New parents the world over, face the mystery of how to get baby to sleep. So we consulted the sleep specialists at the Millpond Sleep Clinic and we’ve listed their top tips for those early weeks when a young baby and a good night’s sleep don’t necessarily go hand in hand.

No.1: Did you know that babies are born without internal body clocks? So as a parent you can help teach your baby the difference between night and day by taking them on daily walks outside in the fresh air, acclimatizing them to the day and light.

No.2: So that your baby knows when it’s time to sleep, ensure a regular short winding down routine at bedtime – follow this routine every night without fail if you can. As you begin this process your little one won’t fully understand but gradually with the routine and regularity she will associate these little steps with sleep.

No.3: A simple bedtime routine could look a little like this:

  • Take baby away from the rest of the family to calm her down from the activities of the day, do this about an hour before baby’s bedtime.
  • Dim the nursery’s lights and prepare your baby gently without rush or stress for the bath.
  • Relax baby in a soothing, warm bath, and refrain from play as it’s just before bed.
  • Take baby into the darkened nursery to dress in their night clothes so they are feeling safe and secure and sleepy.
  • Give baby their last feed for the day.
  • Gently place your baby in the cot awake.
  • Use a favourite, familiar phrase each night such as “night, night, sleep tight” before you leave the nursery.

No.4: Aim to have baby placed down to sleep while they are still awake. Use your established bedtime routine to gently wind baby down so that he or she is nicely relaxed and ready for sleep.

No.5: As you teach baby to get themselves to sleep at the beginning of bedtime it means they are more likely to keep doing this as a matter of routine, particularly if they should wake throughout the night.

No.6: For a seamless bedtime experience, create a sleeping environment for baby to sleep in where they will be undisturbed. Ensuring baby has their daytime naps and full night’s sleep in the same comfortable, darkened room will help baby to feel safe and secure and able to drift off to sleep more easily.

No.7: Install a regular daytime routine. It doesn’t have to be absolutely set in stone, as babies are little individuals and some days they may be hungrier than others or less sleep than others. However, creating a general pattern to the day will help keep baby from getting overtired, overstimulated and from having too much sleep throughout the day.

No.8: Last but definitely not least follow the safe sleep guidelines from The Lullaby Trust.

22nd Mar 2018

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