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- Are you little darlings waking you up as soon as daylight breaks but you cannot afford black out blinds??? Black sacks and masking tape work wonders and at a fraction of the cost of blinds ;)
- A red light bulb is great for middle of the night changes and feeds. Bright enough to see what you are doing but dim enough to avoid the startle factor!
- When trying to go night time nappy free make up two layers of bedsheets on your childs bed. Sheet+waterproof+sheet+water proof. Saves a lot of faffing about in the night as you can just strip the top layer off and deal with it in the morning.
- Put a mirror over your baby's cot - those pull out shaving ones work well. We found it kept our 6 month year old amused in the mornings and gave us crucial extra lie-in time.
- The static sound from an untuned radio makes perfect white noise - sent my baby DD to sleep for the last 8 months, without sky high electricity bill!
- Once a week, go to bed at the same time as your children.
- If your baby won't settle, try switching the hairdryer on. My baby stops crying immediately.
- When shopping for a cot for a baby a good idea is to take a can of juice with you; if it fits through the bars so will your baby's head. So don't buy that one.
- Go to bed earlier! Since I started going to bed by 10pm every night, it has changed my health, happiness, parenting ability and approach to life [grin]
- Baby wakes up when put her down in the cot after sleeping peacefully in your arms? Try placing a warm hot water bottle where baby will lie to warm up the sheets first.
- Halloween Special: I left a bowl of sweets outside and stuck a sign up saying, 'New baby asleep. Knock and I'll flay you alive. But help yourself to a sweetie'. No one knocked.
- If you have a little one who undresses themselves and removes their nappy at night, put them down in the cot at night with a baby grow on back to front. They can't get to the poppers and will stay dry for the night.
- Never tiptoe around sleeping babies. Put the radio on, talk normally and keep them used to lots of noise (after all the womb is a noisy environment). Our two kids will sleep through anything now.
- have a bedtime routine from a very early age. Bath, milk and story, song, bed.
- To keep children in bed until a reasonable hour....
Forget 'Bunny Clocks' what has worked for us is a tiny night light in the bedroom which is timer controlled. When it is on (between 7pm and 7am) it is bedtime. When it turns itself off dc know that they can get up. This works really well as it is easy for the children to see; if they wake up at 6am they know it is still night time.
- Swaddle newborns with their arms tucked in for a better night's sleep.
- Lavender spray on a toddlers pillow...mine love smelling it so they keep their heads down and then they're off to the land of nod in moments!
- If your child has a favourite 'going-to-sleep' toy then buy an identical replacement to have handy for when it gets lost. Bear's lost? No he's not - he was just hiding in this draw!
- I stagger the wakeup in the morning allowing time and precious five minutes chat over breakfast with each child. I have three. I find everyone functions that little bit better just having their own time to come too.
- Start from very early on e.g. a few weeks old get your baby down to sleep at approx. 7pm to get them into a bedtime routine and sleeping through the night.
- My best tip is to get your baby into a nightly routine as early as possible. No matter if baby is awake or asleep, make sure yo take them up to bed at a reasonable time each night and have as few lights on as possible and if you can, have a TV on, so the baby is used to noise. As babies don't understand times of the day, giving them a continuous pattern and associating their bed time with the dark is a very good way to establish a routine for bedtime.
- Keep your bedtime ritual as simple as possible. Don't overcomplicate things for yourself and it also means that other people can put your baby to bed when you aren't around. Sometimes the simplest thing is most effective - a simple cuddle with soothing noises can often tell baby it is time for sleep and help them to wind down.
- Don't wait for you baby/ies to nap so you can take a shower. Just put them in your baby chair in the bathroom, they are entertained and you are clean!
- Keep spare jammies and bedding together somewhere handy in your child's room. Then when there is a middle of the night pee or puke incident you don't have to wake the whole house up rummaging around for spares.
- To get my 3 year old up the stairs to go to bed we choose an animal & pretend to be, say a lion or butterfly to crawl or fly up the stairs to bed.
- For a baby that loves cuddles and is hard to settle in own bed, warm the sheets with a hot water bottle first and place item of your clothing nearby so it imitates the warmth and smell of you.
