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Childhood Behaviours


Sleepless Nights

One of the things that you as a new parent are going to have to get use to is less sleep at night, this is just a natural thing when you have a new baby in your house, as you are going to find out your new baby will need your attention constantly whether its day or night. This demand will be constant during the day and up to five times during the night. It can be very tiring and very challenging to all in the family.

We take a look at some ways to cope with the nightly demands of a newborn baby.

Having you baby sleep with you is one way of making your baby sleep for longer period of time, not all will subscribe to doing this. Having your baby in bed with you instead of in their baby cot bed will soothe and comfort your baby ensuring that you get a longer sleep than normal.

Taking turns with your spouse to look after baby during the night is another way of reducing the workload on just one person, this way both of you are sharing the feeding burden, which in a small baby can be significant. In preparation for this you may well need to pump some milk if you are breast-feeding. This may not work if your spouse is working during the week and starting work early but could be a viable option for mum to rest at the weekend. Or you could try one night on and one night off with your spouse to reduce your workload during the day and night.

Another method to reduce the fatigue during the night is to take regular naps during the day, try to take a nap when your baby is sleeping. This can be difficult, as you may not feel tired when baby does but napping during the day will surely help with night time fatigue.

Sleep training is another way to improve. This method is not practical on newborn babies, as they need feeding every two to four hours during the night. Babies prefer to sleep during the day mainly with a bit of sleep during the night. To stop this try keeping the house very busy during the day with lots of sounds and keep the curtains open and the rooms bright. When you feed your baby during the daytime make sure that you then play for a while until she looks as though she is tired, at that point put your baby down to sleep, but preferably in a room with normal levels of noise. When putting your baby to sleep at night time make sure that the room is as dark as possible, during the summer months put up blackout curtains to maintain the level of darkness in the room. The interaction with your baby at this point should be minimal, and only wake your baby if they need feeding. The idea behind this regime is to get the baby use to playing during the day and sleeping during the night.

If this fails then the last resort would be to try feeding your baby at night as quickly as possible and then place her in bed as soon as the feed is over. Snuggling and feeding the baby then placing her back in the cot will help her learn to fall asleep on her own and for longer periods of time.


The author is a full time mother and owner of a website that is dedicated to providing advice to mums and mums to be as well as products such as baby cot beds and Nursery Furniture Sets





Autism, which is often referred to also as Autistic Disorder is a disorder that affects almost all areas of a child’s social, emotional and psychological development. In a variety of ways Autism prevents a child from interacting normally with others. It is strongly felt that Autism affects just slightly more than 10 children in every 100,000, and that boys are three times as likely to be autistic as girls. Autism is often diagnosed in early childhood, just before the child is due to start school.



Signs and Symptoms of Autism



The signs and symptoms of Autism usually become evident in early childhood, but generally after at least a year of appropriate development. Autism includes a wide spectrum of signs and symptoms, though each autistic child will exhibit a unique mixture of these behaviours. Many autistic children have difficulty with communication and dealing with their peers and significant others through the use of language (be it verbal or sign languag). They often engage in repetitive behaviours such as rocking their bodies or banging their head against a wall, are interested in only a select few activities and enjoy rigid environments and routines. Some autistic children also display hypersensitivity in their senses of touch, taste, smell and hearing.



Diagnosis of Autism



Autism is usually diagnosed in children between the ages of 3 and 5 years of age by a qualified child mental health professional. There are multiple symptoms recognised for Autistic Disorder, and for a formal diagnosis the child must meet 6 of these across the categories of social interaction, communication and behaviour. Some symptoms of Autism that will be evaluated during a diagnosis include:


  • Inability to appropriately use nonverbal social cues.


  • Failure to develop appropriate peer relationships.


  • Disinclination to spontaneously share enjoyment with others.


  • Lack of social or emotional reciprocity/involvement.


  • Delay in or lack of spoken language.


  • Inability to carry a conversation (in those children with language skills).


  • Repetitive or idiosyncratic use of language.


  • Lack of spontaneous imaginary play or socially imitative play.


  • Repetitive behaviours, interests and activities.


  • Abnormally intense or focused patterns of interest (in others, activities, etc.).


  • Rigid adherence to routines and rituals.


  • Repetitive motor mannerisms (for example, hand or finger flapping).


  • Persistent interest in parts of objects.



Treatment for Autism


Most treatment plans for children with Autism include behavioural components that include giving clear instructions to the autistic child, prompting the child to perform specific behaviours, praising and rewarding the specific behaviours, increasing the complexity of the behaviours and clear distinctions regarding the appropriate exhibition of these behaviours. Many times speech therapy will also be advised for autistic children and special education plans will be devised. Medication is only administered to treat associated symptoms of Autism such as self-injurious behaviours (like head banging or extreme mood changes).

Living with Autism


Though autistic children are often unable to communicate or interact effectively with others, there is much that relatives and friends can do to bolster the success of treatment for this disorder. Providing love, support and patience, offering verbal encouragement and interacting at an age appropriate level (for example, no baby talk with six year olds) are all important. Serving a healthy diet and engaging in regular exercise are all things that others can do to support children with Autism as well. Most of all, friends and relatives can love an autistic child no differently than any other child – and make sure that all of the children know it.



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