Author Archives: SarahOckwell-Smith

About SarahOckwell-Smith

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

How to Help Children to Cope with the Death of a Pet

Losing a pet can be a really tough time for children, it is however an incredibly important learning opportunity. For most children, the loss of a pet is their first encounter with death and grief, handling it well can really … Continue reading

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The What, Why. When and How of Sleep Regressions

What Are Sleep Regressions? We often make the mistake of thinking that baby sleep is linear. By that, I mean the presumption that it starts off really bad when you have a newborn and then it gets progressively better as … Continue reading

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Why Does Toddler Sleep Regress? (and what can you do to help?)

….it is very common for children who have previously ‘slept through the night’ as babies to start waking up again as toddlers. If you are there right now, the first thing you should understand is that it’s normal. The second thing you should understand is that it is transient and the third thing you should understand is that it isn’t happening because of you! Continue reading

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Potty Training Regressions and Refusals – Why They Happen and How to Cope!

While there are a multitude of different potty training problems, the two most common – and definitely the ones I get the most questions about – are regressions (accidents after a period of being fully dry/clean for a good while) and refusals (refusing to use the potty or toilet, most commonly after 3-7 days of beginning training). Let’s look at both of these, the reasons that are usually behind them and what parents can do about them. Continue reading

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The Dreaded Nap Drop – How to Cope When Your Child Drops Their Nap

When your child stops napping it’s likely that they will grumpy in the days sometimes, that’s normal. They are learning to last the day without a nap. Continue reading

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The Problem With Toys: Why Children Lose Interest in New Toys Quickly

Many parents despair of their child’s inability to play alone for any length of time, or the speed at which they get bored with toys. The biggest problem with most toys today is that their play appeal is limited. A shape sorter is just a shape sorter, put the shapes into the holes and the toy no longer offers interest. An entertainment centre loses appeal after the buttons have been pushed, the beads moved along and the xylophone chimed. Most toys have a specific design and a specific purpose. When the child bores of the set purpose, the toy no longer holds appeal for them. Once the function of the toy has been exhausted they cannot be used in other ways, or allow the child to use their imagination. Continue reading

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The Top Six Causes of Sleep Problems in School Aged Children (and how to fix them!)

Do you have a slightly older child and struggle with their sleep? Sadly, ‘sleep problems’ are fairly common throughout childhood. The good news however, is that as children get older, night waking lessens dramatically. Most sleep problems in older childhood usually centre on bedtime resistance and early morning waking. Let’s look at the top six problems – and how to fix them! Continue reading

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How to Increase  Self-Esteem and Self-Confidence in Children

If you want to improve behavior, you have to improve how the child feels about himself. Helping a child to feel good about themselves is one of the most enjoyable and fulfilling parts of gentle discipline. Here are a few ways you can help: Continue reading

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How to Stop Last Minute Potty Dashes

You know your child needs to go to the toilet; you watch them hopping from foot to foot, squeezing their legs together and making strange squirming faces. You ask them if they need to go? “NO!” they emphatically reply! Then two minutes later, a puddle appears on floor. Or, they run and mid dash, they have an accident. Why does this happen? and what can you do to stop it? Continue reading

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How Much Sleep Should Babies Really Get?

Any recommendations given are simply that, recommendations and any trustworthy sources provide a rough guide rather than a fixed figure of hours or time. Most recommendations for amount of baby sleep required, including suggested bedtimes and length and amount of naps, are not evidence based. Most stem from personal opinion with some being more educated than others. Continue reading

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