5 need-to-know tips for getting your baby to sleep
Sleep. Lovely, lovely sleep. Getting your new baby to learn to nod off is one of the biggest challenges of new parenthood, so we asked children's sleep specialist Andrea Grace to share her five top tips for a solid night’s slumber.
1) Emphasise light and dark, so that your baby learns to distinguish between night and day - it encourages the production of sleep hormones.
2) Remember to wind your baby well after the final feed to avoid sleep-disrupting tummy ache later – and try singing the same song every time you do it: it’ll become a sleep cue.
3) When your baby starts to recognise the difference between night and day (between 6 and 12 weeks) introduce a soothing, consistent bedtime routine. A familiar series of steps leading up to bedtime will help them to feel both sleepy, and safe.
4) If you’re breastfeeding, evening 'cluster feeds' are your friend. Towards the end of the day your milk secretes a natural and safe sedative which helps your newborn sleep well at night.
5) If you can, put your baby into the cot sleepy - but still awake. If they know they’re in the cot, they’re less likely to be upset later if they wake and find they’re no longer in your arms.