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Tips on how to get your baby to sleep

Thursday, 24 April 2014  | 

My best tips for baby sleeping are as follows

1) first you need to accept babies are not designed to sleep for long periods of time, the have very small tummies and wake frequently to feed or just to be reassured you close by, once you have accepted this is perfectly normal the lack of sleep is easier to cope with

2) secondly most babies will learn to sleep through in their own time this could be at 5 months, 14 months or 3 years. Remember they are all different. My first was 11 weeks old, my second was 15 months and my third we are still waiting.

3) babies need to learn how to get to sleep so keeping a similar routine for bed time is good as they know what's coming next, dim lighting, a book, some baby massage are all good ways of calming a baby before sleep. Many would also say a bath is a good part of bedtime routines but for my boys especially I found it got them a bit too overexcited!

4)most importantly let your baby know your there and close by, you can do this in a number of ways from sharing a room (which is advised for the first 6 months) co-sleeping or bed sharing or by going to your baby when they cry to soothe them and settle them back down again. This with help your baby feel confident that you are there when they need you and safe to go to sleep.

5) try not to listen to well meaning advice like starting them on solids will help them sleep or if your breastfeeding, moving to formula will help them sleep. This is not true!

6) remember that sleep regression can and does happen, this can be because of teething or illness or because they are reaching a developmental milestone, maybe learning to crawl or babble

7) it probably sounds like an old wives take but sleep does breed more sleep. A baby or child that is over tired is often harder to settle at night so a good nap or a couple of naps depending on age are good when it comes to nighttime sleeping

Christie A - mummy to 3