Sleeping baby

Mastering Wake Windows: Your guide to a happy, well-rested baby

What are ‘wake windows’ and why are they important?

The arrival of a newborn is a whirlwind of joy and sleepless nights. Amid the baby cuddles and nappy changes, one crucial aspect of parenting revolves around understanding your little one’s sleep patterns. One term that becomes a vital part of your parental vocabulary is “wake windows.” In this article, we’ll unravel the mysteries of wake windows, demystify their importance, and guide you on creating the perfect sleep routine for your baby.

Understanding Wake Windows

Wake windows refer to the duration of time your baby can comfortably stay awake between sleep periods. For newborns and infants, these windows are surprisingly short due to their rapid growth and development. As your baby grows, these windows expand, allowing for longer periods of wakefulness.

Why Are Wake Windows Important?
  1. Preventing Overtiredness: Keeping an eye on wake windows ensures your baby doesn’t become overtired, making it easier for them to fall asleep and stay asleep.

  2. Optimal Learning: Babies who sleep well are more alert and engaged during their wakeful periods, facilitating better learning and development.

  3. Improved Mood: Well-rested babies are happier and more content, leading to a more peaceful parenting experience.

Wake Window Guidelines by Age
  1. Newborns (0-3 months): Aim for wake windows between 45 minutes to 1.5 hours. Newborns tire quickly and need short, frequent naps to recharge.

  2. Infants (4-6 months): Wake windows typically extend to 1.5-2.5 hours. Establishing a consistent sleep schedule becomes crucial during this stage.

  3. Babies (7-12 months): Wake windows vary between 2-3 hours. At this stage, babies may transition from three naps to two, focusing on longer morning and afternoon awake periods.

  4. Toddlers (1-2 years): Wake windows are around 3-4 hours. Transitioning to one nap during the day becomes common around 18 months.

Creating a Wake Window Routine
  1. Observe Your Baby: Every baby is unique. Observe your little one’s cues to identify signs of tiredness, such as rubbing eyes, yawning, or becoming fussy.

  2. Establish a Sleep Environment: Create a calming bedtime routine to signal that it’s time for sleep. Dim the lights, engage in gentle activities, and maintain a consistent sleep environment.

  3. Be Flexible: While wake windows provide a guideline, every day might be slightly different. Flexibility is key; adjust the routine based on your baby’s needs.

  4. Stay Consistent: Consistency is crucial in establishing healthy sleep patterns. Stick to the routine, even on weekends, to help your baby recognize and anticipate sleep times.

Understanding and respecting your baby’s wake windows can significantly impact their sleep quality and overall well-being. By following these guidelines and staying attuned to your baby’s needs, you’re not only ensuring their physical health but also nurturing a strong foundation for their emotional and cognitive development. A well-rested baby is a happy baby, and a happy baby makes for a happy family!

Sleeping baby
Sitting Baby

All about developmental leaps

You may have heard about ‘leaps’, but what are they and how do you know if your baby is going through one?

The journey of parenthood is constantly changing as your baby grows and develops. One of the most remarkable aspects of this journey is witnessing your baby’s developmental leaps. These leaps, often accompanied by rapid changes in behaviour and skills, mark significant milestones in your baby’s growth. In this article, we’ll explore what developmental leaps are, why they occur, and how you can support and celebrate these remarkable moments in your baby’s life.

What Are Developmental Leaps?

Developmental leaps, also known as developmental milestones, refer to periods of rapid cognitive, emotional, and physical growth in a baby’s life. During these leaps, your baby acquires new skills, experiences the world in different ways, and often displays noticeable changes in behaviour. These leaps are giant steps forward in your baby’s development, and they happen in a predictable sequence, although the timing may vary from one child to another.

Why Do Developmental Leaps Occur?

  1. Brain Development: The human brain is a complex organ that undergoes significant growth during the first few years of life. Developmental leaps coincide with key stages of brain development, allowing your baby to learn and process information more efficiently.

