You are almost certainly going to have sleepless nights with a baby. We are lucky to have such a chilled baby in general but even our wee angel had his moments in the early days- and still does to be fair. We are at a stage now where we don’t worry or obsess over things- too much. When he’s ready he will sleep through the night, we are in no hurry to make him grown up. Here are a few things that we’ve learned to help him sleep when he needs it.
Baby D is only six months old so we are by no means ‘sleep experts’, we practically spent the first week pacing the floor with baby, rocking him, singing to him and trying to get him to sleep. We even spent a few nights in the car driving round trying to convince him to nod off.
However Baby D does now sleep about ten hours at night (with a midnight snack of course) and has three or four good naps during the day. We are pretty lucky to have a baby that loves sleeping so much now so we are definitely counting our blessings.
Here are a few tricks along the way to send baby to the land of nod peacefully.
- Always make sure baby has a clean, dry nappy and is not hungry before you lie him down to sleep. It sounds obvious but when you are losing your mind because all you want to do is sleep, or more importantly get baby to sleep, you will struggle to remember basic things.
- If it’s night-time give baby a warm bath before bed, we use a bubble bath and shampoo with lavender in it, aside from helping baby smell even better we do think it works! (This was great when Baby D had colic it settled him right down)
- Make sure baby is cosy but not too warm or he’ll simply get too fussy to sleep (We layered with cellular blankets until Baby D started moving about then we switched to a sleeping bag at about 6 months, this way we aren’t worrying about him getting tangled in blankets).
- Always lie baby on his back in his crib, carrycot or Moses Basket.
- If your baby has a dummy let him suck on it.
- Put a comforter or muslin beside baby’s face. (remove once baby is happily sleeping always best to keep an eye on baby when he has anything in his crib)
- If baby is still very young- less than three months you can swaddle him to give him extra comfort and security, this lasted for about two weeks before Baby D got fed up and wanted to be free.
Now that baby is all set up in his designated place to sleep there are a number of methods we use to get him to sleep, some days it takes them all others he will fall asleep once he’s set up in his crib and will need no help from us’ We have found if you can catch baby as soon as he starts to look tired he will be able to sleep easier than letting him get more tired- that fun over tired stage where you literally have an all out battle to get him to sleep (We’ve found early signs of tiredness to be droopy eyes, rubbing his face and generally becoming fussy and disinterested, you know your baby you’ll soon notice what he does when he starts to get tired).
- Gently sing to baby (Baby D’s favourites are ‘Ally Bally Bee’, ‘The Dark Island’ and ‘Flowers in Your Hair’
- Gently stroke baby’s eyebrows, nose or temple
- ‘Shhh’ baby
- Play some gentle music or sounds (We have a lovely baby Mozart Mobile and often play womb or rain sounds through the ‘Sound Sleeper’ baby app which has been invaluable to us, Baby D cannot actually fall asleep when it is too quiet)
Once baby is asleep stay quite near in case baby wakes and requires more soothing- it tends to take babies longer to reach deep sleep so if you’ve managed to get baby sleeping in your arms and baby wakes as soon as you put him down this is why.
It is recommended baby is always in the same room as you when he naps until he is at least six months- I actually love being in the same room as baby when he naps it makes me so happy seeing him so content.
This method only works if baby is calm, if baby is having an all out bawl you’ll need to calm baby before he even thinks about sleeping.When Baby D is particularly fussy he likes to cuddle in and dance – well we dance he quite merrily snuggles and is soothed to sleep.
If baby is really not settling our fool proof method during the day for sleeping is a wee walk in the pram or buggy.
If there are any other top tips you have found please feel free to share below!