Ask any new mum what they most miss after having a baby and you’ll hear a resounding – “sleep!”
Try these top 10 tips to transport your little one to the Land of Nod.
To help a baby get to sleep, you first need to understand their sleep cycle. Above all, parents must abandon any notions of getting baby to adopt the same sleeping pattern as themselves. When babies are tired, they let you know by yawning and through their movement and breathing. Keep watching and listening to them, as this will help you to identify their pattern.
2. Baby's bedroom
The place where your baby spends his or her nights is a sacred space. To drift off into a peaceful slumber, they need to be in the right setting. Create a cosy and comfortable little nest. By returning to the same place each night, they will understand when it is time for bed.
3. A joint effort
Another essential aspect of going to bed is to be accompanied. Your baby needs your presence to go to sleep. If it helps, establish bedtime rituals, such as "reading a story" or "changing their nappy".
4. Stay firm, even when baby starts to whine
All of a sudden, your baby starts crying! Your little one has realised that it's time to go to bed, and clearly is not happy about it. Don't give in to tantrums (tears and grumbling) – stay firm. If you go back on your decision, your baby may begin to feel unsettled.
5. Rocking and rolling
If your baby doesn't want to go to sleep, you will be sure to know. Sobbing, whining and agitation are the tell-tale signs. If this happens, it's important to stay calm. To avoid any bumps or bruises, put padding around the cot.
6. Maintain the routine
Even when on holiday or during long journeys, maintain the routine where possible. For example, give them their dummy, get them ready for bed at the same time as usual – all in all, as far as you can try to keep up the same routine that you practice at home.
7. A little lullaby
"This is a lullaby that my mum used to sing to me." Who hasn't heard those words? Share your good mood with your baby so that they feel safe and secure. Whether it's a song or a story, your baby will surely love it.
Often babies have so much energy that they cannot be soothed! If this is the case, do not panic – just follow this old tip: take a little olive oil and treat your baby to a light massage applying to the body and feet. This will awaken their senses, enabling them to relax.
9. Baby needs a nap
Once you've found your baby's rhythm, you must respect it at all costs. Don't try and cut out their afternoon nap on the assumption that they will sleep better for it that night. Good sleeping habits aren't developed in a single day, but with patience, everything will fall into place.
10. The Zen approach
It isn't always easy to stay calm when baby doesn't want to go to sleep. But often enough, they just want to be comforted. Take the Zen approach and set aside enough time to help them drift off to sleep peacefully. You'll find that baby will love this special one-to-one moment!