Those of you who read yesterday’s blog will know that it was all about how to get your baby off to sleep. Well, I’m sure that you all know that getting them to sleep in the first place is just the start of the battle! Getting your baby to sleep right through the night takes time, and so today I thought I’d share some tips on helping them get back to sleep after they’ve woken.
When your baby wakes in the night, there are two rough ideas of what to do. They are both ways of “sleep-training”, which is getting your baby used to getting themselves back to sleep, rather than needing your help.
The first is called the “settle-and-leave” method. When your baby starts crying, you pick them up, talk to them calmly until they stop, and then pop them straight back to bed. If they start crying as you put them down, continue, and then pick them up again and do the same. You don’t fuss or pay too much attention to your baby, you simply calm and settle them. It may take many attempts, but a lot of parents like this because you’re not leaving your baby to cry, as seen in the next method.
The second method is known as “controlled crying”. This can work a lot quicker than the first, but can often be a lot more difficult for some parents. The idea is that when your baby wakes, you leave them to cry for 5 minutes, then go in and soothe them. The next time they wake you wait 10 minutes before going in, then 20, then 30 and so on. Some parents mention that their baby was sleeping through the night after a week, but it was a particularly hellish week! Also, bear in mind that this method should only be used if your baby is over 6 months old, as they may be waking because they need a feed.
Whichever method you choose, the main thing is that you stick with it and are consistent. It may be very difficult at first, but it is important for your baby to get them sleeping through the night. Not only does it help their development, but it helps their mood during the day.
Use these tips in conjunction with yesterday’s blog, such as using a mei tai sling or other type of baby sling, swaddling your baby, using a special blanket or stroking their nose, and you’ll be back to a peaceful night’s sleep in no time! And don’t forget, we’d love to hear your tips for helping babies sleep, so be sure to leave us a comment or get in touch through Facebook and Twitter and we’ll share them with all the other mums and dads!