As a new parent, getting enough sleep can be a real challenge and you often look for tip tips. Especially if your little bundle of joy isn’t sleeping well. A sleep-deprived baby can be fussy, cranky, and difficult to soothe.
To start off the year, lets cover some of the basic, top 5 tips to support better sleep for babies. Later this month I will be covering pre-school and primary aged children. Keep an eye out for this if you babies are growing fast!
Whenever I visit baby and toddler groups I always say something that many wouldn’t expect! If sleep is going well for you, and you are happy – as long as everyone is healthy and safe, don’t change a thing! However, if things feel a bit unsustainable, the tips below can be a really good starting point for improving everyone’s sleep.
Top Tips for improving babies sleep
Check out the Lullaby Trust
The Lullaby Trust raises awareness of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)and provides expert advice on safer sleep for babies, including bed sharing. Check them out to make sure your little one is as safe as possible. Tips include, making sure their room is between 16 -20°C, always place them down on their back, and keep the babies sleep surface flat.
Keep it dark
A dark environment can really support babies sleep. They aren’t stimulated when they wake in the night. By keeping out daylight in the early morning, it can stop their day starting too early! Providing a clear distinction between night and day is also helpful. Make day bright and noisy, and keep naps and nighttime, calm, quiet and dark.
Introduce a bedtime routine
You can introduce a bedtime routine at any point. However once they are past the newborn phase, it can be a really useful way to anchor the start of their night. Begin with some quiet play to help them wind down followed by a bath, feed and story/song before bed. Baby massage can be a lovely way to bond with your baby and we have some great baby massage classes in Essex, for example Basking Babies across the county in Brentwood, Chelmsford, Braintree, Maldon and more and Mer-Mummies Baby Massage in Colchester.
Consider awake windows
Awake windows is the time that a baby can (on average) stay awake for until they need a sleep. They can be a good place to start if you are trying to understand your little ones sleep. However use them as a starting point. They are an average, so keep an eye on your little one before their awake window is due to end. If they are overtired and exhausted – take 15 minutes off. If they are showing no signs of tiredness, and just roll around for 20 minutes in their cot – add another 15 minutes on. They aren’t ready! It can take a little bit of time to understand what their individual sleep needs are. However for some, they can be really useful. My blog here will help you with what your babies awake window is.
With this top tip it is really important to abide by the “if it is working for you, don’t change a thing” rule. If you feed your baby to sleep and they then sleep really well, don’t feel like you need to make a change, unless you want to, or it becomes unsustainable. Where babies are waking multiple times in the night (after 4 months), and they aren’t hungry, poorly or in pain from teeth, sometimes it can be because they are reliant on something to fall asleep. When they more into lighter periods of sleep, if the feed, rocking, dummy etc… isn’t there, they may find it harder to go to sleep. Encouraging them to fall asleep independently can often unlock better sleep. There is no need to leave them to cry it out. By working with a sleep consultant you can support your little one to gain confidence in falling asleep.
These tips, along with a little patience and persistence, can really help your little one sleep soundly through the night.
If you have tried all these top tips and it is still tricky, get in touch.