  2. Stimulation and Experience: Babies learn by interacting with their environment. As they experience new sights, sounds, and sensations, their brains make connections that lead to developmental leaps. Providing a rich and stimulating environment is crucial for this process.

  3. Biological Clock: Some developmental milestones are also influenced by biological clocks. For example, most babies start to crawl and walk around the same age because there are natural developmental sequences at play.

Signs of Developmental Leaps

Recognising a developmental leap in your baby involves paying attention to changes in behaviour and skills. Here are some common signs:

  1. Increased Fussiness: Babies may become more irritable or clingy during a leap. This is because their brains are working hard to process new information, which can be overwhelming.

  2. Sleep Changes: You might notice changes in your baby’s sleep patterns. They may have trouble falling asleep or wake up more frequently during the night.

  3. New Skills: Look for the emergence of new skills, such as rolling over, sitting up, or saying their first words. These are clear indicators that a leap is occurring.

  4. Heightened Awareness: Babies may become more aware of their surroundings and show a stronger interest in exploring objects and people.

How to Support Your Baby Through Leaps

  1. Provide Stimulation: Offer a variety of age-appropriate toys and activities to stimulate your baby’s senses and encourage learning.

  2. Be Patient: Understand that fussiness and changes in behavior are normal during leaps. Extra cuddles and reassurance can go a long way in comforting your baby.

  3. Maintain a Routine: Consistency can provide a sense of security for your baby. Stick to a regular routine even during leaps to help them feel safe and secure.

  4. Celebrate Milestones: Take joy in your baby’s accomplishments. Celebrate each new skill they acquire, whether it’s clapping hands or taking their first steps.

  5. Seek Professional Guidance: If you have concerns about your baby’s development or suspect delays, don’t hesitate to consult with your child health nurse, GP or paediatrician.

Developmental leaps are an integral part of your baby’s growth. As your baby progresses through these leaps, it’s important to remember they need your love and support more than ever as the world around them changes. Your baby’s developmental journey is a remarkable one, filled with endless opportunities for discovery and wonder.

Sitting Baby
Colic

Signs your baby might have colic

Colic can be tough to deal with, but the earlier you can identify the condition the sooner you can seek appropriate support for you and your baby.

Welcoming a new baby into the world can come with challenges, especially when your little one is experiencing discomfort. One of the common challenges parents face is colic—a condition characterized by excessive, inconsolable crying in an otherwise healthy and well-fed baby. Understanding the signs of colic can help parents identify the issue early and seek appropriate support. Here are some common signs that your baby might have colic.

  • Persistent crying:

Colic is often associated with intense and prolonged crying episodes that last for several hours a day, usually in the late afternoon or evening. Colic crying is different from regular fussiness and can be difficult to soothe.

  • Clenching & arching:

During colic episodes, babies may clench their fists, pull their legs up to their abdomen, and arch their backs. These physical signs are indicative of discomfort and abdominal pain.

  • Difficulty sleeping:

Colicky babies may find it challenging to fall asleep or stay asleep. They might be restless and wake frequently during naptimes and nighttime sleep.

  • Intense gassiness & burping:

Excessive gas and frequent burping are common symptoms of colic. Your baby may seem gassier than usual and may be difficult to burp after feeding.

  • Irritability & fussiness:

Aside from crying, colicky babies may display increased irritability and fussiness throughout the day, even when they are not experiencing a crying episode.

  • Unpredictable patterns: 

Colic often presents in an unpredictable pattern, with some days being better than others. The episodes may occur for several weeks, typically peaking around six weeks of age and improving by the age of three to four months.

Recognising the signs of colic in your baby can help you provide the necessary care and support during this challenging phase. Remember that colic is a temporary condition, and seeking advice from your doctor can help rule out other potential causes of your baby’s discomfort. In the meantime, offering comfort, using gentle tummy massages, and creating a calm and soothing environment can all help ease your baby’s distress during colicky episodes. Be patient and know that with time, you’ll be back to enjoying more peaceful and happy moments with your little one.

