Our Top Baby Sleep Tips
Ask any parent, and they'll tell you that baby sleep can be a tricky subject. We all want to talk about - whether or not we get enough of it, whether it's at the right time, whether it's regular or not, it's exhausting! The baby will sleep when the baby is ready to sleep, and there's not much that we can do to control that.
But never fear because there are small steps we can take to make the transition from 'wide awake and ready to play' to 'nice and drowsy and ready to sleep'. Read on to find out our top baby sleep tips, and let us know if you try any!
Prepare the the sleep space
An organised room makes for a more peaceful sleep, so our first tip is to make sure that wherever your baby is going to sleep, it's tidy and calm. Have some boxes on hand to sweep the toys into when it’s nap time, or build ‘tidy-up time’ into your daily routine so that you're ahead of the game when it comes time to rest. Your baby needs to feel relaxed and calm to be able to sleep (and let’s face it, you do too) so making sure that their sleeping space is ready is such a great tip.
Other ways to prepare the sleep space:
Black-out blinds- create a darker atmosphere to help the baby fall asleep more quickly.
White noise- many babies find that white noise helps them settle down, either from a white noise machine or from an appliance such as a vacuum cleaner!
Check the room temperature- please see the Lullaby Trust website for information on the correct temperature for the baby’s room while they sleep.
Create a good routineYounger babies don’t always find their sleep routine straight away, but you can help them along the way by establishing a daily routine for them. For example, stick to the same order of events each day - perhaps a story, a song, and bed. At night-time, it’s a good idea to incorporate a bath into your routine, too; the warm water and relaxing atmosphere are fantastic for helping babies settle to sleep; a baby massage can also be a great addition to your sleep routine.
Having a routine helps babies recognise when it is time to relax, and sleep cues such as a story or a lullaby can significantly affect sleepiness. Trust us, at first, your routine might be a little all over the place, but it's going to work for you once it's established.
Tips for unsettled sleepersAll of the above is very good, but what if your baby won’t settle, no matter how today your nursery is or how well established your routine, maybe? Sometimes we need to delve a little deeper into our bag of tricks! Here are our favourite tried and tested sleep hacks for those times when you need them:
Go for a pram walk. The motion helps relax your baby, and you can take a little time out, too; the fresh air will do you both wonders.
Use a dummy. Lots of babies have a strong sucking reflex, so having a dummy can help to relax them to be ready for sleep.
Wear them in a sling. Studies have found that being held in a sling helps regulate a baby’s heart rate and temperature, and it’s amazing for bonding. Like the pram walk, the movement as you go about your day will help the baby settle, but being close is proven to help them relax.