5 top tips to help promote a good nights sleep with little ones from Sleep by Kate Johnson
In the first of her series of guest blogs Kate Johnson, Sleep Consultant shares her ‘5 top tips to help promote a good nights sleep with little ones.’ Kate will be covering a different topic on”sleep” each month, please feel free to email your questions for Kate to answer.
Hello! I am Kate, mum of two, teacher and Sleep Consultant. After 7 years of being a mum to two difficult sleepers, and lots of developmental studying….I trained as a sleep consultant and here I am, ready to help you! I have put together some sleep tips that may help some of you that are struggling. If you have any questions, or you would like to hear about a certain topic in particular please get in touch via email or the Facebook Page.
SLEEP. We all need it. But when we have a baby, that goes out the window. Everyone will tell you that you will be really tired, but nobody can really tell you what it’s like until you are there. Whilst some of you are happy with the arrangements you have, others may be struggling with the long term sleepless nights….and let’s be honest- does anyone really sleep when their baby sleeps in the day?!
5 top tips to help promote a good nights sleep with little ones.
1. DO NOT COMPARE!!! It is important to stress that every baby is different. Try not to compare yourself to others. As hard as that may be, it really isn’t helpful to know that your friends baby sleeps 12 hours . My experience has shown that no matter what age your child is, there will always be challenges. Your baby could sleep well for the first 3 months and then stop sleeping at night, and visa versa. Others might consistently sleep well for the night and then suddenly be terrible day time sleepers. We are all different and it is important to remember that when you are battling with a particularly challenging stage.
2. RELAX. You will be really tired, and you will find it hard; it really is. But try to relax and enjoy getting to know each other. You baby will feed on your anxiety and temperament so the more relaxed you are at bedtime, the more relaxed baby will be!
3. ROUTINE. This is important and easier said than done but your baby LOVES to know what’s coming next. They cannot tell the time yet so it is up to you to teach them what time it is using cues and routine. Bedtimes are quite easy to follow a routine for. Many people will give their baby a bath, a feed, and then settle with their baby for some quiet time in the room where your baby will sleep. Quiet time could include a song, a story, or a gentle massage. You can also routine your whole day without being too constrained too! Offering a feed when baby wakes up, then play, then back down to sleep can be done at any time of day, you don’t need to be rigid with times as long as what you are doing remains the same and you will soon be able to see your baby getting tired after play and picking up on those sleepy cues.
4. CONSISTENCY. It can be so hard to remain consistent, but it is crucial in helping your baby learn how to sleep. If you are helping your baby to settle to sleep using a certain routine and technique, then stick it out for a few days so that your baby has time to adjust. Chopping and changing will only create confusion in your baby and they will become overwhelmed.
5. PATIENCE. This one gets us all. Patience really is a virtue. Your baby needs you, and their cry is the only tool they have to tell you that they need you. Everything also needs to be repeated again and again for them to understand that you will always be there for them. So big deep breaths, and give them a cuddle and enjoy those precious times as much as you can. Remember to relax. You might get frustrated at midnight when you are cuddling your baby for the 100th time, but it won’t last forever.