Getting a good night’s sleep is the holy grail of every working parent, but how do you
break the bad habits of a little lifetime? Parent coach Aoife Lee has some answers.
For a parent or child, we all know going to sleep. Looking for a good rule THINGS THAT GO BUMP
what it feels like to get that full of thumb? The recommended time for a IN THE NIGHT
night’s sleep: We are bright, well child to be asleep in bed is 8pm.
rested and full of energy and ready If you have a tiny visitor during the
to take on the day. For our children, they DAYTIME ROUTINE night, explore during the daytime what
are content, full of beans and are ready for it is that’s upsetting them most. Bad
action! Having a good daytime routine, dreams are common for all ages but
encouraging predictable mealtimes, naps smaller children in particular find it hard
Often with young children, we can and outside playtime if possible helps to determine between what’s real and
experience nights of broken or interrupted children feel more secure and to know
sleep. Whether it’s a baby needing a feed,
a toddler wanting to sleep in your bed, what to expect. As night-time approaches what’s fantasy. Reassure your child that
bad dreams or an early riser – it can be try and create a sense of calm, avoid busy they are okay while staying with them
exhausting and difficult trying to function cartoons, loud music and rough and as they settle back to sleep. Likewise, if
at work the next day. tumble play. they simply just want to be cosy in beside
When we are working we want to be BEDTIME ROUTINES you. However, sleep is a priority for
able to give our children what they need everyone. Returning them to their own
to make them happy and comfortable Creating a predictable and consistent
while also keeping it together so we can bed, taking the
focus on our day’s work. With a plan of
action, consistency and perseverance there same approach
is so much that we can do to help both
ourselves and our child to settle and sleep “Whether it’s a baby needing a feed, a each time will be
more contently. a big help. Some
ENCOURAGE POSITIVE toddler wanting to sleep in your bed, families are
SLEEP HABITS bad dreams or an early riser – it can be happy to have
exhausting and difficult trying to function”
If we want to encourage sleep in small extra time to
babies and young children we first need to cuddle, but if it’s
look for the signals of them feeling tired something you
or sleepy and then act on it. When young
babies are tired they often appear agitated, want to change
rubbing their eyes, yawning or crying.
For the toddler or the older child, it’s the then a plan is
same but tiredness can also be judged on
behaviour as they can be more irritable. necessary.
Small children are not good judges of how
tired they are so often they will keep going bedtime routine from when your child EARLY RISERS
until they hit that wall. Babies and young is a small baby is a great way to start.
children can become over-tired and can I always encourage a visual picture A particular challenge with an early riser
have that second wind. As a result they sequence that you can place up on your or a child prone to night-time waking is
will fight it and have difficulty settling and wall near their bedroom to allow your that pre-schoolers can’t tell the time and
child to see what is happening next – don’t know when it’s morning. Often for
pyjamas, hands, face and teeth, story the parent it’s easier to allow them into
time, cuddle and time to settle to sleep. If their bed if it means two more hours of
you also work outside the home, bedtime sleep! Whatever the approach you decide
might be the time that you chat about to take it’s important that you decide on a
the day. If you find your child becomes plan of action, be consistent and persevere!
overwhelmed with questions, try and ask
them what their favourite part of the day Aoife Lee is a Parent Coach for Giraffe
was in crèche or school. They are more Childcare.
likely to share if it’s an open question.
Forget bouncing back, it’s time to reclaim the fourth BBIERFTOHRE THE
trimester and nourish new motherhood the way our
ancestors did. Heng Ou, author of The First Forty Likely, you’ve been following your
Days: The Essential Art of Nourishing the New own protocol of healthy eating since
Mother gives us a quick lesson in healing and some you discovered you were pregnant. It’s
recipes to fortify during the early days. never too late to fortify yourself even
more, especially to get empowered
“After the rigorous The first 40 days is a period of for birth and recovery. Try out new
and demanding time unlike any other. It is a short foods now, while you still have the
act of birth, it was season of life that follows the headspace and energy to notice what
considered critically delivery of your child – an almost you like best and how it makes you
necessary for the six-week-long period that arrives feel – information you’ll draw on later
whole family – and after many weeks of pregnancy and who to make quick choices about what
for society at large knows how many hours of labour – in which you need to feel warm and sated. In
– that a woman be you recover from birth, your baby unfurls particular:
given the first 40 slowly into the world of bright lights and • If you aren’t already including
days to heal and rest” sounds, and together you devote yourselves to
forging your relationship outside the womb. bone broths in your diet, start now.
Extracted from The In other times, and in other places around the One of the most healing foods on
First Forty Days world, a postpartum period of healing and the planet, these will fortify you
(€20.99) by Heng Ou adjustment was expected and allowed. After for childbirth, and the collagen
with Amely Greeven the rigorous and demanding act of birth, it supports healthy skin – great for
and Marisa Belger, was considered critically necessary for the your stretching belly and your post-
published by Stewart, whole family – and for society at large – that delivery recovery.
