If your baby is a good sleeper, you’re lucky, but there may be times when they need a bit of extra help at bedtime.
Helping your baby sleep
Our Healthcare Professional gives us her top tips for helping your baby sleep.
Newborn babies who are more unsettled may benefit from skin to skin contact, lots of cuddles and possibly swaddling in a cotton sheet. Ask your midwife to show you how to swaddle your baby.
Newborns find movement very soothing. If your baby won’t settle try rocking them in your arms, taking them out in the stroller, or in a sling or baby carrier. Suckling is also very soothing, so try a breastfeed or pacifier.
Using a baby monitor means you can keep an ear on your baby if they’re sleeping in another room. They can sleep in peace and you don’t risk disturbing them as you keep a check on them. Some monitors have a built-in room thermometer to alert you if the room gets too hot or cold. It’s important not to let your baby overheat as they sleep. If your baby is older, and a noisy sleeper, look for a monitor with adjustable sensitivity. You won’t hear every sound, but you’ll know if they need you.
Try to encourage your baby to settle themselves to sleep more after the first few weeks. Settle them into their crib in a drowsy relaxed state, and leave them to do the last part themselves. Return to soothe them if they need it.
Soothing lullabies can help soothe your baby back to sleep, and can be activated from your parent unit. A talkback function on your monitor means that you are able to reassure your baby without going into the room. This is really useful for sleep training, and also lets your baby know you are on your way.
A night light is comforting for many babies, and is useful when checking on your baby when it’s dark. The night light on your monitor, for example, is not too bright to disturb your baby.
A special baby sleeping bag is a great alternative to sheets and blankets. They are designed for the different seasons, and keep your baby at an even temperature as they sleep.
Babies and parents really benefit from a bedtime routine from about 2 to 3 months onwards. In the early evening try a bath, a quick massage, a milk feeding and maybe a special soothing bedtime song. From about 6 months, introduce a story and maybe a sleep time teddy or bunny.
Encourage your baby to sleep more at night by feeding well and regularly during the day. At night, keep lights low, avoid too much stimulation and only change their diaper if necessary.
Please be aware that the information given in these articles is only intended as general advice and should in no way be taken as a substitute for professional medical
advice. If you or your family or your child is suffering from symptoms or conditions which are severe or persistent or you need specific medical advice, please seek professional medical assistance.
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