The thing that all parents want to know, myself included… How do I get my baby to sleep longer or sleep at all? I use to think I was tired before… I had no idea. I do think I am very lucky that as soon as my head hits to pillow I can fall straight to sleep which means the broken sleep isn’t too bad but there are some days I feel like a zombie and definitely deserve the afternoon nap I take.
There are so many articles, tips and tricks out there it’s hard to know where to start. Newborns don’t understand the concept of night and day and wake to be fed. How long in-between feeds varies and as they grow the time should get longer with 8 months being the time many things I read say he’ll be sleeping through.
I am by no means an expert, here are the tips that I’ve been given by other mums, mainly my sister in law, that have helped me so far…
1.Raise the cot slightly
Elliott has become a little grizzly and windy in the evenings all of a sudden so under his mattress I rolled up a blanket and used it to raise him up slightly on one side. I also used infacol before his night feeds for 2 days which seemed to really help to settle him and relieve him. I’ve even raised up his pram bassinet and I’ve seen such a difference. I just don’t think he likes lying flat.
2.Shirt/ top over the Moses basket mattress
Ever have one of those days where they just won’t sleep unless they’re on you? Well following advice I buttoned one of my night shirts in reverse around the mattress, ensuring that it was secure with no lose ends or buttons. This helped him to sleep safely whilst being comforted by my smell.
3. Don’t over stimulate when they wake
It was so tempting in the night to want to coo and cuddle and talk to him but to help babies to distinguish between night and day, it’s recommended to keep lights low or dimmed, use a quiet soothing tone and to not interact to much. This helps them to remain in their sleepy state during feeding, winding and changing.
4. Make a routine
This isn’t to say that from day 1 you have to have your bambino down by 8 o’clock or anything like that bare with me… It may be by chance but Elliott seems to sleep better after a bath. As we discussed what his bedtime routine should be together, we decided on a bath followed by baby massage and a skin to skin feed. It’s important to me that Elliott develops a love of reading so we read a story and then put him down. He also goes into a grow bed when I want to signal it’s bedtime too. He may be non-the wiser at the moment but I think it’s best to start as I mean to go on. Although I have a time I start the bedtime routine, that is flexible, it’s what we do to signal sleep that won’t change. On his next feed I go to sleep but as a newborn in the first 2 weeks, I would do down with the 7/8ish feed just to give myself the best chance to sleep.
5.Ewan the sheep
So Ewan is the newest addition to our routine with us only having him a day but when we got back from the shops, I put Ewan on and lay down with Elliott in his snuz pod and within 5 minutes we were both flat out. Ewan’s tummy lights up and there are different options of sounds. The womb noise takes me back to when we had our scans with Elliott and I guess it’s comforting for him too. My sister in law swears by Ewan so I’m going to keep this one up, as my nephews are amazing sleepers.
Gently stroking above Elliott’s eyes along his eyebrow line also really soothes him.
Any tips that you have for getting your little one to sleep, please comment and share. I’d love to hear your ideas to keep up my sleeve for the future.