“My baby’s a terrible sleeper. Help!”
Practical Parenting, March 2008
The Expert View…
“A good bedtime routine will help your baby to develop independent settling and waking patterns and avoid problems in future. To achieve this…
- Keep daytime naps consistent as this helps to establish a routine of regular sleeping and eating times.
- Have a set bedtime for your baby and start your routine no later than 45 minutes before settling him down to sleep.
- Be consistent and aim to carry out the same steps each night, such as a warm bath lasting five minutes, followed by sleep suit on, story and lights out. This ‘sleep package’ gives your baby the cues that bedtime is approaching.
- Place your baby in his cot when he is drowsy, not once he’s asleep. If your baby is used to falling asleep without you there, he is far less likely to demand you during the night.
- Try to avoid ‘props’ to help your baby fall asleep, such as cuddling or rocking, sucking on a dummy or feeding to sleep.
- Make sure your baby’s room is quiet, dark and a comfortable temperature – about 18C.”
Mandy Gurney, co-founder of Millpond Children’s Sleep Clinic