and it is important to interact with them as well as they are taking in everything in their environment. 

Next Phase 5 To 8 Weeks

sleeping baby

Pic Credit: Pixabay

This is the time when you will notice that there are some slight changes in the baby’s sleeping patterns. The newborns are beginning to see that there is a difference between day and night, and they will be napping from 45 minutes to an hour for 3 to 5 times a day and will be sleeping longer at night. This is the time when you will want to start implementing bedtime routines as well so that they become used to sleeping through the night quicker. They will also not require feedings in the middle of the night so often once they are closer to 8 weeks. 

The Third Phase 9 Weeks To Close To 4 Months

The baby will be awake more during the day and will begin to sleep longer at night which is what the parents have been wanting for so long. They will nap 3 times a day for 45 minutes to an hour an a half. One nap will be in the morning, the next will be in the afternoon, and the next will be in the early evening. And it will be predictable at this time when the baby will wake up. They can sleep from 4 to 8 hours in the night as well but don’t despair that they can regress with their sleeping right around the end of this phase as well which will be temporary. 

The Fourth Phase 4 Months To 8 Months 

This is the time when you are able to set a real schedule for your baby as they have their internal clocks set at this point. They will need a morning and an afternoon nap, and a quick nap from the afternoon to bedtime. The way it can go is from 8 to 8:30 am they go in for their morning nap and they are napping for 2 hours to get up and feed. And in the afternoon they nap starting from noon to 12:30 and wake up 2 hours for a feeding. And then between the afternoon and evening, they can get a 30 minute to 45-minute nap which is known as the buffer nap. 

This way they can nap quickly so they are not too cranky for bedtime which could cause them not to sleep well as the one way to prevent a baby from being overtired is if they nap enough. However, you don’t want them to nap too much which is why they should not nap for longer than 5 hours during the day which has been broken up based on their nap schedules. 

The Last Phase 8 Months To 12 Months

This is the time when infants only need to have 4 hours of napping time in a day which is 2 hours in the morning from 8 to 8:30 as their start time and sleep for 2 hours. And they have another nap in the afternoon which would be around 1 pm and they will wake up at 3 pm and be up until bedtime. You will want to start the bedtime routine a half hour before they go to bed for the night. That means at that time before they get a bath, get those onesies for babies, if that is what they are wearing and then get them bathed so they are drowsy enough to sleep. 

Then after their bath, get them into their pajamas and they will be drowsy enough to sleep. And don’t be surprised as well if there are sleep regressions here and there especially around 9 to 12 months of age due to teething or growth spurts. 

Your baby will sleep as he or she gets older and there will be some rough nights where he or she is sick or has a bad dream and needs your comfort. But just know that there will be more restful nights than not as the baby matures and grows older. It will not last this way forever and that is a promise. 

 

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Mamma Musings

Helping Your Child Make the Most of their Education

It is important to show your child that you care about their education, that you are available to help with their school work and that you are proud of their achievements. The more supported a child feels at home, the better you will find they perform at school. 

To help your child make the most of their time at school, here is some great advice from Banstead Preparatory School

  • Get to know your child’s school and try to establish a good relationship with the teachers. This will allow you to keep up to date with current classwork and help you to support your child’s learning at home.
  • Develop a love of learning by regularly sharing as a family what you have learnt at school or work. You could even ask your child to play the teacher at home and explain to you what they learnt in class. Repeating what they have learnt will help them to memorise important facts.
    child writing in school

    Pic Credit: Pixabay


  • Teach your child that learning can happen anywhere, not just in the classroom. For example you can learn a lot from nature, by simply going out in your garden and observing the trees, weather and wildlife.
  • Always show encouragement and praise your child’s achievements. This will help to boost their confidence and keep them motivated. Attend school assemblies where your child’s achievements are recognised.
  • Help your child to practice their organisation and time management skills. This will help to prepare them for homework and exams. Create a study schedule together or set up a special study area at home.Try to incorporate learning into your weekend family activities. This could include visiting a museum or an art gallery where your child can learn interactively.
  • Try not to put too much pressure on your child. If they feel under pressure to reach certain grades, this can negatively affect their performance and can cause emotional stress. Allow your child to develop at their own pace and give them the freedom to make their own choices.
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Mamma Musings

Teaching Your Kids to Respect School Rules

Respect is important, both at home and at school. In order for your child to succeed academically and develop important social skills, they must understand how to respect school rules, as well as other people.

