You aren’t alone. Studies have shown that about one-fourth of children under the age of five have trouble sleeping. Some refuse to go to bed, some wake up often in the middle of the night, and others do both.
If your child is having a hard time sleeping, chances are you aren’t sleep well either. Luckily there are a few strategies you can try and a few newborn essentials you can buy for your baby to help.
Swaddle Up is our sleep suit that can be worn from newborn age to try and help babies to settle better, even from day one. Whilst routines won’t be possible at this stage (simply because a newborn baby will wake, sleep and feed as and when she or he feels like it – and rightly so!) the all-in-one design and specially engineered fabric cocoons and comforts just ike a traditional swaddle but without any tricky wrapping techniques to master.Baby Advice: Sleeping Strategies
The following strategies can help your baby begin sleeping better through the night when she is as young as six weeks old. In order for this baby advice to work, though, you have to be consistent, even on the weekends.
• Pay attention to feeding times. During the day, feeds should be lively and social. At night, though, they should be calm and quiet. This will help your little one learn and understand the difference between daytime and night time.
• Allow your baby to fall asleep by herself at night between six and eight weeks old. While she may fall asleep easier with you rocking her, she may come to depend on this if you don’t allow her to fall asleep by herself.
• Choose a bedtime routine, then follow it. It might include a bath and a nappy change, then changing into her pyjamas. You can include a night-time story or song, or even a massage. The routine shouldn’t last any longer than 45 minutes and should occur every single night.
• Allow her to sleep with something that will make her feel more secure. A blanket or stuffed animal may be all she needs to feel safe when she awakes during the night. Babies often have a strong sense of smell as well; if you’re breastfeeding, try expressing some of your breastmilk on to a little bit of muslin and placing nearher cot. Your scent may give her the security she needs when she wakes in the middle of the night.
• Tune into her needs. One of the best ways to do this during the day is by carrying her in a sling so she feels close to you and secure. If she wakes in the night, figure out what could be bothering her. Does she have a full nappy? Is she cold? Are her pyjamas uncomfortable?
• As she grows older, perhaps try a sleep trainer. Sleep trainers are much more than just clocks and often work as a gentle nightlight, which can help soothe a toddler at night. Sam the Sheep by Zazu (available in the UK from Cheeky Rascals) is a must-have when buying for baby, as it helps your growing child understand when it’s time to sleep and when it’s time to wake up. All they have to do is look at Sam’s eyes; when they are closedit’s time for bed andwhen open, it’s time to get up.
• Consider using a dummy, but wait until she’s at least eight months old if possible. At this time, your baby should have the fine motor skills she needs to put the dummy back in her mouth if it falls out in the night. Before then, you may find yourself getting up several times to help. Many parents rail against dummies and pacifiers but if you find it works, then great, it’s worth trying anything that helps us to sleep better. Always look for a tooth-friendly dummy if possible.
If you’re trying to help your baby sleep through the night, begin by using a few newborn essentials, like a dummy, a security blanket, and a sleep trainer to help them understand when it’s time to go to sleep. These tools, combined with a few changes in your routine, should help them sleep better at night.