Australia’s quintuplet mum Kim Tucci is actually a mother of eight. In her new book I’ve had 8 babies and if there’s one thing I’ve learned… she shares over one hundred parenting tips, including some brilliant advice on getting kids to sleep and helping them stay in bed.
Don’t creep around
Allow normal household noises at nap times. Whatever you do, don’t creep around the house while your baby sleeps because you’re afraid to wake them. Every little creak, whisper and door knock will wake a baby that has only learned to fall asleep when there is total silence.
Make normal household noise at nap times and do it from the moment you bring bub home. It will help them become accustomed to the level of noise that will continue for several hours after they have been put to bed.
Help pillows stay put
When the quins started using pillows at 18 months, every morning I would go into their rooms to find they had thrown all their pillows on the floor.
I quickly got fed up with picking up five pillows after every sleep, so I decided to put the pillows under the sheet; this way they would stay in one spot and couldn’t be moved or thrown out of the cot.
Sleeping bag sorted
If you are putting your child into a sleeping bag only to find it has been taken off at some point during the night (an exciting trick that can lead to extended wakefulness and other mischief), try putting the sleeping bag on backwards! That way, they can’t reach the zipper (and don’t worry, this is still comfortable for them).
Speedy sheet changes
Tips for quick sheet changes: I don’t think any parent can be prepared for their first night-time chunder or poo explosion! One way to save yourself some time is to fold an old baby wrap or swaddle in half and place it over the top third of the mattress (securely tucking it in).
The quintuplets would lay their heads over the old swaddles, which meant I only had to change the swaddle rather than a set of sheets each time one of the babies was sick – which was regularly, seeing as four of my quintuplets had reflux!
Doubling up on mattress protectors and sheets means you can quickly remove a soiled top layer without the drama of changing cot and bed sheets in the middle of the night. This is another reason to be open to using preloved sheets and mattress protectors.
Stop toddler bedtime tumbles
If you are worried about your toddler rolling out of a single bed, position a pool noodle along the edge of the bed under the fitted sheet to create a makeshift bed rail.
To keep nightmares at bay …
Make a monster spray! As their imaginations develop, it’s common for toddlers and young children to become fearful of what lurks in the dark.
When we moved house, Kurt was afraid of his new room. I bought a spray bottle and popped a funky-looking homemade label on it that read ‘Monster Spray’. Trust me when I say that this works!
Fill the bottle up with water, add a few drops of lavender oil and spray the room just before bed; don’t forget to spray under the bed and in the cupboard!
This is an extract from I’ve had 8 babies and if there’s one thing I’ve learned… by Kim Tucci, Plum, RRP $19.99