To help your child understand why respect is so important and why they should do their best to follow school rules, here is some great advice from Dover College

  • The first step towards a respectful child is to ensure they understand what respect means. Do they know the difference between respectful and disrespectful behaviour? It is important to set a good example for your child and demonstrate respectful behaviour, both in public and at home.

    child reading in forest

    Pic Credit: Pixabay

  • Explain the importance of having rules at school. Help your child to understand that school rules are created to ensure that students and teachers benefit from a safe and happy learning environment.
  • Stress that in the classroom it is important to listen to the teacher. Explain that they should always follow the teacher’s instructions and be kind and helpful to others. 
  • School rules often include instructions on how to respect school property and the environment. This means never causing damage to school property and always using rubbish or recycling bins to dispose of waste. It is essential that they have pride in their school environment and want to play a part in keeping it safe and clean.
  • Teach your kids to value other people’s ideas and opinions and always treat others as they wish to be treated.
  • Finally you should encourage your children to value their own learning and success. They can demonstrate this by being on time to school, working to the best of their ability, completing homework and being polite to their teachers. 
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Mamma Musings

How Does Changing Schools Affect Your Child

Children change schools for lots of reasons. Perhaps they have finished their journey at primary school and they’re moving onto secondary. Maybe they were being bullied at their last school and a fresh start is what they need. Sometimes it’s because their parents have to relocate due to work commitments. If you are considering moving your child to a new school, here is some information from pre-prep school in London on how it can affect them.

All children respond to change in different ways and while one child might hate the thought of moving to a new school, another might find it an exciting prospect. Regardless, there are big adjustments to be made at a new school. Firstly, your child will have to adapt to a new teacher and their unique teaching style. There might even be an entirely new curriculum. As a result, your child might fall behind in class and then become disinterested in their learning. It’s important that parents and teachers observe new students carefully and provide extra support if necessary. 

Your child may suffer from anxiety at their new school where they don’t know anyone. They may be upset at having to leave behind their old friends. With this in mind, it’s important to let your child stay in contact with their old friends so that they feel a little more in control. You could also arrange a playdate with the children at the new school so that your son or daughter has a couple of friends to support them when they start.

Make sure you talk to your child in-depth about the change and how they feel about it. Be honest and explain to them why they have to move schools so that they understand. Highlight the positive things about the change and give them the reassurance they need to move forward with confidence. 

 

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Mamma Musings

Top Tips for Removing Stains from School Uniform

kids writing

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All parents have been there; scrubbing stubborn stains from our son or daughter’s school uniform. How on earth do they manage to get their clothes so dirty, right? Here are some tips that I hope will help you keep your child’s uniform looking its best. 

Grass Stains

Bright green streaks on the knees and elbows are not uncommon for kids, especially if they’re into sports. Whether it’s from their PE lesson or from playing out at lunch, grass stains are unavoidable. For this type of stain you should try mixing white vinegar and baking soda and scrubbing with a toothbrush. After the stain has reduced somewhat, you can wash the garment as usual. 

Paint

Does your child often come home from school, having had an art lesson at some point during the day, with paint stains down their clothes, or maybe just on their sleeves if you’re lucky. If the paint is water-based and dried-on, use an old toothbrush to scrub as much of it off as possible. Then you can apply a mix of washing detergent and water and sponge it in. 

Biro

Another common stain, but if you treat biro quickly you can minimise the damage. Something as simple as hairspray or other alcohol based products can do the trick. Spray the hairspray liberally and dab it using a damp cloth. Wash as normal once the stain has lightened and pray for a miracle.

Grease

Although it might seem strain, coca cola is a great treatment for grease stains. Put the garment in a bowl and pour the fizzy drink over it until it’s completely submerged. Leave it to soak for around half an hour and then wash as normal.

 

If you  have any of your own tips, feel free to share them; we parents need to stick together!

 

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Mamma Musings

Top Tips for Leaving Your Tweens Home Alone

teenager

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Leaving your youngster home alone for the time is enough to make any parent a little apprehensive, but it’s something we all have to do eventually. In fact, it’s important that our kids experience being left alone from time to time (once they’ve reached an appropriate age and maturity level) so that they learn to become more independent. Here are some tips for worried parents from an independent college in London.

First of all, you need to evaluate if your child is actually ready to be left alone. Just because they’ve reached a certain age, it doesn’t mean they’re emotionally mature enough to stay at home without you. Only you can decide if your child is mature enough to take care of themselves, avoid trouble and solve problems. Their feelings on the matter are also important; don’t leave them alone of they express an obvious aversion to the plan.

It’s a great idea to trial leaving your child home alone in short bursts, like a quick trip to the shop for some milk. This will help them get used to the idea of being without you in the house. Talk to them after about how they felt while you were gone and if they experienced any challenges. Ask them what they got up to whilst you were gone and make sure they know what types of activities are off limits without your supervision.

It’s also important to make sure your child knows how to safely use all of the appliances in your home, like the microwave and kettle. If you are worried that they won’t manage, then make sure you have prepared them some meals or snacks in advance so that they don’t feel the need to operate the appliances. 

