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Seven Ways to Guarantee a Great Night’s Sleep for your Baby ”
Around the three month mark, your baby will begin to understand the difference between day and night. Although sleeping should come naturally, some babies require a helping hand.
Sleep is essential for your baby as it’s while they are asleep; they grow and develop into the child he or she will become. Sleep is also crucial for you as a parent. Without adequate sleep, parenting can become a chore, and that’s not what it should be about.
Learn the skill of sending your baby to sleep, and the rest will fall into place naturally. Trust us – here are seven tried and tested tips to ensure a great night’s sleep.
Decide on Specific Bedtime
Deciding on a specific bedtime can appear complicated, but it’s not – decide on a time that suits your lifestyle and stick to it.
Whether it’s 6 pm or 8 pm, once you have a time in mind working towards that time becomes much more comfortable, as you have a target.
Wind Down Time
If your baby has been fed and winded some quiet time is now a good idea: nothing too stimulating. Easier said than done I know, especially if you have older children or a dog to walk.
Remember your baby will be happy just sitting and watching you. Just hearing your voice is comforting. Stay away from TV or tablets, anything with a blue light that will stimulate the brain and stop the release of the sleep hormone melatonin.
Create a Bedtime Routine
The most significant part of any bedtime routine is the routine itself – we know this sounds obvious but by creating a routine life becomes easier for the entire family.
By now, you have decided on your baby’s bedtime, and now it’s bath time. Bath time is a great bonding experience, carried out at the end of the day; it will also be a relaxing experience. No splashing or playing just a quick bath in warm water and a clean nappy and into a sleepsuit or babygrow.
Don’t forget how important brushing teeth is from a young age. There are various choices in baby toothbrushes to choose from.
Storytime is not about books and reading to your child at this age; it’s more about being calm and comforting and establishing your routine.
Keep the bedroom cool but not cold, and the ideal temperature is 16 and 20 degrees Celsius – this might seem on the cool side, but sleep experts agree it’s the right temperature for a good night’s sleep.
Dim the lights and close the blinds, if your bedtime is while it’s still light outside a blackout blind is a must.
Now is also an excellent time for the last feed. Whichever order you decide on, it’s the routine that is important.
Create a Safe and Comforting Environment
Your baby will associate sleeping with his cot, and it doesn’t matter if the cot is in your room or baby’s room or shared with another child; as long as it is familiar.
Babies, just like children, need to feel secure to go to sleep. Such a simple thing like a familiar weighted blanket or soft toy that is always in the cot is a great way to teach the baby about bedtime.
Try tucking the baby into bed with a flat sheet over bottom and legs and always put babies to sleep on their backs. They may turn over naturally, but this is usually less of a worry as if they can turn over they can usually roll back into a comfortable sleeping position.
Put Baby Down While Awake
It’s tempting to let the baby fall asleep on you, and it often happens during the last feed but creating a bed routine that includes putting the baby down while awake is the best thing you can do for you and your child.
Teaching babies good sleep habits will see them through their lives, and they will thank you for it (eventually). It’s also good for your mental health. A happy mummy/daddy/carer makes for a happy baby.
Put the baby into the cot and say goodnight, leave the room and only go back if the baby is crying, not calling but actually crying. I know this sounds harsh, and you may be lucky, and he or she falls asleep quickly. If not, go back in, speak to the baby quietly and calmly; reassure but try not to pick the baby up.
You may have to do this several times before they settle, but it’s worth it in the long run.
As my mother always used to say, “it’s a mother’s job to worry”, believe me, you will have bigger things to occupy your mind as your family grows. So if the baby is well-fed, clean and relaxed, sleep will come naturally.
Be confident that you’re doing a great job, because you are. So maybe it takes a while to establish a routine, but you will get there in the end.
Remember, tomorrow is another day, and life with a baby gets more comfortable when you get used to each other, and you get your natural rhythm going and you will – eventually.
Seven Ways to Guarantee a Great Night’s Sleep for your Baby