There comes a point as a parent when you will crave a good night’s sleep…
A night when you don’t have to wake up to make a bottle or find yourself stumbling in the dark to locate a dropped soother. Before we look at how to get your baby to sleep, there are few important health and safety ground rules that we think are worth covering.
Environment: Babies should be put to sleep in a calm secure environment. Be very careful they are not too warm as overheating is very dangerous for a child.Babies should sleep on a firm mattress with a sheet securely fastened. Ensure your child does not sleep near a window, curtains, cords or blinds.
Sleeping position: Babies should always be placed on their back’s (“back-to-sleep”) to go to sleep unless you were told otherwise from your doctor. Once your baby can easily roll from front to back and back to front and lift his/her head then s/he is free to sleep in whatever position s/he is comfortable in.
Toys: Do not leave stuffed toys, pillows etc. in the cot with your baby.
Once all safety measures are in place then it is time to concentrate on how to get baby to sleep.
TIPS ON HOW TO GET YOUR BABY TO SLEEP
- If you want your baby to sleep in a crib or cot, then always ensure your child is placed in the cot/crib awake. You may find this difficult when your baby is very small but it is probably the single most important piece of advice you will get to ensure good sleeping habits for your baby in the months ahead.
- If you feel you need to introduce a soother, do not let your baby fall asleep with this in his/her mouth. Soothers are perfectly fine if you want to delay feeds or calm your baby but they should not be used as a baby sleep aid. If you need the soother for your child to wind down go right ahead, however remove the soother before your baby falls asleep.
- Do not let your child fall asleep while you breastfeed or on the bottle, remove breast or bottle before your baby is asleepr.
- Leave the room before your child falls asleep, if your child is confident you are around they should be happy to fall asleep on their own. If you take this baby sleep approach from the start and points 1, 2 & 3 from day one then you should have no sleep problems when your child is older.
- Do not let your child cry themselves to sleep (Cry it out/Controlled crying method). This can cause more problems than it solves. There are always other ways to solve baby sleep problems. Reassurance is key to a child’s wellbeing, therefore if you do everything you can for the child during the day and then let your baby cry themselves to sleep, all your efforts during the day were a total waste of time.
- Always watch your child to ensure s/he is not overtired when you put them to bed. When you spot the first signs of tiredness i.e. rubbing eyes, yawning, quiet in her/himself then this is the time you should start your bedtime routine.
- Routine is vital to a child especially when s/he gets older and needs to know when bedtime is, therefore you must have a routine in place.
The Baby Sleep Academy offers a number of different services, individually tailored to you, your baby and your family’s requirements. Their gentle ‘No-Cry Approach’ provides parents with the information and techniques they require to teach their child to sleep through the night.
Services include: Baby Sleep Consultation, Tailored Sleep Plan & Support; Single Baby Sleep Consultation; Baby Sleep Courses & Workshops. For more information visit www.babysleepacademy.com.