Connecting With Your Toddler Parenting Workshop | Kids Clinic Singapore


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(Last updated: 13 Jun)

Connecting With Your Toddler (Sept 2019)

Contributed by: Kids Clinic

Ourlittleplaynest organised a Connecting With Your Toddler parenting workshop on 1st September. Our paediatrician Dr Wendy was invited to be one of the speakers. She shared tips on how to cultivate healthy sleep habits in your children with over 20 parents.
Dr Wendy at Parenting Workshop

Here are the key points she talked about during the session:

Why Sleep is Important

It is important for young children to get sufficient sleep as it promotes growth, a healthy heart, improves their immunity, attention span, memory power, learning, emotional well-being and reduces obesity and risk of injuries.

Signs and Symptoms of Insufficient Sleep

If you observe these signs and symptoms in your children, it means that they are not sleeping properly.

  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Mood disturbances
  • Behavioural problems- inattentive, hyperactive, oppositional, impulsive
  • Impaired cognitive function – poor concentration, delayed reaction time, learning problems, impaired vigilance

Dr Wendy recommends these tips to help your children (from newborns to toddlers/pre-schoolers) get sufficient sleep.

For Newborns

  • Observe your baby’s sleep patterns and identify signs of sleepiness.
  • Put your baby in the crib when he/she is drowsy and not asleep yet.
  • Place your baby to sleep on his/her back with the face and head clear of blankets and other soft items
  • Encourage sleep at night time.
  • The crib should be safe.
  • The room should be quiet and dark at a comfortable temperature.
  • Do not use electronic devices to put your baby to sleep.
  • Soft music (not loud) or white noise can be used to help to soothe the baby.

For Infants

  • Have a consistent day time schedule and sleep schedule.
  • Follow a consistent bedtime routine.
  • Put them to sleep when they are drowsy but not fully asleep
  • The room should be quiet and dark at a comfortable temperature.
  • Co-sleeping
  • Avoid feeding your baby at night after they reach 6 months of age.
  • Do not use electronic devices to put them to sleep.
  • Encourage your baby to fall asleep independently.
  • Avoid getting your baby accustomed to having to be rocked, walked or stroked to sleep.
  • Slowly cut down on naptimes in the day so they can sleep longer at night.

For Toddlers/Pre-schoolers

  • Stick to the same bedtime and wake them up at the same time every morning.
  • Try to ensure they have an early bedtime as they will sleep better and longer if go to bed early.
  • Maintain their regular daily naps.
  • Have a relaxing bedtime routine that ends in the room. You could read them a pre-bedtime story.
  • Ensure that they have the same cozy sleep environment every night where possible.
  • The room should be cool, quiet and dark with no TV.
  • Encourage them to fall asleep independently.
  • Your child should get ample exercise during the day.
  • Avoid exercise before bedtime.
  • Avoid returning to child’s room every time he or she calls out or complains.
Dr Wendy sharing children sleeping routine tips

A key tip from Dr Wendy is the importance of having a consistent bedtime routine.
If you make the routine enjoyable and end it in their bedroom, your child will learn to look forward to going to their room. If you are reading them a bedtime story, it is good to pre-empt them when it is about to end. Finally, you should leave your child in the room while they are still awake so they can learn to fall asleep independently.

Dr Wendy emphasize the importance of having a consistent bedtime routine

When to Consult a PD

If you notice any of the following signs and symptoms in your child, then it is best to visit a paediatrician:

  • Extremely and frequently fussy
  • Having problems breathing or is breathing noisily
  • Snoring (particularly if it is loud)
  • Wakes up at night at unusual times
  • Has difficulties falling asleep and staying asleep
  • Headaches in the morning after waking up
About Author
This article is written by Dr Wendy Sinnathamby, a General Paediatrician with more than 20 years of experience. Dr Wendy completed her Paediatric specialist training in the UK and is experienced in newborn screening, growth and development screening, emergency paediatrics, vaccination, travel advice and adolescent medicine.

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