Tummy time, weaning and sleep: Meg Faure answers 5 questions parents always wonder about

Meg Faure will speak at The Baby Show and #MeetUp this September. (https://www.megfaure.com/)
Meg Faure will speak at The Baby Show and #MeetUp this September. (https://www.megfaure.com/)

Occupational therapist, author of Baby Sense and numerous other books and mother of three, Meg Faure specialises in assisting parents with babies and toddlers, and her areas of focus are irritable infants, sleep problems, emotional engagement difficulties and fussy feeding.

She's an expert, with first-hand experience when it comes to kids, and she'll be speaking on specifically parents, tots and technology, babies and self soothing at The Baby Show and #MeetUp – South Africa’s premium TedEx-style seminar series she actually founded.

the baby show and #meetup

But we caught up with her before then and asked her what the 5 questions are she hears the most. Here's what she had to say.

Q: My baby dislikes tummy time. How do I encourage her to do more tummy time exercises?

A: Just keep exposing her – even for the shortest time – she will tolerate it when she gets stronger.

You can also lie back on pillows with her on your tummy – start off quite upright so she doesn't have to work too hard to look at you. Every few days lie further back until you are horizontal and she is working hard at strengthening those neck muscles. Another idea is to place a pillow or roll a towel under her chest when she is on her tummy and place a mirror in front of her.

Q: I am going back to work and my baby won’t take a bottle – help…

A: Keep persisting at this point – she may prefer the breast but try to get her to have 1 feed a day from bottle until she accepts it, if you're returning to work so soon.

To do this, offer expressed breastmilk – this is best for her and tastes the same so she is more likely to take to it. Then choose a feed when she is rested and not fractious, for example, as a mid-morning feed. Then ask someone else to give it to her, not you. Try a few different teats until you find one she likes.

Q: My baby is 5 months old and has a series of short day sleeps. How can I get her to lengthen them?

A: Slowly. In time this sleep will lengthen.

Most babies have 45 min naps until 6 months old. At 6 months, when on full solids it tends to shift. To assist with the shift at 6 months: have one nap (45min) at 9ish, then offer lunch at 11:30, then a little milk and then down for the midday sleep – in time this sleep will lengthen.

Q: Is my toddler ready to drop the day sleep?

A: This is VERY variable. Some toddlers drop the midday sleep between 2 and 3 years old and others hold onto it into grade 1! The principle is to always have a day rest.

So at 12/1pm take him/ her to the bedroom for a 'rest'-  if you are consistent he/she wont fight it. Then they can play or 'read' on their bed and may fall asleep. Always go in by 2pm and wake him/her so that bedtime is not disrupted. 

Q: My toddler wonders through at night. How can I stop this?

A: This is very typical of toddlers. Firstly, is she in a cot or a bed? I prefer to have toddler stay in their cot until 24m so that you don't have her wandering through at night. If she is not in a cot then you have three choices:

1. Take her back to bed consistently every night – this MUST be consistent so she learns.

2. Take her into your bed, if you are happy with the family bed scenario.

3. Pop a thin mattress under your bed and pull it out so she can sleep on the floor next to your bed.

To see who else will be speaking at the #MeetUp, click here for the speakers line-up.

Book your tickets to The Baby Show & #MeetUp with Meg Faure today and get 10% off! Use the promo code: PARENT24. Click here.

How do you balance work and family life? Tell us by emailing chatback@parent24.com and we may share your tips with our readers.

Do you have a question about your baby or toddler you'd like answered? Send it to chatback@parent24.com.

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