Whether you’re about to enter parenthood and stressing about sleepless nights with your newborn or a first time mum looking for new ways to soothe your baby, follow these steps for a better night’s sleep for both you and your little one
Establish the difference between day and night
You can start helping your baby to learn the difference between night and day, so he knows when he should be asleep and when he can play with you. And before you become overwhelmed with the idea of putting another routine in place, know that it’s much simpler than you think. And think of all of that extra sleep you could get out of it…
Invest in some bedtime buys
Just like us adults use baths, a dark room and hot drinks to get in the mood for sleep, certain bedtime buys can help soothe and comfort your baby, encouraging him to sleep soundly.
Try a baby massage
Do you find a massage helps soothe and relax you? Well it’s much the same for your baby. Try giving him a massage before putting him down to help relieve any physical discomfort he may be experiencing and it's also a great bonding experience for you both.
The Gina Ford routine
While some mums consider the Gina Ford routine as overly no-nonsense, it does promise to get your baby to sleep through the night. Following nine different routines that match your baby’s natural rhythms, this method claims to avoid the issues that bring on endless tears – such as hunger and tiredness.
The EASY Principles routine
If you’re after a simple and structured routine that still leaves some time for you (yes, it is possible!), then the EASY Principles routine could be the one for you. Sticking to a recurring three-hour routine that involves food, play, then a nap, your baby will start to get into a proper routine, which is what lots of sleep experts swear by.
The No Crying/No Tears routine
Can’t stand the thought of letting your baby cry it out? The No Crying/No Tears routine could be for you. It has a more gradual approach which encourages you to comfort him for as long as he needs it.
The Controlled Crying routine
The Controlled Crying routine can be one tough routine to follow – so be prepared. But the good news is that once it starts working, your baby will know how to settle herself, leaving you to catch up on your sleep.
If all else fails…
If you’re on the verge of tears from another sleepless night, take some advice from our top straight-to-sleep and stay asleep guide . Plus, get involved in the M&B nightfeed for all night long tips and advice – and it saves you waking up your grumpy partner for advice for the third time in one night.
Get a good night’s sleep yourself
Just as your baby needs lots of sleep, so do you! You need plenty of energy to look after your little one in the day and to be the best mum you can be. Check out the seven sleep secrets for grown-ups, so you can sleep better.
Know what to aim for
Working out how much sleep your baby needs at each stage of his first year can be really helpful as knowing what’s a ‘normal’ amount when your baby’s 0-3 months will change quite dramatically when he’s 9-12 months old. But do keep in mind that every baby’s different, and so your little one’s sleep may not be the same as your friends’ baby. First rule of parenting – don’t compare!
Start a bedtime routine
Establishing a bedtime routine is a brilliant first step for your baby’s sleep. It will soothe and relax him, helping him to unwind and prepare for (hopefully) a brilliant night’s sleep. You can try including a bath, some lullabies, a pre-bed feed, and a story within your routine.
Put your mind at ease
Worrying that your baby is sleeping safely, may keep you awake. But so long as you follow a simple set of rules, there’s no reason why your baby shouldn’t be enjoy a deep and safe snooze.
Follow a sleep method
Once your baby’s a few months old and you feel like you’ve got a bedtime routine in place, you may want to try implementing a sleep routine to help your baby know when it’s bedtime. Choosing from an expert-advised routine is a good place to start but if it doesn’t pan out, don’t worry – you should do what works for you.