Tabori & Chang. a woman be given the first 40 days to heal • Smoothies (served at room
Available 26 April. and rest. temperature) and soups are a terrific
way to take in lots of good nutrition
For the first 40 days – or sometimes the first in liquid form – ideal for a stomach
30 or 21, depending on the culture – a new that is increasingly short on space,
mother stayed secluded from the busy stream thanks to baby’s growing body.
of life, tucked indoors with her infant at her • A raspberry leaf infusion, sipped
side. She received special meals to rebuild throughout the day, is one of
energy, replenish lost nutrients, and help the very best things you can do
her body produce breast milk. She followed to prepare for labour, as it helps
traditional practices of keeping rested and to tone the uterus and supports
warm to prevent exhaustion and depletion. reproductive function. Drinking a
nettle infusion will deliver energy as
well as iron.
• Start to make a gradual shift away
from consuming ice-cold drinks and
overly chilled foods. Instead, sip on
room temperature or warm water.
POST-PARTUM RECIPES for the First Forty Days
MISO AND SJOMYOFOUTLHGIREEEN VANILLA COCONUT
BURDOCK SOUP HAYSTACKS
Serves 6 Makes 1 dozen
This is a smoothie that’s as hearty as a soup
Drinking this soup when cocooned in your and its combo of magic plant ingredients has Pillowy and lovely, coconut haystacks are
little nest will
feel like getting a hug from become our special sauce – so addictive I soft and yielding—the food equivalent of a
mother nature. Combine burdock root, always guzzle the leftovers from the blender contented sigh—and because they’re full of
mushrooms, seaweed, and salty miso paste pitcher. Adjust the type of greens depending protein from the egg whites and healthy fat
in a pot, and you get a fortifying balance of on your digestion, as kale can cause gas if from the coconut, you get well fed while you
land and sea. Fresh burdock root is famed for you’re not used to it. Parsley adds a fresh, revel in their bliss. For an extra and unique
its purifying and immune-boosting effects grassy flavour,
but for those unaccustomed fragrance and heart-opening element, add a
and can be found at health food stores and to green smoothies, it might be too strong a few drops of rose water to these treats; it’s a
Asian markets. taste to start with. perfect pairing with the vanilla.
1-inch (2.5-cm) knob of fresh ginger,
1–2 handfuls of kale leaves or spinach 6 large egg whites (save the yolks for custard
peeled and sliced into matchsticks leaves or mayo)
(baby kale is delicious if you can find it)
1 cup (60g) matchsticks of fresh unpeeled 1/2 tsp sea salt
burdock (if fresh is not available, you can use 2 cups (480 ml) coconut water
1/2 cup (about 80g) dried burdock) 1/2 cup (120ml) honey
1 tbsp almond or sunflower seed butter or
1 cup (115g) cubes of unpeeled daikon peanut butter 41/2 cups (385g) shredded unsweetened
1 medium carrot, peeled and cut into cubes 1/2 a fresh or frozen banana
2 or 3 drops rose water (optional)
2 whole scallions, white ends cut off and 1/4 cup (9g) parsley leaves
discarded Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease a
1 tbsp black sesame seeds
1 cup (70g) sliced white or (60g) cremini 1baking sheet with coconut oil or butter.
mushrooms 1 tbsp maca powder (optional) In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg
1 strip of kombu (helps with digestion and 1 tbsp spirulina powder (optional) 2whites and salt until stiff peaks form. Gently
1/2 tbsp bee pollen (optional) mix in the honey, vanilla, shredded coconut, and
2 tbsp sesame oil
2 tsps organic miso of rose water, if using, until just combined. Don’t
choice 1Strip the kale leaves from the stems
(not necessary if using baby kale), and 3overmix or you’ll deflate the egg whites.
1In a medium stockpot, bring 7 cups discard the stems. Blend all the ingredients Drop tablespoons of the batter onto the
(1.7 L) water to a rolling boil. Add the in a blender until well combined. Drink greased baking sheet, pulling the tops up a
ginger, burdock, daikon, carrots, scallions, bit when you lift the spoon away to form a tiny,
mushrooms, kombu, and sesame oil, reduce 2immediately. rounded mountain peak (like a chocolate kiss)
heat to low, and simmer, covered, for 40 TIP: The optional tonic powders will add
the crowning touch: Malty maca helps 4each time.
2minutes. Remove from heat. stabilise hormones and provide energy while Bake for 8 minutes and check. If the
Spoon out some of the hot broth into a bee pollen infuses you with folic acid and B haystacks are not turning slightly golden
small bowl, stir in the miso paste, and let vitamins—it’s an energy tonic in traditional yet, leave them in the oven for another 4
Chinese medicine. Start with tiny doses and minutes. Most likely total bake time will be 10
3it dissolve. see how your body likes it. to 12 minutes. Remove the haystacks from
When the rest of the broth has cooled
a the oven when they’re just a bit golden on the
bit and the steam has subsided, after outside and still soft inside.
Let cool on the pan
about 5 minutes, stir the miso broth back or on a wire rack
for 3 to 5 minutes. Serve warm
or at room temperature.
4into the pot.
This is a great soup to drink throughout
the day as needed. Pour the desired
amount of soup into a smaller pot and reheat
it on the lowest setting, without letting it
come to a boil (that will destroy the enzymes
in the miso). Soup can be stored in the fridge
up to 5 days.