Infants’ Friend has been formulated with Chamomile, Lemon Balm & Dill Seed Oil; three ingredients traditionally used in Western herbal medicine to relieve colic (wind/gas pain), restless sleep and symptoms of indigestion.

Colic
tummy time

Making tummy time fun for newborns

Tummy time is an essential activity for your newborn’s development

You’ve probably heard about the importance of tummy time for your little one’s development. Not only does it help strengthen their neck, back, and shoulder muscles, but it also aids in motor skill development. However, for some babies, tummy time can be a challenging experience. The good news is that with a little creativity and playfulness, you can make tummy time enjoyable for both you and your newborn. In this article, we’ll explore some fun and engaging activities to make tummy time an exciting part of your daily routine.

1. Start early and gradually increase time

Begin tummy time sessions from the early weeks of your baby’s life, starting with just a few minutes at a time. As your baby grows and becomes more comfortable, gradually increase the duration of the sessions. This gradual progression will help them develop the necessary strength and tolerance for longer periods of tummy time.

2. Use eye-catching toys and props

Babies are naturally drawn to bright colors, interesting shapes, and different textures. Use this to your advantage during tummy time by introducing toys and props that catch their attention. Place soft toys, rattles, or colorful objects within their reach to encourage reaching and grasping. Consider using a baby-safe mirror to let them explore their own reflection, promoting self-awareness and sensory stimulation.

3. Incorporate gentle massage

Make tummy time a soothing experience by incorporating a gentle baby massage. Lay a soft blanket or mat on the floor and place your baby on their tummy. Use slow, circular motions to massage their back, arms, and legs. Not only does this provide a comforting touch, but it also helps relax their muscles and enhance their sensory awareness.

4. Sing and talk to your baby

Engage your little one during tummy time by singing songs or having simple conversations. Your voice will captivate their attention and encourage them to lift their head and look towards you. Singing nursery rhymes, reciting stories, or even making funny sounds will make the experience more interactive and enjoyable for both of you.

5. Make it a family affair

Tummy time doesn’t have to be a solo activity. Involve other family members, such as siblings or grandparents, to create a supportive and bonding environment. Encourage them to get down on the floor and interact with the baby, offering smiles, gentle touches, and words of encouragement. This not only provides additional stimulation but also strengthens family bonds.

6. Use tummy time-friendly toys and play mats

Invest in age-appropriate toys and play mats designed specifically for tummy time. These products often feature interactive elements like mirrors, textures, and sensory activities that engage your baby’s curiosity. Look for play mats with cushions or inclines that provide extra support and make tummy time more comfortable for your little one.

7. Take advantage of the outdoors

When weather permits, take tummy time sessions outdoors. Lay a blanket on a soft, grassy area and let your baby explore nature while enjoying the fresh air. The sights, sounds, and sensations of the outdoors add an extra dimension to tummy time, making it even more stimulating and enjoyable for your newborn.

Tummy time is an essential activity for your newborn’s development, and it can be a wonderful opportunity for bonding and play. By incorporating these fun and interactive ideas, you can turn tummy time into a cherished part of your daily routine. Remember to be patient and supportive as your baby learns and grows, and enjoy this special time together as you watch them reach new milestones.

tummy time
Toys

Playing with your newborn

Looking for ways to interact with your newborn baby?

As a new parent, you may be wondering how to play with your newborn baby, especially when they seem to do nothing but eat, sleep and cry! But did you know that playing with your baby is actually an important part of their development? Here are some fun and easy ways to play with your little one and support their growth and development.

1. Tummy time

Tummy time is a great way to help your baby develop their neck and upper body muscles. Lay your baby on their tummy for short periods throughout the day while you play with them or interact with them. You can make tummy time more fun by placing colourful toys or a mirror in front of them to look at.

2. Sing and talk to your baby

Newborns love the sound of their parents’ voices, so talk or sing to them throughout the day. You can sing nursery rhymes or make up your own silly songs. Talking to your baby also helps them learn language and develop their cognitive skills.

3. Read books

Even though your baby might not understand the words yet, reading to them is still beneficial. Being read to helps them develop listening skills and language recognition, and it’s also a great bonding activity for you and your baby.

