SLEEP. It’s a topic which dominates every new mum’s conversation and even those with older babies and toddlers can be found swapping tips on how to get their little ones to sleep better. Because whether your child sleeps well or not can totally make or break your experience of parenthood. It’s pretty hard to feel on top of everything else when you’re battling through the day, feeling like you’ve been out partying for five days running (but without the actual fun of going out).
This is why we’ve launched our brand new Sleep & snuggle pillow & room spray – it can be used as part of Baby’s bed time routine and can encourage your little one to drift off peacefully. Sleep & snuggle spray contains natural essential oils – chamomile, lavender and patchouli, all known for their sleep-inducing properties to help Baby sleep deeply and soundly as possible. Best of all, it contains 100% natural fragrance and gently encourages independent sleep for infants, toddlers and children (and adults!) by sending sensory cues to little ones that say ‘good night sleep tight,’ and because it’s all natural its safe for use from birth.
We asked some mums to share their top baby sleep tips… RELAX!
Adele is a mum of two from Bristol who blogs at Circus Queen and her main tip is to relax. “We pretty much broke the ‘rules’ with both of our daughters. Having them in our bed and breastfeeding them whenever they woke has mostly been the key to good sleep for us. It’s meant that when they’ve stirred, we’ve mostly only half woken up and easily settled back to sleep. Of course there have been rougher patches but usually it’s a developmental phase, teething or illness and the best thing I’ve done is relax and remember that it will pass and it has. When my eldest was two, we made a big fuss of her big girl room and my husband took over most of the night time parenting. Soon after, I night weaned her and it’s been fairly easy ever since.” NO TV AFTER DINNER
Laura is a mum of two from Cardiff who blogs at Sidestreet Style. She tries to keep bedtime as relaxing as possible. “We wind down together as a family, after food there is no TV time and instead we enjoy reading books together as a family. Our eldest lays in the bed next to his dad while I feed the baby, they usually end up drifting off together at the same time. It our main family time of the day.”
MAKE BED TIME FUN Polly, from North Wales, is a mum of four and as well as being a Love Boo blogger, blogs at Enchanted Pixie. “Make bedtime fun, not stressy – let them splash around in the bath, read some books, snuggle up together in bed and chat for a bit. If they need you to stay with them, stay. I they like a light on, put a light on – do what works for you and your kiddos not what they should be doing – my kids all go to bed quite late because that works for us and we co-sleep when they are babies. It’s not ‘making a rod for my own back’ as so many people say! I co-slept with all three of the girls and they all go to sleep on their own, and sleep all night long now! (I’m hoping Vega will do that one day too!!!)”
KEEP A ROUTINE Eleanor is a mum of one from Bristol and blogs at The Bristol Parent. “My top tip with toddler bedtime is to keep to a routine, but add simple choices into it to ensure that the child feels listened to. So, we offer her a choice of Mummy story, or Daddy story, for example. We’re also currently helping her understand her independence by encouraging her to try putting on her own pyjamas. We never, ever rush bedtime, no matter how tired or irritable we are. We always try and make it a both parents activity, which is especially important to us because we never know when one of us might have to work late. I also sing to her and cuddle her close before I put her in bed. This ten minutes is my most favourite part of the day, beyond compare!”
PLAN BEDTIME BASED ON SLEEP CYCLES Rachel, mum of one, from North London blogs at The Little Pip and went to a sleep workshop where she picked up these fab tips. “First of all, a problem is only a problem if it is affecting your family. Just because it is not how other people do things, doesn’t mean it is wrong. However, we were finding we spent a lot of time trying to get Pip to go to sleep and stay in bed. I went on a sleep workshop and the tips that worked for us were:
(1) to involve the child. Talk through the bedtime routine in advance, say, in the bath. Say things like, after you are in your pyjamas and have cleaned your teeth and had your facecream, Mummy is going to read one story and put out the light. You can then choose two songs, and then Mummy is going to go and do some work. You will go to sleep. If you get out of bed, Mummy will simply put you back in bed.
(2) make the room *completely* dark. We removed the nightlight and that has really helped, particularly with night time waking.
(3) follow through on the discussion – don’t tell her you won’t engage and then do. Be consistent.
(4) remember that sleep cycles are about 1.5 hours. Count back from when you want the last one to end, and choose bedtime based on that. If you miss the 8pm window, it can often be worth waiting until the 9.30pm one rather than battling through. It has really helped us get some of our evening together back – or free up some time to either work, or sleep!, ourselves.”
CONSIDER CO-SLEEPING Gillian is a mum of two from Bromley and she blogs at A Baby On Board. “My tip would be to buy a massive bed and let everyone sleep in it (know it’s not for everyone though). We’ve always found it easier to let our eldest, Eliza, come in our bed if she wakes in the night as she just goes back to sleep. Baby Florence still wakes up so much for feeds that it’s just easier to have her sleep with us. Eliza’s currently going through a phase of sleeping with us, my Dad of all people pointed out of course she’s going to want to come in, especially knowing all of us are in one bed. Actually my tip would probably be to do whatever works and don’t stress about what you ‘should’ do (e.g. mine have never been in bed by 6.30, they go later and it actually works as it means my husband Alex spends time with them each evening).”
What are your top baby sleep tips? Tell us over on this post and you could win one of 20 Sleep & snuggle sprays!