Getting your little human into an amazing healthy sleep routine will not only result in a good night’s sleep for your little human 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 night time sleeps.
Have the cot placed in a cosy area where there isn’t a draught and keep wall decorations minimal or just have 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 can help to make them feel safe and snug helping them to fall asleep easier. It also prevents the startle reflex from waking them up.
Be consistent with your feeding routine
By creating a consistent routine, you will create a natural feeding schedule for your little human. 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 little 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 stick to this same time each night. The concept is that your little human’s tummy will be lovely and 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 work well. Or alternatively, 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 little human’s bedtime routine, we slow everything down: we give them a soothing bath, a massage, we may even dim the lights down to create a peaceful space. On the other hand, before your bedtime, we watch TV, scroll through social media on our phones, lots of activities which are very stimulating and can often make it difficult for us to fall asleep. Perhaps we should wind down like our little humans by taking a bath or listening to some soft music.
By following these tips, over time you will find that both you and your little human will feel better rested and more settled.