There is no ‘right’ way to help your baby to sleep soundly through the night, and every parent and child is different. Nevertheless, it’s always good to start off with a few key tips to help you make the right decisions about your approach and to use if ever you need to troubleshoot.
- Not Having a Clear Bedtime – This is something I am often asked, and it’s certainly the case that consistency is the best plan. I recommend a bedtime no later than 7pm-8pm for babies and small children. They should be settled, if not asleep for 12 hours, so do you best to provide a calm, dark environment.A hectic environment is not ideal for quality sleep. This will also give you a chance to catch up on some much needed sleep whilst baby sleeps next to you!
- Rushed Night Time Feeds – Don’t try to get away with quick feeds and rushed attention in the night – a little more time changing, winding and topping up the feed always pays off.
- Not Enough Daytime Napping – A consistent routine means sleep at regular intervals and an overtired baby won’t sleep easily or well. Sleep breeds sleep.
- Not Implementing Some Kind of Feeding Routine – with the exception of breastfed babies who often cluster feed to establish milk supply. A feeding routine for a formula fed baby is helpful, this will help you get out of the habit of snacking which can help in eliminating the reason for any crying. Having even a small amount of predictability as a general rule will help give you confidence.
- Trying to Do Bathtime Everynight – It’s hard work and it can make the last feed stressful. Young babies don’t need a bath every night, a top and tail wash, in a calm environment, maybe with a bit of a baby massage (I love potionshop products!), is just as good, and often better for a solid sleep. Even a proper bath just twice a week is plenty – the natural oils stay on the skin and their skin is often in better condition as a result.
Remember – Sleep breeds sleep! Once you have cracked it, minus the odd blip, you can rest easy (literally!), so keep calm and be confident in your decisions.
I offer bespoke support and sleep plans for babies and toddlers.