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Forget Charlie’s Angels - meet Caroline’s Angels:

Introducing a new regular column from child health professionals, midwives, mum's and parenting specialists - Caroline's Angels.
By Carolines' Angels
Date: January 09 2013
Editor Rating:

This is our very first column introducing Caroline’s Angels, and we’re delighted to be on board with Motherpedia to bring you regular parenting advice.

To help us, help you, we’re keen to hear from you about the everyday questions you have to help make your parenting experience that much more enjoyable! Please feel free to comment or question below.

I wanted to let you know a little bit about us at Caroline’s Angels.

Yes, we have professional backgrounds in Child Health and Midwifery and have worked with parents, babies and children for over 20 years; but most importantly we are parents just like you!

What I learnt the fastest with my two beautiful daughters, Miranda and Lucy, is that even though our overall rules were the same for both of them - for example, bedtime is at 7pm - how we taught each of our children those rules was very different. 

Miranda liked to think of the world from her own perspective. If I set a clock up that said bedtime was at 7pm, and then said: “It’s 7! What’s supposed to happen at 7?” she would say: “Bedtime Mummy,” and go along to bed without any problems. But if I told her it was bedtime she would resist as she hadn’t thought of it herself. So we always need to use a bit of reverse psychology with her.

In contrast, her sister Lucy - born from the same genes mind you - responds completely differently. She likes to cooperate and please others and is very keen to show people she knows what is the ‘right’ thing to do. This is just her nature. To simply say, “It’s 7, it’s time for bed – let’s get into bed for stories” was enough.

Caroline McMahon also found this with her two sons. She had to alter her approach with each of her boys to get them to go to sleep.

So for both of us, the rule we applied to our respective children was the same, but how we went about implementing it with them as individuals, was quite different.

To us, as parents, it is all about getting to know your kids and what is the right approach for them.

Many parents come to us with baby number three or four, quite exasperated. They just cannot work out why their baby is not settling using the techniques that their previous two children have used. They have tried and tried and still can’t get their baby to settle or stay asleep as they have done before with their other children.

It is not because you are incorrectly implementing these strategies or missing a step, it is simply that this baby is different to their siblings and therefore his or her needs are different too.

If this is happening to you, just take a breath and start to look at your baby a little differently. Note what they like and what they respond to. Work out how you can assist your baby’s individual needs to sleep.

This is how Caroline’s Angels works too. We don’t just say every family and every child is different – we believe it. We tailor our approach to helping your baby to sleep differently with each family to accommodate everyone’s different needs.

Whatever it is that you are trying to establish and create for your child and your family, do what feels right for them and for you. If you feel comfortable with a rule or an experience that you offer your child, your child probably will feel comfortable and go with it as well. This is because from as young as 24 hours of age, babies can sense the emotions of their mother. Within a few days they can feel what their fathers are feeling.

How they do this is amazing and complex. They can’t name the feeling - rather they react to it. The mind of your child is very clever from day one.

With this in mind, always go with what feels comfortable and right. If you need to make changes for any reason, say, to improve sleep, take the path that causes the least amount of stress and conflict.

Go step-by-step at a speed you feel right about and your child will feel right along with you. Be strategic and pick your timing for when you feel at your most supported.

We look forward to sharing the journey with you over the coming months, and welcome any feedback.

Happy parenting!

Caroline Radford and Caroline McMahon

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