Brenda's Blog


If there is one word I could summarize all my work as a night nanny and sleep trainer it would be "Swaddling." 

This has been absolutley key to my work experience and success. When baby is inside the mother's womb it is wrapped tightly in a warm cosy comfortable ball. Then baby's are born not knowing how to cordinate their limbs. They are born with the 'startle reflex' which they cannot control for many weeks and have to get use to changes in temperature, light, noise, touch, and everything else going on in the world around them. They loose the security of being in the womb and the protection it gives. So it goes without saying that babies respond well to being wrapped up. They fall into a much 'deeper' sleep if swaddled and tend to stay asleep longer because moving their limbs uncontrollable does not wake them up. If your baby cries when they are swaddled this is not an indication that they do not like it. Mums often read this wrongly but it is your baby just moving about and finding a comfortable position to settle into, just like we do when we go to bed. The best place to swaddle the baby is on a firm surface, the bed can be too soft. I find the floor works well and its safe. Another little tip is to fold a muslim up and put it under babies cheek when you put them in the basket or crib. Babies like the sensation of something next to their cheek like we do when we lie on a pillow. I always place the baby halfway between being on their back and on their side and this is helped with a rolled up towel or blanket behind babies back.

I recommend swaddling up to 3 months and beyond. When you are ready to stop the swaddle you can do this by wrapping your baby less tightly so they start to adjust gradually to being unrestricted. After a few days of this you can change to a sleep sack or bag.

There are plenty of swaddle blankets on the market but the swaddle blanket I like the most is

How To Overcome Jet Lag

Its that time of year when we are often flying off to an overseas location. If you want to conquer the jet lag with your baby or child then the best way to do this is to put your child onto their routine as soon as you arrive, local time. Take into consideration what has happened on the flight and what your child has done the previous 8 hours or so before and follow their routine on the new time. This may mean an extended nap, later bedtime, etc. but then the next day start their routine at the usual time around 7am local time, don't sleep in. The first day will be tiring but it will mean everyone adjusts quickly within 48 or less.

When do babies drink full fat cows milk?

The guidelines in the UK for starting children on full fat cows milk are from 12 months of age. Instead of formula you can pour full fat cows milk into your child's bottle or cup and it can be warmed or given at room temperature. However, babies can have full fat cows milk from 6 months if it is added to breakfast cereal or used for preparing food through the day. The primary reason for not giving cows milk before 12 months is formula and breast milk have the required iron that your child needs up to 12 months. After 12 months your child will get all the iron they need from food.

They don't need to continue with formula after 12 months but you can buy follow on milk for babies 12 months + but this is not necessary.


How To Keep Children Cool In The Hot Weather

While it does not get hot too often in the UK, we need to know how to help keep babies and children cool as well as ourselves.

Try to go out early morning or late afternoon when the sun's rays are less powerful. Put a hat and light clothing on your child and keep them under the shade as much as possible. Use sun protection cream which is suitsble for young babies and children. It should be kind to sensitive skins and high in protection. Make sure your child is drinking well, lots of water but not sugery drinks. Babies can have sips of cooled boiled water from a non spill cup or from a bottle between breast and bottle feeds. Reduce active activities like the park to a minimum if possible with plenty of shade and rest in between. The garden is a great place to be in the summer with a paddling pool as you have all you need at home.

At night keep your child's room cool with a fan. They don't mind the continuous sound if you leave it on when they are sleeping, its like white noise. Close the curtains in the day time and make sure night wear is light. You can buy very light gro bags for your child to sleep in. If your child wears only a nappy and a light gro bag this would be acceptable. Keep the room ventilated with the window and door open to create a flow of air.


Moving Your Child From A Cot To A Bed

​When is the best time to move your child from the cot to a bed?

Leave this transition as late as possible. The cot contains the child so whats the hurry? I normally suggest around 3 years of age. If you need the cot for a new baby buy a small cheap one for the intermediate period. Reasons for leaving it as late as possible are:

  • Your child will have a better understanding of language and will be talking more. This means you can explain the transition better and they can express their thoughts. Make the transition more gradual by buying a 'cot bed.'
  • Explanation discussion and reason means they are less likely to want to get out of bed, although this may change further down the line. Make it more exciting and buy a lovely duvet, pillow or bedroom furniture.
  • At the age of 3 years there may well be other changes in your childs life like starting nursery or potty training. All this will increase your child's independance so moving to a bed compliment's and coincides with other changes in their life.
  • Your child should enjoy their new independance.


When can you start sleep training?

When is the best time to start sleep training? Sleep training is not just a matter of leaving your baby to cry. Its implementing good sleeping habits from a few weeks of age so your baby learns not to rely on you to put them to sleep. If you start sleep training early it will help you with feeding and some simple structure through the day which is crucial if you are juggling with the needs of your other children. All this is not easy if you are not getting a lot of sleep but if you make the effort it will pay off in the long term.

So the answer is when baby is a few weeks. If you are already in a situation whereby baby is not sleeping well, at any age you can make changes to better the situation. Sleep training just means making the current situation better or creating good habits from the start!

Sleep Training

A Happy Customer!   smiley


......another happy baby after just two days of sleep training.heart  heart  heart  heart

Baby's Umbilical Cord

The clamp and the remainder of baby’s umbilical cord falls off an average of 8/9 days after birth, but it can vary from one baby to another. The baby’s tummy button can leave an unpleasant smell and occasionally not all of the umbilical cord falls away. Wash your baby’s tummy button regularly with a mild soap. I am a great believer in the elements before rushing to medical intervention. Just washing and exposing the tummy button area to air will help.

A good tip is to fold the top of the nappy down so the germs do not harbour in a moist warm environment. If symptoms persist seek the advice of the doctor.