4. Play peek-a-boo

Peek-a-boo is a classic game that babies love. Cover your face with your hands or a blanket, then uncover it and say “peek-a-boo!” Your baby will be delighted by the surprise and will start to understand object permanence (that things still exist even if they can’t see them).

5. Use toys and rattles

Simple toys like rattles or soft plush toys can entertain your baby and help them develop their hand-eye coordination. Hold a toy in front of your baby and let them try to grasp it or shake it. You can also move the toy around to encourage their tracking skills.

6. Dance and move

Babies love movement, so holding your little one and dancing or swaying to music can be a fun way to bond and develop their sense of rhythm. You can also gently bounce your baby on your lap or do leg exercises to help them develop their muscles.

In conclusion, playing with your newborn baby is not only fun but also important for their development. Try incorporating some of these easy and enjoyable activities into your daily routine, and watch as your baby grows and develops right before your eyes. Remember, the most important thing is to have fun and enjoy this special time with your little one.

Toys
Dog and Baby

5 Tips to ensure a smooth introduction between your dog and new baby

5 Tips to ensure a smooth introduction between your dog and new baby

Bringing a new baby home is an exciting time for any family, but it can also be stressful for pets. Here are our top tips for introducing your newborn baby to your furry friend at home.

1. Start with a training refresher

Before your baby arrives is the perfect time to make sure your dog is well-behaved and trained. Practice basic commands such as “sit”, “stay” and “leave it”. If your dog has any behavioural issues, now is the time to work on them. Consider hiring a dog trainer or behaviourist to help you get your pup in tip-top shape before the baby comes home.

2. Introduce your dog to baby smells

Before you bring your baby home, bring home an item with your baby’s scent on it, such as an item of clothing or a blanket. Let your dog sniff the item and get used to the new scent. This can also help them associate the scent with a positive experience, like treats or praise.

3. Make the first introduction a positive experience

When it’s time for the first introduction, make sure your dog is calm and relaxed. Keep them on a leash and let them approach the baby slowly. Reward your dog with treats and praise for calm and gentle behaviour. If your dog seems anxious or uncomfortable, give them space and try again later. Never force the introduction.

4. Supervise all interactions

Always supervise your dog and your baby when they’re together. Never leave them alone together, even if you think your dog is trustworthy. Dogs can be unpredictable and accidents can happen. If you need to put your baby down, put them in a safe space like a cot or playpen, and make sure your dog knows they are not allowed in that space.

5. Be patient and positive

Remember, introducing a new baby to your dog takes time and patience. Don’t get discouraged if it takes a while for your dog to warm up to the baby. With positive reinforcement and patience, your dog and your baby can form a beautiful bond that will last a lifetime.

In conclusion, introducing a newborn baby to your dog at home can be a challenging time, but with the right preparation and attitude, it can also be a beautiful one. With time and patience, your dog and baby can become the best of friends.

Dog and Baby
Crying Baby

10 Tips to help soothe your crying baby

Do you have an unsettled, colicky or crying baby?

Here are a few simple techniques you can try to soothe your little one and help keep you both calm.

Sometimes a crying baby can easily be calmed by simple things such as feeding, burping or a nappy change, however there will be times when it seems like your baby is inconsolable and nothing you do calms them down. This could be a sign that your baby is experiencing a bout of colic, but it’s also important to rule out any other symptoms of illness that may warrant a visit to your doctor (such as a temperature, runny nose or any other signs of pain).

If it appears that you simply have a fussy baby on your hands, these simple yet practical techniques may help you calm your little bundle of joy:

1. Swaddle up

Wrapping your baby in a thin, lightweight blanket can help them feel safe and secure. Many parents find that swaddling has a calming effect and can also lead to longer, more peaceful sleep for their little one.

2. Something to suck on

Babies find sucking motions soothing and this can be a simple way to help stop the crying. Help your baby find their thumb, or a dummy, to suck on and see if this helps to soothe them.