Discuss any potential emergencies with your child in advance so that they are prepared for the worst should it happen. For instance, explain to them what they should do if there’s a fire or a stranger knocking at the door. Make sure they have both your contact details and the details of another responsible adult who can help them in an emergency. When you do eventually leave your tween home alone, give them a call every so often to check in and see how they’re getting on without you. 

Mamma Musings

4 Favourite Activities for Outdoor Learning

It’s important for young children to explore different learning environments; they should get out of the classroom every once in a while and explore the outside world. Unfortunately, that’s easier said than done for many children who don’t have the privilege of a safe outdoor space to play in and explore freely. With that said, it’s important for schools and parents to ensure every child receives their fair share of outdoor learning where possible. Here are five ideas from an independent school in Surrey.

A Walk through Nature

boys playing outdoor

Pic Credit: Pixabay

Find a local forest or nature reserve and take a family stroll. Talk about what trees, plants, bugs and animals you can see and hear and how they all survive together as one whole. Discuss how the forest might look during the different seasons and what you can do to help the forest continue to survive and grow. 

Building a Bird Feeder

Invite some feathery friends into your garden by building a bird feeder. This encourages an element of creativity as well as an interest in nature. Your child will learn what different types of birds like to eat.

Growing Your Own

Growing a vegetable patch is a great way to give your child a sense of responsibility and achievement. What’s more, it gives them an opportunity to learn about different fruits and vegetables and add some healthy foods to their diet. When they have successfully grown something, they will feel proud of themselves. 

Reading a Map

Despite the introduction of satellite navigation, it’s still important that kids learn how to read a map. Next time you head out and about, encourage your child to find the way by showing off their map reading skills. Understanding co-ordinations and symbols will help your child in their maths and geography lessons going forward.

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Mamma Musings

How Can a Healthy Lifestyle Lead to a Good Education?

All parents want their children to succeed in school and they often find themselves searching for ways they can help. Some hire a tutor and others learn maths equations and foreign languages so that they’re able to pass on some of their knowledge to their kids. However, one of the simplest ways you can help your child, which you might not have even thought of, is by encouraging a healthy lifestyle. Here are some tips from an independent school in Spain.

A healthy lifestyle essentially refers to a good diet, exercise and plenty of rest. Your child needs to eat a hearty, healthy breakfast each morning. If they go to school on an empty stomach or something sugary and unhealthy, they will have poor attention span throughout the day and they’ll probably feel quite sleepy. The same rule applies to snacks; sugary treats will affect their energy levels and general concentration. 

Staying hydrated is also extremely important. Our brains are predominantly water, so your child needs to drink a lot throughout the day in order for their brains to function properly. Water is not just important for physical health but also for mental wellbeing. 

Believe it or not, exercise is excellent for improving memory and attention span. It’s also great for reducing stress and nerves, which many students suffer with, particularly during exam period. If you don’t think your child gets enough exercise, you should introduce an extra-curricular club for them to join, like football, tennis, gymnastics etc. This will also be great for them from a social perspective.

If your child is getting less than 8 hours of sleep each night, it is likely that they will find it difficult to focus in class and learn new things. Lack of sleep can also temporarily interfere with the part of the brain that deals with organisation, problem solving and other important skills that a required to do well in lessons.

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Mamma Musings

How Can Parents & Teachers Work Together?

Parents and teachers have a common objective: to help children succeed both academically and in their personal endeavours. With that said, it’s important that they communicate with one another and work together to achieve their shared goal. If you’re unsure where to start when it comes to building a relationship with your child’s teacher, here are some tips from a private school in Spain.

child reading book

Pic Credit: Pixabay

Modern technology has made communication between school and home that much easier, so there really is no excuse. It won’t take long for you to drop your child’s teacher an email once in a while to check in on how everything’s going. It’s likely that the teacher will actually appreciate you reaching out and showing that you’d like to form and maintain a partnership to help your child perform well in school. 

If any big changes are happening at home, like a new baby, moving house, a death or divorce etc. be sure to let the teacher know. They will appreciate being kept in the loop and it also ensures that there are another set of eyes watching over your child and monitoring them for any signs of distress. 

Why not ask the teacher to send you a copy of the curriculum outline so that you can understand, in basic terms, what your child is going to be learning about throughout the academic year. This will allow you to explore such topics during home life to help prepare your child for the lessons. Arrange regular meetings, particularly if you have any concerns; you don’t have to wait until parents evening to talk about your child’s progress.

At the end of the academic year, or even at Christmas and other appropriate moments throughout the year, be sure to get your child’s teacher a thank you card and/or a gift. It’s important that you and your child let the teacher know that they are appreciated. This will encourage them to continue to do their best for their students whilst strengthening their relationship with you and your child.

