On Monday I posted Lucy The Sleep Nanny’s blog with EVERYTHING you need to know about baby sleep. It’s pretty detailed, but I’ve broken it down into sections to make it easier to digest and easy to search for a particular topic of interest. ON top of this, and as a bit of a summary for those short on time, Lucy has also shared some of her 5 Top Baby Sleep Tips, for getting baby into good sleeping habits!
Some tips from Lucy on getting little ones into good sleeping habits!
Start a bedtime routine.
You can do this at as early as 1-2 weeks but certainly by 6 weeks it is worth having a bedtime routine in place. This can be quite short and simple, but the idea is to do the same steps in the same order every evening. It becomes rhythmic and helps cue your baby for a longer stretch of sleep. Be sure to complete the last stages of the routine in the room in which your baby will be sleeping and in low level lighting. The process should flow, so it is not ideal to go from a bath to getting dressed for bed and then into another room in the house, such as the living area, as this is stimulating.
A sleep friendly environment
Create a sleep friendly environment for your baby which is nice and dark, calm and quiet. No busy mobiles over-head, no light projectors on the ceiling or anything else that is visually stimulating. Also try to keep the room temperature steady and comfortable. If your baby is in your room, avoid having a television or other electronic device on.
When your baby wakes or while she is trying to settle to sleep at bedtime, try picking her up to calm her and then placing her back down awake and repeating this a few times to help her become aware of her sleep space. Also try to soothe her in her crib as well. We want her to feel safe in there and to feel that you are very close by.
Try to avoid Overtiredness
Avoid over tiredness as this is one of the biggest causes of a sleepless night. I know that sounds backwards, but it is true. A well-rested baby will sleep far better than an overtired baby. Remember this phrase ‘calmer days equal calmer nights’, so avoid busy shopping centres or carnivals or parties because, even if he is asleep, he will be in a light sleep and aware of the outside stimulation.
Put baby down awake!
From 6-8 weeks, practice putting your baby down when he is ready for sleep, but still awake. Some call this ‘drowsy but awake’, but when they are too drowsy, this has no affect. Just practice to begin with and help him along to sleep if need be, but from 4+ months you can give him a little more chance to settle before rescuing him. It takes time to master the skill of self-settling, but this gentle practice will help to develop it.
I hope you find this helpful. Let me know if there is anything else you’d like to add too!