Welcome to Sami's
Booking call - 30th September 2021
Quick wins. You can print it by clicking on each picture.
Physical exercise ideas
Encourage a lot of exercise and challenging physical activities.
Love cup activities ideas
If when playing rough there is an injury (physical or emotional), take a pause, acknowledge the hurt, ask if they want to carry on or if they should leave for another day. Their feelings are more important than the game!
It can also be helpful to have organised pauses to lower the energy levels from time to time.
Essential oil blend for bedtime calm
Here is a lovely blend you can use in the bath or as a spray on the lead up to bedtime.
4 drops lavender
2 drops vertiver
1 drop clary sage
1 drop lemon
This week we will work on:
Wind down time
Often there is a misunderstanding and the bedtime routine is bundled together with the period of winding down. These two are separate happenings that take place before sleep.
The wind down is there to help children transition from active day to restful night. It is not necessary for the elements to be consistent from day to day as with the bedtime routine. The focus is on releasing the rest of energy and emotional build up AND on having a calm and restful environment.
The bedtime routine (or rhythm) is there for connection, containment and calm. It is very important for the elements of the bedtime routine to be very consistent from day to day, even when there is variation on who is helping the children at this time.
The winding down period could last up to 2 hours before bed. At this time, it is helpful to do activities to increase melatonin and oxytocin. Some ideas are: some 'cup filling' games, followed by calm voices, less noise, relaxing music, dimmer lighting, reading a book together, television and other screens off– no blue lights for 1 -2 hours before sleep.
It is very likely dinner will be within the wind down time.
The reluctant napper!
The idea is to "rebrand" the nap, as you've done! You could call it snuggle time, story time or a rest.
Here are some ideas if you need variation:
This week we will work on preparing the ground for next week's work by:
Zones of regulation
From time to time we all feel dysregulated, especially when there are other environmental factors at play, like hunger, tiredness and exploration of boundaries. And it is at these times of dysregulation that children learn and practice the tools for self-regulation. It’s ok for children to have big feelings when they have the emotional safety net of regulated adults ready to show them the way.
Dysregulation is when responses to emotions and upsetting sensations don’t match the input.
Of course, all feelings and emotions make part of healthy individuals, avoidance of or escape from negative feelings takes away the very challenge that breeds inspiration, courage, bravery, growth, resilience and pride and undermines our children’s access to their future potential.
Learning to identify your child’s emotions and levels of arousal is important so to time regulating activities appropriately. As they grow, it is also important for a child to identify the changes in their own emotions so to be able to reach out to tools in order to self-regulate and return to a more calm and focused state.
Name emotions. Help your child identify and name emotions
If your child is very upset, wait for them to be regulated and then talk about the emotions. Be careful to avoid judging and criticising the emotion. The objective is to identify the emotions and not to place value on them.
An important step is to find good solutions for when we are becoming dysregulated.
If we are able to recognize when we are becoming less regulated, we are able to do something about it to manage our feelings and get ourselves to a healthy place.
‘Zones of regulation’ is a tool to help parents identify when a child may need support or guidance to regulating their emotions. Understanding the zones of regulation is also helpful for children to identify big feelings and develop skills to help regulate their own emotions during the day, when they are old enough.
Throughout our day we fluctuate through all zones. What is important is to be able to regulate ourselves so to go back to the Green zone, where our parasympathetic system is active and we feel relaxed, calm as well as ready to learn and socialise.
Once we identify in which zone ourselves or our child are, we can use regulating strategies to return or remain in the green zone.
Explore when your child is on the different zones, what triggers them to go there and what helps them to return (or maintain) to the green zone and feel calm.
When trying strategies to return to the green zone, explore what works for your child and keep an open mind.
Also ask to consider:
Here are some ideas of strategies, please add on to this if you find other things that work for your child. Strategies can provide the sensory input the child needs to maintain a calm, alert and organised state or use posture, flexion and breath to organise the body and re-set the nervous system
The following strategies provide the sensory input children need to maintain a calm, alert and organised state.
These activities are not to do too near bed time. If your child needs this kind of calming activities at bedtime, try balancing lying down, tummy down, on a gym ball on the trampoline. The idea is so your child is in curled up postures, and not extended positions. These postures are more calming and encourage deeper out breaths.
The follow strategies support regulation and help re-setting the nervous system
Physical and sensory strategies:
Use of self and communication strategies:
This week is all about the night. The idea is to lower the intake of liquid in the night as well as soothing Sami back to sleep in different ways other than nursing.
Bellow I suggest a few options for you to follow. Choose which one would suit you best.
For toddlers, stopping breastfeeding can be an emotional task. You may need to handle it with lots of time, patience and compassion.
Communication can help. here are a couple of ideas:
Does night- weaning improve sleep?
It is important to know that night-weaning does not always lead to an immediate improvement in sleep. It may take some weeks before you get consolidated stretches.
Three important points to do it now are:
How to do it
Tonight is the night
You will need to decide how night-weaning or reducing night feeds will go for you.
Here are a few options:
Which option you choose is up to you. Sometimes people will start very gently and slowly, and work up the steps until they get to somewhere they feel comfortable. It will also depend on how persistent Sami's personality is.
I often find strong-willed toddlers need very clear and black or white strategy. Sometimes they get upset and confused with the mixed messages of being able to feed at sometime but not at other times. Other toddles, who are more sensitive, will need a very gradual and sensitive reduction of feeds. Be guided by your instincts and your knowledge of Sami
What to do when not feeding to sleep
Of course that when you are not feeding Sami in the night, you will need to offer other forms of comfort - such as cuddles, stroking, shushing, patting, or holding. Don't worry about what you have to do , you and Sami will be settling in and adjusting to another way of responsive parenting. Change can be hard for most children, so he will need lots of reassurances.
Remember that there are many ways of being responsive - feeding has worked for you for a long time, but it doesn't mean there are no other ways.
Also important to say that if at any time it doesn't feel right, or you change your mind, it is ok to stop and do what feels right. These strategies will still be open to you whenever you choose to try again. but try not to start and stop the process many times - it can feel unsettling.
What to expect
Night-weaning is not usually quick, easy and free of drama. That is why we have worked in many other points before tackling this. Nevertheless, some children do surprise their parents! But it is sensible to expect several disrupted nights. Sami may plea, beg, negotiate, tug at your clothing, demand, cry and get angry. There may be ugly crying with snot. Usually it can take 3-5 nights of your child asking and protesting. Often the first night is the worse, and then it quickly gets better.
Be warned: It is really usual to see great improvement in the first few nights the on night 4-5, you may see a backslide. This is normal! Stay calm, and don't lose hope
A few tips
Next call: Thursday 28th October 10am (CEST)