 

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Mamma Musings

What Are Some Energy-Burning Indoor Activities for Kids

The Pacific Northwest is one of the most fabulous places to enjoy year-round activities with the family. Many native Oregonians remain here and just as many move here to experience everything the wonderful state of Oregon has to offer. From weekend day-trips to the coast or Mount Hood and longer excursions to Crater Lake or the Wallowa Mountains, there are countless family activities to encounter.

And while we want to explore every naturally magnificent nook and cranny, sometimes you’re just looking for a more relaxing weekend with a mix of local family activities and spare time to snuggle together on the couch.

And what are you going to do with those energetic kids when it starts raining this fall? Here are five ideas to keep them (and you) entertained for hours.

Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI)

If you want a place where kids are encouraged to be rambunctious and curious, where they can run around touching things with abandon, all the while engaging in activities that are fun and educational, then your next energy-burning indoor activity must be a trip to OMSI.

If you have kids that range in age from 0 to 6 years old, then consider becoming a member, and you can visit the Science Playground for free as often as your heart desires.

Or explore each section of the museum during your visit. In the infant area, you’ll find soft carpet and toys that encourage motor skill development. Those a little bit bigger will have fun crawling through the roots of a giant tree, exploring a hollow log, or venturing into a cave as they learn about animals. And all kids will enjoy the sandpit. Then, as they get bigger, explore the literacy and hands-on discovery areas.

Are your kids older than 6? Then head to the Kendall Planetarium, Life Lab, Paleontology Lab, Science on a Sphere, and various rotating exhibits that emerge throughout the year.

Playdate PDX

Do you remember climbing on nets, scooting through tubes, and navigating twists and turns in tunnels, all to find the best slide on a playground? Well, this might be a thing of the past for you, but your kids will have an absolute blast when you visit Playdate PDX.

This place offers three levels of fun for the kids, and parents are welcome visitors too. In fact, this truly is a favourite indoor family activity, as you can sip on your favourite local beer or glass of wine, or a hot coffee or tea, while your children run around having the time of their lives—a true win-win!

In addition to the playground, make sure to come when you can catch the Dragon Theatre Puppet Show, which features a diverse lineup, including Rapunzel Redeems Rumpelstiltskin, Arcade Universe, and Little Bugs Big World.

Looking for a deal? Kids are welcome for free after 5:00 p.m. every Monday. Or visit on the last Wednesday of every month and receive free entry for each kid when you donate two canned good items.

Pump It Up

If your kids are 12 and under, then a must-visit location to burn off their excess energy is Pump It Up in Beaverton. Known as a top destination for birthday and big group parties, it also hosts open jumps where kids are welcome to run around and be a little wild.

This is the place for them to release that pent-up energy and hop, skip, jump, flop, and plop their way around the inflatable arena.

Want to take it up a notch? Attend a special event like the Glow Open Jump. Your kids will be able to climb, bounce, and slide around with the disco and laser lights on and lights out. This all-ages event comes with a glow necklace with every admission.

Pump It Up also hosts Sensory Jump Night where it caters to kids with disabilities so that everyone can find time to have fun in a safe and controlled environment.

Roller Skating at Oaks Park

Do you remember going roller-skating after school or maybe on the weekends with your friends growing up? Remember when it was all the rage to wear rollerblades? Recall the slow dance song when you hoped to buddy up with your grade-school crush?

You can create new skating memories with your little (or maybe not-so-little-anymore) tykes. Get out on that roller rink and show your kids how it’s done—and that you have some talents they don’t even know about yet—during an open-skate session, Tuesday through Sunday, all year long.

Worried your kids are too young for the open skate? Try out the Preschool Play & Skate or Kids’ Morning Skate instead, and then head back on date night for Adult Rhythm Skate or Gay Skate.

Langer’s Entertainment Center

Want to try something totally new with your family this fall? Something with a little bit of everything for everyone? Then have we got the energy-burning activity for you at Langer’s! Yes, the farm has been around Sherwood for more than a century, but fall 2019 represents a new chapter in our family history as we’ve just opened our brand-new, family-friendly Langer’s Entertainment Center.

All are welcome here, where the youngest will enjoy the soft play area and the bigger kids will want to try out the high ropes courses, rock-climbing wall, and laser tag. And don’t forget the arcade—with over 50 games and fun for all! The older kids-at-heart can enjoy a cold one in the Tack Room or a delicious hot chocolate or speciality coffee from the Thunder Mountain Cabin. Then reconvene for an epic family face-off in bowling.

Once it’s time to start settling down for the day, head over to the restaurant and choose from diverse menu options where everyone will find something they crave. And then settle in for a little relaxing around the indoor campfire.

Visit  Sherwood just off Pacific Highway West, a quick 30 minutes from Portland or Beaverton for the top family activities indoors and out. 

 

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