Sleep advice for sweeter dreams
Are you lingering just a little too long at the window of your local bed superstore, possibly dribbling slightly? Then you may also be thinking about making some changes to your baby’s current sleep pattern. We’ve collated tried and tested sleep advice to ease you into sweeter dreams…
One of the best things about babies and sleep is that patterns change frequently. If you’re finding this phase tricky, next week you could be in Actual Sleep Heaven. Well-meaning friends, relatives and strangers in supermarkets (always one, isn’t there) may offer advice. But this is ultimately about finding what works for you. Oh, and you’re awesome.
Sleep when they sleep (if you can)
If this is your first baby, sleeping when they sleep helps. You might envision your home being a haven of domestic bliss when visitors call but
a) they’ll only have eyes for your beautiful baby, and
b) do you really want to associate with people who judge you on your domestic skills alone?
Forget the housework, get back into your PJs and take a nap. If you have other children or are going back to work don’t worry - there are many ways you can begin to achieve more restful nights…
All day and all of the night
Teaching him the difference between night and day, will help. During the day, throw those curtains wide, play and don’t worry about noise - even when he is sleeping. In fact, if you avoid tip-toeing around when he sleeps, he will get used to sleeping through background noise. When he wakes at night-time, keep lighting dim, avoid playing or talking to him too much and put him back down as soon as he is fed or changed. He will begin to realise that daytime is for fun and night-time is for sleeping.
The old routine
It’s never too early to start a bed-time routine. This is also great one-to-one time for you both. It’s about finding what works for you but some old favourites include baths, sleepwear and a fresh nappy, milk, kisses and cuddles and a lullaby or musical mobile. Keep it simple, soothing and consistent - they’ll soon associate it with sleep.
Rocking or feeding her is an effective way to get her back to sleep in the first few months. Try using these methods less as she grows. Ultimately she’ll learn to fall asleep by herself. Slowly breaking the link between feeding or rocking and sleep will help to take you out of the equation eventually.
Whilst babies need to feed during the night, rather than rushing to the cot at her first murmur you could leave her a moment to see if she settles down.
Want to make sure your baby is sleeping as safely as possible? Check out these tips from the Lullaby Trust.