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Top 5 Tips for Baby Sleep

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When you become a new parent or carer you anticipate that your sleep may be significantly impacted for a time due to your babies sleep. Achieving sufficient sleep for you alongside baby sleep can pose a challenge, especially if your newborn isn’t sleeping well. A sleep-deprived baby can be irritable, fussy, and hard to comfort.

In this blog I discuss the fundamental top five tips for promoting better sleep for babies and children.

Firstly, if you are happy with sleep for you and your little one and you are not following one or more of the below tips, there is no need to change a thing. Simply align your little ones sleep with the recommendations of the Lullaby Trust. If things are not so good for you on the sleep front and what you are doing now is not sustainable, the following tips can serve as a helpful starting point for improving sleep for everyone.

Top Tips for Baby Sleep:

1. Consult the Lullaby Trust:

The Lullaby Trust raises awareness of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and offers expert guidance on safer sleep practices for babies, including bed-sharing. Check their resources to ensure your little one’s safety. Suggestions include maintaining a room temperature between 16-20°C, always placing the baby on their back, and keeping their sleep surface flat.

2. Maintain Darkness:

A dark sleeping environment can greatly aid a baby’s sleep. It minimizes stimulation when they wake during the night and prevents early morning awakenings by blocking out daylight. Establishing a clear distinction between day and night is also beneficial. Make daytime bright with normal household noises, while keeping naps and nighttime calm, quiet, and dark.

3. Establish a Bedtime Routine:

Introducing a consistent bedtime routine can be beneficial at any stage. Once past the newborn phase, it becomes a valuable way to signal the start of the night. Begin with quiet play to help them wind down, followed by a bath, feeding, and a bedtime story or song. Baby massage can also foster bonding, and there are excellent baby massage classes available, such as Stretches and Strokes in Swindon or Bump Birth Baby in Bath or Nurture You Grow Baby in Calne.

4. Monitor Awake Windows:

Awake windows represent the duration a baby can typically stay awake before needing sleep. They serve as a useful starting point for understanding your baby’s sleep patterns, but remember to observe your baby’s cues as well. Adjust awake windows based on their individual needs—subtract 15 minutes if they appear overtired and add 15 minutes if they show no signs of tiredness. Understanding their unique sleep needs may take time, but awake windows can be a helpful guide.

5. Avoid Sleep Props:

While respecting the principle of “if it’s working, don’t change it,” it’s important to address dependencies that may hinder your baby’s sleep in the long run. If your baby relies on certain props like feeding or rocking to fall asleep, they may struggle when transitioning between sleep cycles. Encouraging independent sleep can lead to improved sleep quality. This doesn’t necessarily mean letting them cry it out. Whilst a cry-it-out method is fine if that is what you choose to do, it can be uncomfortable for many parents and carers, and they may not be able to be consistent with this method. I could not do a cry-it-out method when teaching my son to sleep and so I do not expect anyone I work with to do what I could not and therefore cry-it-out does not have a place in my sleep strategies.

My methods are evidence based and offer supportive strategies for building their confidence in falling asleep whilst being there for them physically and emotionally.

These tips, coupled with patience and consistency, can significantly improve your baby’s sleep quality. If challenges persist despite trying these tips, don’t hesitate to seek further assistance from me.

If you already employ these tips but your little one is not sleep well, please get in touch for a freee, no obligation call and we can talk about working together to get you a better night’s sleep.

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