I don’t claim to be an expert on this topic and I’m totally a believer in doing what you are comfortable with and trust your instincts as you know your child best but here’s my tips for helping baby to sleep.
- My top tip is to have a routine and stick to it as much as possible.
Mya’s routine is tea about 5pm followed by a wee play, bath around 6pm (we usually have a play and both girls go in together so it takes a bit of time) then it Jammie’s and bottle. She is normally in bed for 7pm. We have followed this routine since she was only weeks old (times would have differed in the early days) so she’s really comfortable with it and lies down without a fuss (well most of the time anyway 😉). She hasn’t always slept that well and we’ve gone through a number of spells where she’s slept less well but we seem to be getting there now!
- Watch out for babies sleepy cues.
Mya will start to rub her eyes and get grumpy (she’s generally a happy, smiley baby) so I know that it’s time to pop her down for a sleep. Every baby will have different cues but you should pick up on them fairly quickly.
- Keep daytime feeds sociable and night feeds quiet and calm with little eye contact.
I think every book etc about sleep says this but it’s so true. I rarely speak to Mya during the night and give minimal eye contact as if she catches my eye she thinks it’s playtime!
- Use a baby sleeping bag.
Mya has used a sleeping bag since fairly early on as she kept kicking her covers off and getting cold. Wherever possible I try to put her in the cut for her naps as she’s comfortable here and gets the best rest. Obviously it’s not always possible and she does sleep in the Tula or buggy when out and about.
- Both of our girls have a comforter.
Some people really don’t believe in using props however both my girls have teddies that they take to bed. The teddies have adopted their ‘smell’ and this seems to calm the girls. Eva still occasionally takes hers out eg when starting nursery etc she took it with her.
We have done controlled crying with both girls when they’ve gone through a sleeping blib. It’s got to be the hardest thing ever but it’s worked a treat both times and they’ve been back to self settling and sleeping well within 2/3 nights max. I understand it’s not for everyone but it worked for us. We let the girls cry (only when sure their nappies were ok, fed and not unwell) but kept going in and checking on them increasing the interval to 10 minutes max (we never had to get that far though). 💕