Author Archives: SarahOckwell-Smith

About SarahOckwell-Smith

Sarah Ockwell-Smith, Parenting author and mother to four.

How to Get a Baby to Take a Lovey or Comfort Object

The best thing a mother can do is to allow her baby to snuggle and feed as often as they need. Often though this is not possible. Returning to work or even just needing a couple of hours ‘me time’ necessitate that babies sometimes need other things that comfort them too. When it comes to sleep, if the baby has an object which they strongly associate with their mother they may transition between sleep cycles independently, feeling as if they have a piece of their mum/mom with them. Continue reading

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What to Do When You Feel Like Sleep Training Your Baby

I know too well how tempting it is to follow the magic sleep plan your friend with the perfect sleeping baby has followed. I know what it feels like to second, third and fourth guess your choices. Your parenting style is meant to make your baby MORE confident, but she’s only becoming clingier. What did you do wrong to create such a needy and anxious little boy? The answer is – absolutely nothing. NOTHING you have done has created a ‘bad sleeper’. Continue reading

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How to Stop Rocking Your Baby to Sleep

Babies need to feel safe and secure and they need our help to calm them to a level where it is easy to fall asleep. The close contact and movement of rocking meets all of these needs. In time all babies will grow out of the need for rocking, the question is whether they outgrow this need before they become too big and heavy for the parent to rock. Continue reading

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Why Your Child Needs Boundaries – and How to Set & Enforce Them

Boundaries play a crucial role in Gentle Parenting, in fact, so much so they really do form one of its cornerstones. I think the difficulty in understanding, comes from those who don’t really ‘get’ this style of parenting and also from those who practice it, but are a bit too scared to set and particularly enforce boundaries. Continue reading

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When Good-Eater Babies Become Picky-Eater Toddlers.

I felt like a good mum. I felt like I had this eating thing sorted. I didn’t understand why so many parents complained about their child’s eating. In fact, I believed that they had brought the problems upon themselves, by not offering their child a good range of different tastes and textures and instead pandering to their children. Oh, how wrong I was. Continue reading

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Self-Care: Your Secret Parenting Weapon

Parenting is undoubtedly the hardest job you will ever do in your life. It is unrelenting. There is no sick pay, no duvet days when you’re ill, no holiday pay, no ‘away days’, no personnel support or workplace counselling. It is an  amazing, but often tortuous blend of constant physical and mental effort. 
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Choosing Childcare: How to Choose a Setting In-Line With Your Parenting Beliefs

Preparing your list of questions in advance is vital. Write them down and take them with you to the meeting. If you run out of time to ask them all, ask the provider if you can send the rest over to them via email. Don’t feel embarrassed if your list is long, you are entrusting your most precious ‘possession’ in this person’s care! Continue reading

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When Parents Disagree: What to do When You Clash With Your Partner on Parenting Style

But what do you do if the differences in your parenting beliefs surface further down the line? First, you have to acknowledge your partner’s feelings and try to understand where they come from. Often, if somebody has been raised in a certain way (and says, “It never did me any harm”), for the other partner to say that they would like to do things differently is a bit of an insult to their in-laws. Continue reading

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Whining Woes – Why Children Whine & How to Stop it.

Why Do Children Whine?
Children whine for many different reasons; however, there are some that are fairly universal. Let’s take a look at some of the most common reasons for whining and how to reduce them, using a mindful and gentle approach to discipline. Continue reading

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Why Baby Schedules Suck – But Bedtime Routines Rule!

In writing my The Gentle Eating Book it became apparent to me that every piece of research I came across, supported the idea of responsive feeding in infancy. In short, this means that for the best outcomes (by that I mean weight gain, health, future eating habits, risk of obesity and so on) for babies, they need to be fed (and for babies eating and thirst may be different entirely – but both require milk) when THEY need to be fed. The healthiest thing a parent can do is watch for their cues and follow them. Continue reading

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