3. Hold them close

Similar to swaddling, holding your baby close either by wearing them in a sling or simply carrying them against your body can be very soothing. Hearing your heartbeat and feeling your body warmth can help your baby feel secure and encourage them to relax.

4. Repetitive movements

Many babies find comfort in smooth, rhythmic motions on repeat. Try rocking your crying baby in your arms, sitting in a rocking chair, or taking them for a walk in the pram or drive in the car. When rocking in your arms, try different speeds of motion to see what works best for your baby.

5. White noise

White noise mimics the sounds your baby would have heard in the womb and also help drown out other outside noises. While whooshing sounds may not sound relaxing to you, they are for your baby. If you don’t have a white noise machine handy, try turning on a machine that has repetitive whooshing sounds, such as a vacuum, washing machine, fan, or simply try shushing your crying baby yourself with repetitive ‘shhh… shhh… shhh’ sounds.

6. Sing a song

Sing a lullaby, your favourite song, or even just make something up – your baby won’t mind and the soothing sound of your voice is something familiar and calming for your baby to hear. Singing can also help settle you emotionally and have the effect of synchronicity, where you and your baby end up in the same emotional space. What’s even better, studies have also found that singing to your baby can benefit their cognitive development.

7. Give them a massage

You don’t have to be a masseuse for this one to work. Just a gentle massage on your baby’s back, tummy, arms, legs or feet can be very comforting. Be sure to keep it gentle, but firm enough not to tickle.

8. Wash the tears away

A nice lukewarm bath can help calm your little one and get them relaxed and ready for sleep.

9. Venture outside

Getting out and about might be the last thing on your mind when you’re dealing with a crying baby, but sometimes the change of scenery can be distracting enough to help calm your baby and stop the restlessness. Fresh air, new smells, sights and sounds will do you both good.

10. Keep calm and carry on

If your baby seems to be overstimulated and overwhelmed, take everything down a notch. Draw the curtains, dim the lights, turn the TV or radio off and just be with your baby. If you suspect that your baby may be colicky, practice this technique in the evenings when colic is usually at its peak.

If you think your baby might be suffering from colic, take our colic quiz to find out. If it is colic, Infants’ Friend Oral Liquid has been made using Chamomile, Lemon Balm and Dill Seed Oil – three ingredients traditionally used in western herbal medicine to relieve colic (wind/gas pain), restless sleep and symptoms of indigestion. The Infants’ Friend brand has been used by parents around Australia for over 80 years. To find out more about Infants’ Friend Oral Liquid, click here.

Crying Baby
Infants Friend

First time using Infants’ Friend

First time using Infants’ Friend? We’re here to help!

We get a lot of questions from parents whose newborns are experiencing symptoms of colic and wind discomfort asking how early they can start using Infants’ Friend Oral Liquid, how much to give, and how to give it. If this is your first time using Infants’ Friend, you may also be wondering about these things.

New parents will be pleased to hear that Infants’ Friend Oral Liquid is suitable for use from birth, however there are several factors that are important for you to know if this is your first time using Infants’ Friend. So, before you rush off to buy your first bottle, take a quick look at the tips below to make sure you are doing everything you can for your baby (and your own sanity) at this point in time.

Tips and tricks for your first time using Infants’ Friend Oral Liquid

How much Infants’ Friend Oral Liquid should I give my baby?

Dosage rates can be found on the label and are to be given with feeds, no more than six times daily:

  • Birth – 1 month: 0.25-0.5mL
  • 1-3 months: 0.5-1mL
  • 3-6 months: 1-1.5mL
  • 6-12 months: 1.5-2.5mL
  • 12 months+: 2.5-4mL

What is the best way to give Infants’ Friend Oral Liquid to my baby?

The simplest way to give Infants’ Friend Oral Liquid to your baby is by using the plastic syringe provided to measure the correct dose, and administer directly into the baby’s mouth before a feed.

In bottle-fed babies, Infants’ Friend Oral Liquid can also be added to the bottle just prior to feeding.

