Your 10 point plan for a good night’s sleep
Does your little one dislike the cot? Wake up a lot in the night? Wake very early in the morning? Have nightmares or night terrors? Feed more in the night than during the day?
There are so many different sleep problems and if your baby or child is having difficulties, you can help them.
Below are my tried and tested top tips.
1. Newborns should be fed and held as much as they need. You need to build a trusting bond.
2. When you’re ready [around 6 weeks], introduce a simple bedtime routine. Familiar steps leading to bed time will help them to feel sleepy and safe. Include a nightly bath.
3. Discourage falling asleep over the bedtime milk. Introduce a little picture book after the feed and before going into the cot. This will break the milk/sleep association which often causes unnecessary night wakings.
4. After the early weeks, don’t rock them to sleep, or they may panic when they wake later and you’re gone.
5. If they cry when put into the cot, stay beside them, patting and reassuring. In time, you can gradually withdraw until they are able to settle alone.
6. Babies wake often in the night, with the sleep cycles. They will re settle happily if they’ve slept independently at the beginning of the night.
7. Get the naps right. Your baby needs to be tired at bedtime but not overtired.
8. Teach them that the cot is a safe and permanent sleeping place and not just a holding pen until they get in with you!
9. Exposure to morning light sets the body clock and aids good sleeping.
10.Make bed time a happy time of day! Give lots of cuddles and smiles to help them to fall asleep feeling secure and happy.
Copyright Andrea Grace 2018