I may have a six year old, but I remember exactly how tired I was when she was a six week old. I remember the feeling of my eyes dragging along the ground behind me, the inability to think beyond the weird fog in my head, and the desperate need to lie down wherever I was and just sleep.
So, here are some brilliant tips that will hopefully help you get your little one to sleep in a jiffy!
1. A bit of bonding
Try spending some very relaxing time with baby before the night time settles in. A relaxing massage – make sure you do a course first and know exactly what you are doing – using lovely baby friendly lotion can make a huge difference to how deeply they sleep. Try out the Love Boo Kind and Calming Massage oil. It costs nearly £13, but it smells like a little piece of heaven.
2. A night routine
It’s true. A night routine will set you up for life, it really will. We avoided the terrifying Gina Ford but we used Rachel Waddilove’s book and I swear by it. It covers everything you need to know in great detail and allows for you to spend plenty of snuggle time with your baby, without having to abandon them to cry. No thanks, that is not for me. However, thanks to following this book to the letter, my daughter was sleeping through by six weeks.
3. Calm and cool
A lovely warm bath will relax anyone and baby will appreciate the clean and soft feeling as well as the sense of comfort and lethargy that a warm bath will bring. Take some time to cuddle and relax afterwards too, and don’t let her get cold!
While I did recommend Rachel above, I also think it is essential to be as open minded as possible. Having a rigorous routine and a baby who refuses to abide by it will only drive the two of you crazy, and you won’t get any sleep and you won’t enjoy that precious first year. Relax, work around the baby, and try to have some fun. I got way too serious about it all and regret it today.
5. Sleep associations
This is where sleep and baby get complicated. The thing is, there is so much research and no one baby is the same. Take a read of this site to find out some great ways of choosing what type of soothing method to use, or finding a path of your own through the nerve wracking late nights.
6. How much sleep is enough?
Just like adults and tots and teens, every baby has different sleep needs. My daughter may have slept through from six weeks old, but she hasn’t stopped waking up at 5am since then. A habit her father and I would love her to break. My friend’s kids won’t go to sleep, but they lie in until someone turfs them out of bed and they were tough to sleep train as babies. Find advice from a trusted source that suits your baby.
7. Lights down low
I found that there was not much conflict in the advice around turning the lights off or keeping the room nice and moody when putting baby to sleep. We would whack on the classical music softly, turn on a planet swirly light on the roof, sit in the rocking chair and read to her. It worked a charm.
8. No eye contact
I did not know this! I got this gem of a tip from Parents.com and they suggest that eye contact is a big NO at night and for night feeds, but a big yes for during the day to show them it’s time to be awake.
9. White noise
I never did this, I just didn’t trust it, but apparently it really works and is recommended for parents who have babies that refuse to sleep.
10. Give her a cuddle
I heartily disagree with the advice that says you can’t cuddle to sleep and so do many other happy mums. Baby needs love and you want to give it so go ahead and let them fall asleep feeling as if they are wrapped in love. Nice one.