How to get your baby to sleep through the night? It’s a question that most if not every parent will ask at some point in their child’s life. My name is Alexandra Eleftheriou and I am Sleep Support Worker, Maternity Nurse, Private Nanny and founder of The Mothership Ltd. I have worked with numerous amounts of parents internationally to get this very popular question answered.
Here are a few of my top tips to help your little one sleep through the night:
We have a tendency to over complicate a baby’s sleeping environment and sometimes pretty features do more harm than good. Make sure that your baby’s sleeping environment is simple, no heavy bedding, not too many toys or books (if not any in the bed, bar a comforter as these can over stimulate children, they would rather play than sleep). Your baby’s mattress should be firm and have no wear and tear. I always advise a new mattress for each child.
A room temperature of 16c-20c is ideal, this is a nice cool temperature. Consider using blackout blind; they will help your baby distinguish between day and night. They will learn that a dark room means time to sleep. If you have a toddler or older child who seems scared of the dark a plug in night light is fine but again not to big and bright as it will overstimulate them. If it gets too hot in your little ones room, you can open the window but make sure the black out curtains are still down.
This infographic image from The Mothership LTD is an easy guide to follow for night time wear. Please be aware that different cultures include different techniques, clothes ware etc so if this isn’t for you that’s fine, this is a guide. I find using the light sleeping bags are really helpful with children as sometimes with covers they get tangled it them if they are a little wriggler.
The tough part – falling asleep
I would just like to start with saying that crying is a normal way of communication for a baby. But there is a huge difference between crying, winging and screaming. Sometimes we pick up our little ones too quick and we don’t realise that if we had left them another few minutes they would have self settled themselves.
It is important for your little one to learn to self settle. Babies are nocturnal in the womb so sleeping has to be learned. The best way to do this even as a baby is establishing a clear bedtime routine. An example is bath, milk, book, a little singing and soothing for babies (make sure it is soothing and relaxing, singing ‘We will rock you’ will not help your little one soothe) and then bed.
From four months onwards your little one will be picking up on routines. Starting to put them down whilst they are drowsy and allowing them to self settle is ideal. Then each night making sure they are a little bit more awake when placed in bed. If they are completely asleep when put down then they are less likely to self settle when they wake up in the middle of the night.
A ‘comfort’ can also help soothe your little one too sleep especially if they wake in the night, if you use this for a baby it must be something breathable and suitable from birth.
It tasks 7 days/nights to Sleep Train a little one, unless your child is older and is not used to bedtime routine. So the sooner you start the sooner the healthy sleep associations will take place.
- SIDS Website
- Talk to your GP if you are worried about anything (always trust your mother’s instinct)
- We offer free advice in our Members Club from our team of experts (please be aware that we only open three times a year)
Want to know more?
Perhaps you’d like to speak with Alexandra or you’d like to book a sleep trainer for your family – we are able to help with all maternity and childcare assistance, so drop us a line and we’d look forward to speaking.