We all know how important getting a good night's sleep is and not just for us as parents but for little ones too. Quite often we trick ourselves into creating bad habits, which may work at the time but can cause problems as your child grows and can then be difficult to shake off. Fear not, we are here to offer you some top tips to avoid those baby sleeping mistakes and make bedtime a calm and smooth experience.
Don’t start too early
Sleep is a learned skill and young babies under 6 months old take time to adjust to their new environment. The mother's womb is warm and cosy, there is plenty of noise and usually lots of movement. Your baby will still wake regularly day and night to feed, be changed and for general comfort. In order to settle them back to sleep we often naturally mimic some of these by playing white noise, swaddling and rocking baby back to sleep. We have some fantastic products available at Daisy Baby Shop to help with this such as the Clevamama Swaddle Bag, which provides a safe, secure and snugly sleeping experience. If you wish to provide white noise then the Prince Lionheart Back to Sleep Slumber Bunny replicates the comforting sounds of the womb.
Lower your expectations, be kind to yourself and don’t attempt to start any kind of sleep training until your baby is mature enough emotionally, physically and developmentally to adjust to these changes.
The sleeping environment
The environment in which your child sleeps is often overlooked and can lead to baby sleeping mistakes. The most important factor here is not to let your infant overheat. Babies, particularly under 6 months of age, cannot regulate their own body temperature and this can easily lead to complications. The room temperature should be somewhere between 16 and 20 degrees Celsius and the key to keeping baby warm without overheating, which can potentially lead to SIDS, is thin layers rather than chunky thick clothing. We would highly recommend a baby sleeping bag such as the Koo-di Sleepsac by Purflo or the Puflo Sleepsac. These sleeping bags are available in various togs for the different seasons, similarly to our duvets on our own beds. Please check the specifications and recommended uses for each product.
Don’t pick them up straight away
Babies naturally go through sleep cycles and wake in the night, just as adults do. One of the biggest sleeping mistakes can be jumping straight out of bed to pick them up as soon they start to fuss or cry. This can actually hinder their ability to learn how to soothe themselves back to sleep. Wait a few minutes to see if they can resettle, obviously if they don’t and they are in distress, tend to them. Over time you will find that they naturally fall back into a peaceful slumber without any help from you. A sleeping aid such as the Cuski Fizzy Universal Baby Comforter may bring your little one all the comfort they need to do just this.
No bedtime routine
Babies and children of all ages thrive with routine. Not having a bedtime routine could be the biggest baby sleep mistake you make. Set the foundations now and this will help your child with their sleep patterns as they grow older. Create a period of winding down time that could include a soothing bath, although try not to overstimulate your little one, followed by pyjamas, cuddles and a story or even a song. Stick to it, keep it consistent and make it a ritual to follow every day. This will help your child to understand that it is time to settle down and will aid with improving their quality of sleep. We stock a variety of baby baths and bath seats suitable for all ages, to make bath time easier. Browse the full range here.
Sleep is something that all babies have to master. Quite often there is no right or wrong answer, but as a parent your job is to encourage them to learn how to sleep well by themselves.