When they are born they just sleep all the time (mostly on you) . Evenings are filled with this tiny, warm body snuggled in to you; Those are the best evenings you ever had… and then they grow and you need to start thinking about routine – How will I get them to sleep on their own? How will I get them not to be attached to my breast / bottle for the whole evening/night?
Observe for a week when your baby gets tired or sleeps. Look out for tiredness symptoms like rubbing eyes, pulling ear, yawning, falling asleep when being fed or when taken for a walk. Make notes each time your baby goes to sleep; if you do it over a week you should see a clear sleeping pattern forming. That’s when you will start to put your baby to sleep to make sure that they are ready for a nap. Why is it important? You won’t be able to get a not tired or overtired baby to sleep.
As a guide
3-6 months old baby 4 naps a day
6-12 months old baby 3 naps a day
12-18 months old baby 2 naps a day
18 months and over one nap a day.
Please do remember that this is just a guide and every baby is different .
2. MAKE THE BED
Make it warm, cosy and comfortable. They love sleeping on you because you are soft, comfortable and warm. Putting your baby to a cold Moses basket or crib/cot will not make them want to stay there. That’s where sheepskin is an amazing accessory. It keeps your baby body temperate perfect, is soft and cosy.
3. WRAP IT UP
Swaddling has worked perfectly for me with both of our girls. It makes babies feel secure, stops their arms from waking them up. They feel exactly how they did when they were in our tummies.
4. TURN UP THE WHITE NOISE
We all heard that white noise is good for calming babies as that is what they hear for the 9 months that they were inside us. It won’t get your baby magically to sleep but it will help them. We used Whisbear which reacts to noise and automatically turns itself on, which is great at night.
5. SET-UP THE SCENE
Dark and quiet rooms are very helpful with getting your baby to sleep especially when the baby gets a little bit older.
6. PUT DOWN & PICK UP OVER AND OVER AGAIN
Purpose of it is to teach your baby to self soothe. You put your baby down when its drowsy but not fully asleep. If he/she starts crying you pick them up and rock them so they are drowsy again and put them down…. over and over again.
7. OLD BORING ROUTINE
Babies from around 3-4 months should have a bed routine and daily routine. Though routines are boring and oh so predictable kids love them. It also gives you a chance to plan your day and get everything done when your little one is resting. Don’t get me wrong a daily routine doesn’t mean that you have to be home every single day 7 days a week at the same time and cancel all appointments or meetings which don’t fit in your baby schedule. Babies can nap in the pram from time to time or their nap can be moved if needed. I am a firm believer that we shouldn’t run our life around baby and baby’s naps, it’s all about balancing your needs and baby’s needs.
Our gorgeous Skylar just turned 3 months. Until now she would always fall asleep on my breast, and I would spend the whole evening just cuddling her; on another hand she always sleeps very well at night, waking up only once or twice for food and then going back to sleep. It’s the time now to start getting proper routine in place and to slowly start teaching her how to go to sleep on her own.
My main advice to everybody is : just chill! There is a lot of different techniques and opinions on how to teach your baby to self soothe (which I will write about in my next post) some you will like some you will disagree with. Don’t put pressure on yourself and your baby. See what works for you, and do what you want to do; as far as it works for you and your baby and both of you are happy that the only thing that matters.