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Annemarie Sansom

DIRECTORS BLOG

Hi, my name is Annemarie and I am the Client Services director for Night Nannies. I use this blog as a way to give you tips and idea's in all areas of childcare and development.

Posted 06 March 12

Night Terrors

Upset child being comforted by parent. Though distressing to witness, night terrors are a harmless sleep disturbance, ?writes Dr Evelyn Lewin.

Kate Belland believes her six-year-old daughter, Claudia, probably suffered night terrors from the time she was a baby. "She'd just wake crying in the night and be inconsolable," says Kate. "It seemed very different from other times when she woke when she could be cuddled back to sleep."

It wasn't until her daughter was a little older that Kate realised she wasn’t simply 'crying'. As a toddler Claudia would wake up very distressed, thrash about and be non-communicative.

After a particularly upsetting episode when Claudia woke screaming hysterically, unable to recognise her parents, Kate says she was afraid her daughter might be having a psychotic episode. She says her fears were allayed after reading about night terrors online.

So what are night terrors?

According to the Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne, night terrors are 'dramatic awakenings' that occur in the first few hours of sleep. About five children in 100, mostly aged 18 months to six years, experience these events, with toddlers predominantly affected.

Sydney paediatrician Dr Scott Dunlop says they tend to occur when children are in a deep sleep. The events usually start with a loud scream, and can be accompanied by wild movements of the arms or legs. Each event usually lasts a few minutes, but can last for as long as 20 minutes.

Dr Dunlop says that during the events children appear to wake, but aren't actually conscious. Night terrors, he says, differ from nightmares, which often occur later in the night, not in one of the early sleep cycles. He says children remember nightmares, whereas they often have no recollection of night terrors. As well, you can usually communicate with a child having a nightmare, but not so with night terrors.

It's this inability to communicate with your child that can be most upsetting for parents. Not only is your child usually unable to recognise anyone, they often can't verbalise thoughts or be consoled.

What should I do if my child has night terrors?

Because night terrors are quite distressing to witness, it's only natural to want to comfort your child during an event. However, offering comfort (such as cuddles or gentle words) has little or no effect. Instead, stay calm and remind yourself the event will soon end.

Dr Dunlop says if the child is experiencing repeated night terrors, you can try to 'half-wake' them before the anticipated event. If the child usually has an event one hour into sleep, gently stir them after the first 45 minutes to bring them out of that deep sleep, thereby preventing the night terror. If that works, slowly stretch that time each night to avoid repeated events. "For the most part you grin and bear it and they grow out of it," says Dr Dunlop.

Can I prevent night terrors?

Although you can't treat night terrors, there are measures you can take to reduce the likelihood of your child experiencing them. Because they're more likely to occur in children who are overtired, try not to keep your child awake past their bedtime. Maintain a soothing bedtime routine and don't overstimulate your child.

Should I be worried about night terrors?

While they are unpleasant, night terrors won't have long-term effects on your child's development. Dr Dunlop says they are benign events that do not indicate abnormality. Not only are they harmless, they're also something children will outgrow.

Says Dr Dunlop, "Some kids get them, some kids don't, and there's nothing more to it than that."

Posted 07 March 12

Nanny Workshops Hornsby - Sleep Guidance

Proposed Month: April on a Sat and Sun

Costs: Sleep Guidance - $100 (9.30am-3.30pm) includes manual and practical components plus Certificate Dunstan Baby Language -$60 (2 hours) includes manual and DVD plus Certificate

Breastfeeding Guide for Nannies - $80 (3 hours) includes handouts and Certificate Behaviour Workshop for Nannies - $40 (1 hour) includes handouts and Certificate

Early Bird – discounts of 10% per course or package plus Package discounts = SAT & SUN 10% of each course or 2 courses SAT or 2 Courses SUN = 10% off total

Posted 10 March 12

Celebrating Multiples week

This week we are celebrating Multiples week, the children and Parents who live in Multiples families all around Australia.

I am new to this club, with 1 yr old twins. Its certainly been a busy and fun adventure going from 2 children to 4 and twins make it all the more special.

If you have multiples this week only from Monday 12th March through to Sunday 18th March 2012 we are offering you 50% off our usual casual booking fee.

Call us on 1300791663 or send us an email.

Posted 12 March 12

Stranger Danger or is it?

1. REMIND YOUR CHILDREN: SAFE GROWNUPS DON’T ASK KIDS FOR HELP.

2. NEVER LEAVE YOUNG CHILDREN UNSUPERVISED… NOT EVEN FOR A MINUTE.

3. REPLACE THE WORD “STRANGER” WITH “TRICKY PERSON”: IT’S NOT WHAT SOMEONE LOOKS LIKE, IT’S WHAT THEY SAY OR WANT TO DO WITH A CHILD THAT MAKES THEM UNSAFE OR “TRICKY”.

4. A TRICKY PERSON CAN BE SOMEONE YOU KNOW WELL, DON’T KNOW AT ALL, OR KNOW JUST A LITTLE BIT… LIKE YOUR MAIL CARRIER OR THE ICE CREAM MAN. ANYONE WHO TRIES TO GET A CHILD TO BREAK THEIR SAFETY RULES OR HURT THEIR BODY IS NOT OKAY.

5. LISTEN TO YOUR CHILD. IF THEY DON’T WANT TO BE AROUND A PARTICULAR PERSON, SUCH AS A BABYSITTER, RELATIVE, OR FAMILY FRIEND, DON’T FORCE THEM. THEY MAY BE GETTING A “RED FLAG” SIGNAL THAT YOU ARE UNAWARE OF.

6. PRACTICE PERSONAL SAFETY STRATEGIES WITH YOUR KIDS: WHAT WOULD THEY DO IF THEY WERE LOST IN A STORE? WHAT WOULD THEY SAY IF SOMEONE ASKED THEM FOR DIRECTIONS OR ASSISTANCE?

7. DO NOT WRITE YOUR CHILD’S NAME ON THE OUTSIDE OF ANY PERSONAL BELONGINGS SUCH AS A BACKPACK OR JACKET.

8. OLDER CHILDREN SHOULD ALWAYS USE THE BUDDY SYSTEM WHENEVER AND WHEREVER POSSIBLE.

9. “THE UH-OH FEELING”: TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS AND LET YOUR CHILD KNOW IT’S OKAY FOR THEM TO TRUST THEIRS.

10. ESTABLISH A STRAIGHTFORWARD FAMILY RULE: NO SECRETS ALLOWED, ESPECIALLY IF IT INVOLVES ANOTHER ADULT.

11. LET CHILDREN DECIDE FOR THEMSELVES HOW THEY WANT TO EXPRESS AFFECTION. DO NOT FORCE THEM TO HUG OR KISS ANOTHER PERSON.

12. SPEND TIME WITH YOUR KIDS. CHILDREN WHO ARE STARVED FOR ATTENTION CAN BE ESPECIALLY VULNERABLE TO A PREDATOR’S TRICKS.

13. VOLUNTEER AT YOUR CHILD’S SCHOOL OR OTHER ACTIVITIES. KNOW WHO THE PEOPLE ARE WHO ARE INTERACTING WITH YOUR CHILDREN.

14. DEVELOP STRONG COMMUNICATION SKILLS WITH YOUR CHILD SO THAT THEY WILL FEEL SAFE COMING TO YOU IF SOMETHING IS BOTHERING THEM.

15. TEACH SAFETY CONCEPTS IN A LOVING, EASY-GOING MANNER. SCARE TACTICS CAN MAKE A CHILD FEARFUL AND ARE NOT NECESSARY.

Care of http://safelyeverafter.com/tips.html

 
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