Top Tips to bring good sleep for all
Set the scene
Make sure your little one has a calm, comfortable sleeping environment. This includes a bare cot in a relatively uncluttered bedroom that is nice and dark. Even at nap times, once a baby has clearly differentiated between night and day (usually by 6 weeks) keep the room nice and dark at sleep time.
Identify the triggers
Make sure you have a clear, predictable bedtime routine with lots of strong cues for what is approaching with no screens involved.
Naps are good
Try to avoid overtiredness by encouraging good naps and if the naps are poor aiming for an early night. Whilst too much sleep can impact on night sleep for babies, overtiredness is more likely to make things tough than a little too much sleep.
A predictable day time routine can really help to encourage good sleep but if that feels too restrictive for you just try to aim for a predictable rhythm to the day so that things tend to happen in the same order most days.
Cots are for sleeping in
Night times are far more likely to go well if a little one is settled in the cot at bedtime rather than in your arms. If a baby snuggles down to sleep in your arms and then wakes later in the cot they are likely to be startled and confused and are far less likely to want to happily resettle alone in their cot.
Set a natural body clock
Aim for a fairly regular time to start the day; a huge variation makes it far harder to get into a good daytime routine and is far more likely to then lead to an overtired little one with a confused body clock.
Take a break
Be kind to yourself; sleep deprivation is hard, and you’re allowed to acknowledge that and have a moan! You are also allowed (and should) cut yourself some slack and give yourself as much of a break and rest in the day as your circumstances allow.
Some babies are naturally great sleepers, others are sensitive sleepers and can be prone to upset, however, all can be taught to self-settle and sleep well, even if they are not born naturals at it so never despair.
How to handle developmental milestones
Expect there to be some ups and downs. It is very common for sleep to become unsettled as babies approach significant developmental milestones such as learning to crawl or stand. It is during sleep that these new skills can be mulled over and mastered so it is understandable. During these times try
not to introduce any new sleep props such as holding to sleep or reinstating feeds to ensure any regression is short lived.
Going away on holiday, moving to a new house, starting nursery and the arrival of a new sibling can lead to sleep regression. Again, whilst your little one might need more reassurance than usual during these periods try to avoid doing more than is absolutely necessary. Remember, a good night’s sleep will make all these changes far easier to cope with!
Sometimes just a little tweak is necessary in your approach to good sleeping. Not to worry if it is not working, keep on trying. If you would like to know more how we can help, please see our packages and get in touch.
Nicola has prepared a short video highlighting a few tips to help you little one sleep better. Please see below.