If you are adding Infants’ Friend Oral Liquid to your baby’s bottle, it’s important to remember to add the dosage just prior to feeding. We do not recommend heating a bottle with Infants’ Friend already added, as this could reduce the effectiveness of the Oral Liquid.

How often should I give Infants’ Friend Oral Liquid to my baby?

Infants’ Friend Oral Liquid can be given before or after a feed, up to six times daily. We recommend starting your baby on a lower dose and gradually increasing the frequency to establish what works best for your baby, without exceeding six doses in a 24 hour period.

We hope these tips help make your first time using Infants’ Friend Oral Liquid a breeze and bring some much needed relief to you and your baby!

If you have further questions about using Infants’ Friend Oral Liquid, please contact us. If symptoms persist or you have any health concerns, please seek advice from your health professional.

For answers to more frequently asked questions, please click here.

Infants Friend
Infant Colic

Infant Colic Explained

Infant Colic Explained

What is infant Colic?

Infant colic is described as excessive crying of unknown cause in an otherwise healthy baby.

While crying and fussing is common in infants, especially in the first few months of life, regular bouts of inconsolable crying that occur mostly in the evenings is usually a sign of colic. Colic can be particularly frustrating for parents, as the crying happens for no apparent reason and it can be near impossible to calm the baby during one of these episodes.

Infant colic can start from as early as a few days old and is most common in babies from two to 16 weeks of age.

Around one in four babies will experience colic.

How do I know if my baby has colic?

Colic most often appears in the first two to four weeks of life and peaks around six to eight weeks of age. Colic appears in babies who are healthy, eating and growing well and are their usual happy selves during the day until the late afternoon or early evening when the crying spells start.

There are some common signs to help you identify if your baby might have colic. Typically, babies with colic will display some or all of the following:

  • Long, loud and high-pitched bouts of screaming/crying
  • Crying lasts for over three hours, three or more days per week at around the same time each day
  • Baby cannot be consoled
  • Reddening of the face
  • Baby may pull its legs and arms in towards its belly, have clenched fists and an arched back
  • Frowning and grimacing
  • Loud tummy rumblings/bloating.

Sometimes these symptoms can subside after the baby passes wind or has bowel movements.

If you’re not sure if your baby has colic, take our online colic quiz here.

What causes colic?

Despite significant research, the cause of infant colic remains unknown. There are a number of theories on what may be the cause of colic in infants, however some babies will experience colic despite no clear signs of the cause.

How to treat colic

There is no miracle cure for colic in infants, but there are a number of things you can try to help settle your baby and ease the discomfort your baby might be experiencing. Keep in mind that babies with colic are not unwell or in pain, and there is no ‘best’ way to go about soothing your baby; it’s important to try a range of methods to see what works best for you:

  • Check that your baby doesn’t need a feed or nappy change or is not uncomfortable in some other way (ie. too hot or too cold, hair or threads wrapped around fingers or toes etc)
  • Swaddling and holding your baby close to you can be very soothing for babies
  • Gentle rocking and patting
  • Try giving a dummy; sucking motions are soothing for babies
  • Dim the lights to create a relaxing atmosphere
  • If your baby is bottle-fed, try some different bottle types to see if they help your baby swallow less air
  • Try using Infants’ Friend Oral Liquid – a formula developed with ingredients traditionally used in western herbal medicine to relieve colic (wind/gas pains), restless sleep and symptoms of indigestion. Find out more here.

Colic episodes can be quite distressing for parents, so it’s important to try to remain calm. If you feel yourself getting stressed, angry or anxious during a crying spell, put your baby down safely in the cot and step out of the room for a few minutes to calm yourself.

If you are concerned that it might not be colic, you should always seek advice from a health professional to rule out any other causes of your baby’s discomfort.

Things to remember

  • Infant colic is frequent and intense crying of unknown cause, for more than three hours at a time
  • Colic appears in healthy babies and is not generally a cause for concern for your baby’s health
  • There is no known cause for colic in infants, but common theories include immaturity of the digestive system, wind or gas.
Infant Colic
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