Want to be that parent whose newborn seems to drift off on request (and never pulls an all-nighter)? Below are the strategies that worked for some of you
You may have read hundreds of books on baby sleep, but sometimes the advice that actually works comes from other mums – take your pick from the following...
1 Find his settling song
‘I always sang Love Me Tender by Elvis to Harry. After I put him down, I’d hum it by the cot and continue until I made my escape. He was sleeping through at 18 weeks and, if he ever woke, I’d do the same and he’d instantly settle.’
Rachel, 35, from Surrey, mum to Harry, 19 months
2 Warm the cot
‘Maisie would wail when put in her crib, but was happy to go down after a night feed. A midwife suggested it was because her bed was cold. So I placed a warm hot-water bottle in while she fed, so the sheet was at body temperature, and took it out before putting her in.'
Katie, 29, from Lincs, mum to Maisie, three months
3 Replicatea heartbeat
'A ticking clock makes a sound similar to a mother's heartbeat'
‘Keep a ticking clock in the nursery. The repetitive sound is similar to a mother’s heartbeat when she’s in the womb, and I’m sure my daughter was reassured and came to associate it with sleep. She was sleeping through at 12 weeks.’
Stephanie, 26, from Wilts, mum to Florence, six months
4 Phase out unnecessary feeds
‘Once Sacha was 14 weeks, my health visitor advised me to dilute his 4am feed with water as he was a good weight. She said he’d quickly drop it, especially as he was having a “dream” feed at 11pm. After a week of taking his diluted feed, he stopped waking up for it.’
Jules, 36, from London, mum to Sacha, two
5 Discourage power napping
‘If your baby sleeps 10 minutes here, 15 minutes there throughout the day, he won’t think anything of doing the same at night,’ says M&B sleep expert Tina Southwood. ‘Make sure he has an extended sleep in the day to help him to sleep for a longer period at night.’
6 Stroke her nose
‘Dion used to scream at bedtime, which made me feel helpless. Then I read how stroking a child’s nose in a downward motion can be soothing and encourage her to close her eyes. Now, even if I have to go to Dion in the night, the process takes under five minutes.’ Michelle, 21, from Cheshire, mum to Dion, 21 months
'Stroking a child’s nose in a downward motion can be soothing'
7 Make the room calm
‘We used to have a cot bumper, mobiles, cuddly toys and a light show in George’s room, but he still screamed at bedtime and in the night. My mum pointed out how manic his nursery was, so we removed most of the gadgets. Yep, he slept better.’
Lucinda, 24, from Bucks, mum to George, 10 months old
For more sleep features like this, subscribe to Mother & Baby magazine here