As a new parent, you can at times feel completely overwhelmed trying to figure out and cater to your baby’s needs. It’s a wonderful time, but a huge learning curve too! It can all seem doubly overwhelming when you’re going through it in a semi-awake, sleep deprived state, which is why helping your baby into good sleep habits as early as possible is so important for the whole family!
There is a huge amount of advice out there for new parents with regards to baby sleep, but chances are you’re too tired to wade through it all right now, so here are just five simple top tips to help you on your baby (and you!) on their way to a good night’s sleep.
- Location, Location, Location! Whenever possible, when your baby naps during the day, let them do so in their crib/moses basket/wherever you’d like them to be sleeping at night. It will help baby to associate their bed with sleep and give them a better idea of what they’re supposed to do when you put them there at night!
- Keep the crib clear – It is really nice to make sure baby has a lovely sleeping space but overcrowding a crib with bumpers and toys can be a distraction as well as a hazard. Make sure you make the crib as serene as possible by removing toys beforehand and think about just having a soothing mobile instead that they can gently drift off to. The less colour there is the better.
- Routine is everything. Babies thrive on routine, so it’s never too early to start one at bedtime. A lineup as simple as feed, change, snuggle, story will be worth it’s weight in gold as your little one gets older!
- Set the mood. Make sure you’re giving your baby all the tools for a good night’s sleep. Consider the temperature, the lighting, perhaps a white noise machine. What ‘works’ of course varies from one baby to the next – some like silence, some don’t, experiment, see what works for your little one and stick with it.
- Keep night time feeds as business only. When you feed your little one at night, make sure they know that’s all that is happening! No playing, no extra cuddling up, no toys. Be strict (with yourself as well as baby!) and you’ll help baby realise that getting up in the night is not all that exciting, so they may as well save their energy for the fun stuff in the morning.