Sleep Solutions For You And Baby

As any new parent will tell you, the most important thing to master in the first year of your child’s life is sleep. Getting a good night’s rest might seem like an impossible feat in those early months, but there are some simple strategies I’ve picked up that allowed us a few precious extra hours of sleep. The key is persistence, patience and not setting your expectations too high.

Firstly, set up a routine. While it may seem silly to try and apply a timetable to a tiny newborn, having a night time routine from the start can be a great way of creating a relaxing bedtime atmosphere. Make sure the house is quiet and calm (admittedly sometimes easier said than done with a toddler in the home) in the hour leading up to bedtime. Give your baby a bath, drop in a little lavender oil, put on soothing classical music or a womb sounds CD. Hopefully your baby will begin to catch on that it’s time to sleep.

Try out white noise. Babies love sounds that us grownups find pretty annoying. A running vacuum cleaner or static from a radio can be a soothing lullaby to a newborn. If your baby is over-stimulated and fussing, sometimes white noise can make a world of difference.

Swaddle your baby. Your little one is used to being held tight and cosy inside your womb, so being out in the big white world can be a little overwhelming. Many moms I’ve spoken to, myself included, found that their babies were instantly soothed when wrapped up tightly in a stretchy cotton swaddle blanket. After feeding, burping and changing, try swaddling your baby before putting them down to sleep. In newborns this can also be a great way to stop their startle reflex from waking them.

If all else fails, acceptance can be a sanity-saver. Babies will be babies, and sometimes that means an evening of screaming or hours of fussing might be inevitable. Try and remember that this is a stage that will pass. You will sleep again, just maybe not anytime in the next few years.

4 Comments on this post

  1. When our children were small we used to put music on loud and dance around to stop them crying. Didn’t tend to work to get them to sleep though, but it at least calmed them down a bit.

    Peter Ashworth / Reply
  2. My husband and I also always take our baby for walks in the evening, it totally saves our sanity. The fresh air and the motion of walking always puts our baby straight to sleep even if she’s been crying forever, and then we bring her home and put her down. It also does us good to get out of the house and get some exercise. Not looking forward to winter though..!

    Andrea Jones / Reply
  3. When the babies really wouldn’t sleep, we always went out for walks with them, either in the pram or in a sling. The rocking motion works everytime to calm the baby down and get them off to sleep.

    Amy Stevens / Reply
  4. Swaddling works really well! Also making a loud ‘Shushhh’ noise sometimes calms babies, so you can try that. I guess that’s sort of similar to that white noise.

    Jessica Aiken / Reply

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