'How to Get Your Baby to Sleep Through the Night'
1. Start your baby off with a routine. For Ethan and I it's: bath, feed, read and then sleep. I started off setting up a routine with my Ethan from 3 months old, but even if your little one is older it's never too late to start. And remember, it doesn't have to be in this exact order, just find what works for you and your baby, and stick to it – that's the main thing.
2. A warm bath before bedtime. For us, bath time starts from approximately 8.30 pm. I tend to fill the tub with a few bath toys or sing his favourite songs or nursery rhymes during bath times, it just makes bath time more enjoyable for both of us!. More so, research shows that a warm bath lowers body temperature and subtly slows down heart and breathing rate, which results in tiredness. So, I encourage you to try it out, if it's not already a part of your baby's night-time routine.
3. A substantial feed before bed. If your baby is 6+ months like my Ethan, then try feeding them some baby porridge (no added sugar versions) or a pureed food of your choosing and a small bottle of milk. I found that Ethan didn't wake up through the night anymore to feed, because he was fully satisfied before going down to sleep.
4. Using a Sound Machine. From my experiences with my boy, I've learnt that he loves white noise, and in particular he likes to sleep to the sound of crashing ocean waves (how cute!). Some babies like to sleep to classical music as well – every baby is different, so try a variety and see what works best.
5. Pacifier. I know a lot of mums have different opinions on the use of these, and if you aren't into them or your baby doesn't like it, just skip to my next tip! However, the use of a pacifier at night in particular has been shown to reduce the number of Sudden Infant Death (SIDs), so it does have its benefits within the night-time routine. I found that, for my baby, it soothes him especially whilst teething and allows him to fall asleep calmly without crying himself to sleep (which sometimes happens- my fellow mums can relate).
6. Baby's favourite comforter & 'The Swaddle'. So when my baby was about 2 months old, we started to swaddle him, as he used to get startled when laying on his back in his crib, and that helped for a while. Now my baby is 10 months (eek he's grown up so fast I know!), he likes his arms free to move around so he can find his 'sleep sweet spot', just like you and me. But what's helped us right now is tucking him in with his favourite sky-blue fleece blanket – he loves to rub his little chubby fingers on it for comfort, and I really think that's helped calm him down to sleep.
7. Lights Out! Creating an environment that is calm – even the night-time feed is done in a low energy environment – helps your baby to associate this time of day with sleeping. Ethan sleeps with the lights completely out, and even when we are out and about, I use the SnoozeShade® black-out blind to maintain that sleep association. Of course, this may not be possible all the time, but try it out when you can and see how it works for you!
Thanks for joining me for another (hopefully) informative blog post. I hope these tips are useful! Sign in and leave me a comment below if it has been.
Lots of Love, SimplyDeborah xo