5 need-to-know tips for getting your baby to sleep

Getting your 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

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1. Switch off the lights

Emphasise light and dark, so that your baby learns to distinguish between night and day - this encourages the production of sleep hormones. 

2. Know there's a reason for those long, long feeds

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.

3. Get ready to perfect your burping technique

It's worth trying 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: this could become a sleep cue.

4. Do it again, and again, and again

When your baby starts to recognise the difference between night and day (between six 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.

5. And just before they fall asleep...

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. 

For information, advice and support - any time of the day or night - download the Mumsnet Baby Bundle app, in association with Nurofen for Children.


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Last updated: 5 months ago