One expert's simple tips for helping your baby get some quality sleep
March 16 marks World Sleep Day.
A good night’s sleep is top of pretty much every parent’s wish list – both for you and for baby. Yes, unsettled sleeping patterns are just par for the course when you’re a parent, however, there are plenty of things you can do to make life easier.
One woman who knows just that is paediatric sleep consultant and best-selling author, Lucy Wolfe. The sleep expert behind SleepMatters.ie, knows a thing or two about getting some quality shut-eye, and while things like having the right bed can make a huge difference, there are plenty of other ways to encourage a good sleeping routine.
With World Sleep Day just days away (it's on March 16, don't ya know?), she’s been sharing her top tips in a bid to help parents get their babies to sleep.
1. Understand that helping your baby sleep can be challenging at times – this is totally normal!
2. Work on having a regular wake-time, ideally between 6am and no later than 7.30am. Always start the day with a feed.
3. Learn to read your babies’ body language for sleep. Attempt sleep when you observe brief eye rubs, yawns and moments of quiet. Try to avoid waiting for obvious sleep cues as this normally indicate overtiredness that makes going and staying asleep more challenging.
4. Develop a flexible feeding and sleeping balance to the day. Remember very young babies (up to six months) do very well if they do not stay awake for longer than one and a half to two hours at a time.
5. Master a relaxing pre-sleep ritual that helps your baby associate certain actions and phrases that represent ‘it’s time to sleep’.
6. As your baby gets older, gradually bring forward bedtime to between 6pm and 8pm by around age four to six months. This will help them consolidate their nighttime sleep phases and decrease sleep regression.
7. Always respond to your baby’s needs, be emotionally and physically attentive.
8. Parent yourself. Self-care means that you will always have enough to give to your beautiful baby.