If you are able to get your baby into a healthy sleep routine, this will not only result in a good night’s sleep for your baby but it will also mean you will enjoy a much needed sound night’s sleep too.
Set up your baby’s room as an optimal sleeping environment
This includes ensuring the room can be made dark for both daytime naps and nighttime sleeps; not having the cot placed where there may be a draught; having minimal wall decorations or a mobile set above the cot, as these may distract your baby from falling asleep; consider playing some white noise which will remind them of being in the womb and offer them comfort as well as block out any external sounds.
Swaddle your baby
Swaddling your baby at each naptime makes them feel safe and snug which helps them to fall asleep. It also prevents the startle reflex from waking them up. Our muslin wraps are perfect for swaddling.
Be consistent with your feeding routine
This way your baby will not expect or learn to feed at varying times, possibly multiple times in the middle of the night. Young babies will feed in the night - for those breastfeeding; this may be every 3 hours, for formula fed babies, every 4 hours. If your baby wakes up between feed times, resettling them back to sleep, rather than feeding them to sleep will train their tummies to know when they are hungry. Gently teaching your baby to self sooth from a young age will help them to fall asleep by themselves without the need for your assistance, e.g. feeding, patting.
Implement the dream feed
The dream feed is recommended between the hours of 10-11pm and it's important to implement this at the same time each night. The idea is that your baby’s tummy will be full enough to allow them to sleep till the morning. Many parents will stay up till this time, but research shows that your optimal sleep time is before midnight, so going to bed for a couple of hours before the dream feed may do you wonders. Getting your partner to do the dream feed (with expressed milk or formula) is also another way you can get a better night’s sleep.
Don’t forget to give yourself some downtime too
We know that as part of our baby’s bedtime routine, we slow everything down; we give them a soothing bath, quiet time, a massage, we may even dim the lights down. On the other hand, before our bedtime, we watch TV, scroll through social media on our phones, all activities that are very stimulating and can make it difficult for us to fall asleep. Perhaps we should wind down like our babies by taking a bath and listening to some soft music.
By following these tips, over time you will find that both you and your baby will feel better rested and more settled.