Wakey wakey

A wakeful baby lives a much fuller life than one who sleeps for several hours a day


From around the age of 6 months your baby should be settling into a routine. Although you may be getting a better night’s sleep now, be prepared for a shock when your baby drops his usual morning and afternoon long naps.


Suddenly, all those chores you used to get done during naptimes begin piling up and you have an active baby on your hands all day who needs entertaining.

‘A wakeful baby lives a much fuller life than one who sleeps for several hours a day. He’ll need your help constantly, too,’ says childcare expert Penelope Leach. However, instead of dropping naptime altogether, Penelope suggests putting your baby down for a rest even if he doesn’t sleep. You may find he’s content to play quietly, talk to himself or look at things,’ she says. ‘If he is, leave him. If he’s not, go to him quickly. Don’t leave him upset or he’ll start to see his cot as a prison and may not happilygo into it next time.’

It’s a gender thing

Boys and girls are different and male and female brains work
in very different ways. Here’s what you can expect:


DEVELOPMENT GIRLS BOYS Natural ability She has good language skills such as talking, reading and writing. His language is slower but he has good spatial skills, such as avoiding an object in his path so he won’t bump into it. Social skills She’s sociable and is more interested in people and feelings. He’s interested in objects. He tends to look after himself rather than groups of people. Behaviour and personality She copes well with stress and tends to have fewer behavioural problems. He can be more aggressive, competitive and rebellious Physical growth She will normally walk earlier, and grow more steadily. Bladder and bowel control come earlier, too. He will develop faster physically, and have growth spurts when many skills tend to emerge at once.

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