Michelle Brown, founder of The Baby Sleep Experts, shares five useful tips to help your baby (and you) get the best night's sleep.
It's another week and another Friday, but here we are in lockdown again! It doesn't seem that long ago since the first lockdown came to an end and life was getting back to some kind of normality. At least this time, fingers crossed, it will be a shorter period of time and we can all enjoy a much-needed Christmas break with our families.
These are anxious times for everyone and so now, more than ever, we all need our beauty sleep, both for our physical and mental health.
Michelle helps exhausted parents with children who struggle to sleep by sharing gentle, loving and responsive sleep solutions that benefit the whole family.
She is also kindly giving Popsy and Mama blog subscribers an exclusive 15% off any of her sleep support packages. Just use the discount code PANDM15 at the checkout.
I hope you all manage to get some good sleep in over the next few weeks.
Sleep Training Tips for your Baby
Help your little one sleep through the night with these tips from Michelle Brown, founder of The Baby Sleep Experts
Five Sleep Shortcuts from The Baby Sleep Experts
Wouldn’t it be great if there was one magic solution that helped all little ones be amazing sleepers?
That certainly would be a best seller!
Unfortunately, this is not the case as all babies are different and what works for one might not work for another. Also, it’s not usually ONE thing, but a number of different things that need to be changed to optimise sleep.
Having said that, there are certain things that every parent can do to promote healthy sleep habits and better sleep for their little one.
Here are five shortcuts for you to try with your family.
1. Predictable Bedtime Routine
Children love routine, it helps them to know what comes next in their day. A predictable bedtime routine of no more than thirty minutes will help them learn that a warm bath followed by milk, story and cuddles means that it is time to settle down to sleep. Try to do the same things in the same order every single day. Consistency and repetition really are key here.
Once your bedtime is over and you have said goodnight, try to be really boring and not get involved in the ‘one more story’ discussions or ‘throwing teddy out of the cot’ games. Quietly tell them it’s sleepy time and encourage them to lie down.
2. Familiar Sleep Space
A calming environment is vital in helping your little one sleep. Whether your baby sleeps in their own room or shares a room with you or their siblings, it is really important to put them down to sleep in the same place every night (including some naps will help even more). This will help to create a familiar place where they know sleep is expected of them and where they feel safe and secure.
It’s also a good idea for your little one to fall asleep where they will spend the night. If your baby is falling asleep in your arms and being transferred to their crib or cot, when they wake up in the night, they will feel confused as things feel so different and they will need your help to get back to sleep.
3. Keep it Dark
Melatonin is released when it starts getting dark and is a natural hormone that helps our body know when it is time to sleep. Bright light stops melatonin being released so try to avoid any screens (TV, phones, iPad, games) for 1-2 hours before bedtime (this applies to grown-ups too!).
Try to keep the bedroom completely dark with a black-out blind and free of any artificial light such as mobiles or light shows. Keeping the bedroom totally dark may also help to prevent early waking in the morning. If you do need to use a nightlight, use one which emits red light as this won’t interfere with the release of melatonin.
4. Prioritise Naps
If your little one is under 2.5 years, daytime naps will help to prevent over-tiredness which will make bedtime less of a battle. Look out for early sleep cues such as yawning, fussing or having a glazed expression and try to put your little one down for a nap before they come overtired. In general, babies under 8 months needs 3 naps, under 15 months 2 naps and up to 2.5 years 1 nap in the middle of the day. Prioritise naps even if they are on the move in the pushchair, in a sling or in the car seat. Ensure naps are spread evenly through the day and that there is sufficient time after the last nap of the day before bedtime.
5. Keep it Calm
Have 5-10 minutes calm-down time before naps and before you start the bedtime routine. This change in pace will help your little one recognise that it is the end of the day. Dim the lights, put the toys away, turn off the TV and do some calm, relaxing activities together. I completely encourage big body play such as tickle fights, but just not right before bedtime!
Hopefully these five shortcuts will help you on your way to better sleep for your little one. If you would like personalised advice and support, please get in touch with me or head over to my Facebook or Instagram pages for regular sleep tips and advice.
And don't forgot, I'm offering a discount of 15% off any of my sleep support packages. Just use the code PANDM15. I hope it helps.
Popsy and Mama is always on the hunt for guest bloggers, so if you'd like to feature, check out how to apply here.
Please share this post with friends and family using the buttons below