It’s important to note that age and weight, different ways of feeding, and different styles of parenting all impact babies’ sleep routines. There is no one size fits all or ‘normal’. Here are some useful tips that work for most babies and which will help you to establish a sleep routine.
- Sticking to the same time for bedtime lets everyone know what is expected and will help to establish sensible sleeping patterns, which fit with your lifestyle and allow you some time to yourself.
- It's a good idea to teach your baby that night time is different to daytime from the start. So changing their clothes ready for bed, darkened rooms, and a calm, quiet tone of voice are really useful for making the difference clear.
- Following routines in preparing for sleep also helps indicate to babies that it’s time for bed. For example you may bathe, feed, then cuddle before putting your baby down, or you may feed, sing and rock. Establishing a pre-sleep routine will give clear cues to your baby.
- If your baby wakes in the night, it is important not to over stimulate them but to keep lights and voices low so they understand it is still night time. There's nothing like a gentle lullaby to calm a your little one. With the Avent Digital Video Baby Monitor you can select one of 5 relaxing tunes to help your baby drift off to sleep in no time.
- Having a good baby monitor you can carry round with you will stop you disturbing your baby with constant checks.
- Having clean nappies, wipes, and any item you may need during the night close to hand will minimise disruption if your baby wakes and needs attending to.
- Leaving a little gap between your baby’s last feed and bedtime will help them to learn to settle without feeding. This should reduce the need for night time feeds just to get them back off to sleep.
- Music can be incredibly useful. Some babies like comforting sounds rather than absolute silence when they sleep so a lullaby CD or playlist can be a great sleeping aid. It can also help them get back off to sleep if they wake in the night.
- If your friend’s baby sleeps all through the night and your baby doesn’t, it really doesn’t mean you or your baby are doing anything wrong. You are on your own path to establishing good sleep habits and finding what work for you. Some babies take longer than others to get into a steady pattern.
- Lots of things can affect sleep, from growths spurts to teething. Try and relax about it and keep using the good habits you have established. Even the best laid plans go awry sometimes. If this is the case for you then just try again tomorrow.
At night, you might find it helpful to:
- Keep the lights down low
- Not talk much and keep your voice quiet
- Put your baby down as soon as they've been fed and changed
- Not change your baby unless they need it
- Not play with your baby
Your baby will gradually learn that night time is for sleeping.
We’d love to hear your top tips for how to settle your little ones for the night, and establish a sleeping routine. Share your thoughts with other parents on Philips Avent Facebook.
By Becky Goddard-Hill