Mother and Baby

5 of our favourite tips from ‘The Baby Sleep Guide’

Need some help getting your baby off to sleep? Is your baby suffering from sleep problems?

Fear not! We spoke to Stephanie Modell, author of ‘The Baby Sleep Guide' who gave us her top tips to help your little one get some zzz. 

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1) Teach your baby the difference between night and day

During the day, give more verbal and physical interaction, go out for walks to provide light and fresh air and don't minimise normal daytime sounds when he's napping. At night, keep the lights low or off, keep night feeds quiet and minimise interaction, keep his room warm and cosy but not too hot.
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2) Establish a regular bedtime

Have a consistent bath and bedtime routine, creating cues for sleep. Keep it short and calm, keeping the lights low and this will prepare your baby for sleep and help his natural levels of the sleep hormone, melatonin rise.
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3) Establish a routine which does not involve feeding just before napping

This will avoid your baby developing a feed-to-sleep association. A positive sleep/awake pattern to follow is: nap, feed, play/interaction, nap. This has the added advantage that your baby will be feeding when he has the most energy so is more likely to take a bigger, more satisfying amount which will encourage him to go longer between feeds.
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4) Pause

Avoid rushing in each time your baby stirs. Babies rouse between sleep cycles and often have a grizzle, groan or babble, before going back to sleep. Give them a chance to re-settle themselves before rushing in, or you may inadvertently wake them.
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5) Lay your baby down to sleep, drowsy but awake

In the long term, this is key to helping your baby sleep through the night. If your baby can get herself to sleep independently at the start of the night, she is more likely to self-settle during the night in-between her many sleep cycles. 

Meet the expert: Stephanie Modell is a sleep consultant and maternity nanny based in West Sussex. Her new book, The Baby Sleep Guide, focuses on establishing positive sleep habits early on and provides parents with information on how babies sleep, their sleep cycles, natural rhythms and how to gently help them to self-settle. 

Now read:

5 baby sleep mistakes new parents make (and how to fix them)

9 of the best baby sleep aids that will revolutionise bedtime

 
  • Author: Sophie Knight Sophie Knight
  • Job Title: Contributing writer

Sophie is a journalist and mum of one, and previously worked for Mother&Baby for two years before moving on to write about family cars and consumer advice for Parkers.co.uk

She is passionate about raising awareness around postnatal depression and is a Mental Health First Aider for Bauer Media.

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