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Is today’s society to blame for sleep problems?

I believe the way we live today is a big factor in why we are now seeing so many sleep and other problems in babies. In years gone by, larger families who lived much closer together meant mothers, aunts or other experienced relatives visited frequently, perhaps even daily, and new mothers were handed down lots of tips and little bits of advice.

These days with older generations living further away or working full-time, these visits are much fewer. I think grandparents try to give the same advice at times but, because they are around a lot less, they give too much advice at once and this is often seen as interfering. Some young parents shut their ears and don’t take the advice in; others try to but can’t take in so much information at once.

Larger families also meant young girls (rarely boys) learnt the skill of mothering very early, not by choice but because their role in the family was to help with the babies and younger children while mothers spent most of the day keeping the household running. For better or for worse, today’s society is very different. In fact, leaving your six-year-old to mind the baby could find you in trouble with the law!

In today’s society, because we no longer have our extended family close by, I feel it is very important you go to your local baby clinic and join the mothers’ group for your baby’s age. When you first have your baby the idea of going once a week or fortnight to this group often feels like a big chore. But believe me you will be pleased you made the effort because you will be able to ask the nurse lots of questions and the mothers and babies you meet now, you will most likely stay friends with and use as a support network until your baby starts school.

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