Is there a magic formula for helping your baby sleep longer during the night? No! If only there was! But these tips may just help…
I don’t know about you but I didn’t start trying to work out how to get my baby to sleep until I was too exhausted to think straight. I’d sit in my baby group listening to mums whose babies were sleeping through the night and want to cry into my (very strong) coffee. Sleep deprivation makes you want to weep! I’ve just been watching Celebrity SAS on telly and shouting ‘TRY SIX MONTHS OF NO SLEEP NEVER MIND 24 HOURS!’
But it’s important to remember, you’re not doing something wrong if your baby doesn’t sleep well at night and it will get better, it just seems like things will never change when you are stuck in newborn fog.
“There is so much pressure to get your little one sleeping through. Kerry Secker from Care It Out Sleep Consultancy in East London If Baby isn’t sleeping it’s easy to feel you are getting it all wrong. I PROMISE this isn’t true; they get through the night when they are ready, no two babies are the same.” And Kerry should know, as a qualified paedriatic sleep consultant she has helped hundreds of desperate parents get their babies in to a routine that works for them.”
Here’s what helped me but do let us know if you have other ideas. And remember, if you’re right in the middle of a sleepless haze, coffee is your friend and it WILL get easier
- Routine of some sorts
Yep, even if you don’t want to follow a strict routine, or just can’t due to older children etc, some kind of ‘wind down’ time can really help. An evening bath followed by a little rub down with some Love Boo Kind & Calming Massage Oil, milk and a picture book can become your Baby’s cue that it’s time to settle.
- Noise, yes really!
“When your baby was in your tummy, he/she was used to noise,” says Midwife Jo, from UK Birth Centres. “Tip-toeing around being super-silent can unsettle them but a bit of background noise and gentle chatter can help” We love Whisbear which hums ‘pink noise’ (a much calmer and delicate noise) when your baby is unsettled.
- Blackout curtains
These were a game changer for us, I think my son was about six months old and in his own room before I got them but I swear it made a difference, just having the room in complete darkness (didn’t help when I’d stub my toe on a Fisher Price toy, or even worse, set a talking, light-up toy going as I tiptoed out of the room!
- Night and day feeds
Show the difference between night and day feeds – during the day, you can chat and sing when you feed Baby, at night time, it helps to keep things quiet and relaxed. Ooh and a good idea to change nappy BEFORE feeding at night so as not to re-awaken them during a sleepy feed. (Love Boo Bottom Butter keeps them protected all night long)
- Putting Baby down when drowsy not sleeping
Ha! Easier said than done, I hear you say. And I agree! But experts say, learning to fall asleep on their own is an essential part of helping your little one snooze for longer stretches. That’s because when they naturally wake off and realise things aren’t the same (ie. Cradled in your arms) they’re likely to get confused and upset. Like I said, easier said than done!
But, just as you feel like you have it all sussed, along will come teething, a growth spurt or a cold. And yes, you will get sick of hearing it, but if you can sleep when your baby naps during the day then do (of course, I didn’t listen to this advice very often, then wished I had when I was trying to string a sentence together the next day). Things do get easier and remember, when you’re awake at 3am you’re certainly not alone!