- If a baby who has a dummy keeps waking in the night purely looking for its dummy then throw a handful of dummies in the cot with them at night and they will easily be able to find one for themselves without you having to get up.
- Work in pairs to maximise sleep during rough teething periods. My husband and I take turns to get up with the little one if she's teething so at least one of us can get enough sleep to operate like a human being.
- If there is a particular bed-time story you've made up for your children, which they really like, write it down before you forget it. They will probably ask for it again and chip in with corrections if you've, for example, forgotten the name of the aliens who live on Venus.
- If you are desperate for some extra time in bed in the mornings here is a top tip! When your children are fast asleep fill a pillow case full of their toys (especially the ones they haven't seen for a while). In the morning they will wake up and think it is like Christmas and it will keep them amused long enough for you to feel like you've had a lie in!
- If your little one is complaining of imaginary 'monsters' in their bedroom, ask them to help you give your imaginary 'go away monster spray' a shake and squirt in their wardrobe, behind the door, under their bed etc.
- to persuade your kids upstairs at bath time turn the lights off downstairs (probably only works if they're too small to turn them on again)
- Record a tape or CD of yourself reading your child's favourite stories. DS loves to sit with his books while he listens to the tape (and I Mumsnet away)
- if your toddler hates going to bed,try putting the cot mattress inside a small play tent.
- If your baby prefers to sleep close to you, try expressing some breast milk onto a blanket/muslin/piece of material and placing it near the baby in their Moses basket with them so that they smell your scent. Be careful where you put it- not too close to baby's face.
- A small but useful thing if you have a newborn: when taking baby out of cot, always leave the cot ready for baby to go back in - you don't want to be caught with (finally) sleeping baby in arms and nowhere to put her down.
- Lullabies are great for putting babies to sleep but other great alternatives are Indian meditation music as well. It's good to alternate the two so there is a bit of variety for baby, and for you as well!
- To get my son to sleep, I lay my head on his cot and close my eyes and breathe deeply so as to pretend to be asleep. When he sees me going to sleep he relaxes too.
- Our 3 year old son was always waking up in the night and then crying out but he never actually wanted anything...just for us to go in to his room and settle him back to sleep. Very disruptive to our sleep. So we initiated a star chart. Every time he sleeps through the night, he gets a star and when he's collected 20 stars he gets a trip to the toy shop where he can choose a small toy. The change has been incredible. He sleeps through nearly every night now!
- When it is too hot to sleep, fill a hot-water bottle with cold water and put it in the fridge for a little while before taking it to bed with you.
- If your toddler is reluctant to go to bed, go to their bedroom and read very loudly to a favourite teddy (works with mine).
- Newborn wakes up whenever he's put in the moses basket? Use the warming qualities of your bottom: take out the mattress and sit on it for a few minutes before you put the baby down.
- Don't quieten down when your baby sleeps. The radio - or Hoover - was always on when my two were tiny. Now they sleep through nearly anything.
- Keep a pile of books by the bed from an early age - my three year old wakes up and happily "reads" for half an hour or more before calling out for us.
- If your baby falls asleep during feeding, but always wakes when you put him in his cot/pram, put a muslin under him during the feed and transfer this with him. Then he'll still have some of Mummy's warmth and smell with him when you put him down.
- I relax bedtime and bathtime rules for my school age children at weekends. It makes them realise I am strict for a reason on schoolnight rather than just being strict.
- Always sing the same lullaby before leaving a child's room. They soon learn that this song means you are about to go and that they need to settle down to sleep. I used this until my girls were 8 and it never failed!
- If your child's constantly waking because their duvet's fallen off and they're cold, try laying the duvet across the bed, rather than lengthways, and tucking it in tight. Then they stay warm all night (unless they're very tall, in which case they may complain of cold feet!)
- Having trouble swaddling effectively? Wrap them up nice and tight and secure with a nappy nippa! Escapologists will be foiled.
- Invest in blackout curtains. They meant we got a bit of extra sleep, especially in the first few months.
- Buy a bigger duvet for your bed. That way, when little one's get in the middle and you get shunted to the edge of the mattress, you'll have some extra covers
- To get your children to go to bed at a reasonable time, tell them that whoever has finished their bath, teeth & pajamas first will get more 'reading time' in bed, whilst the others subsequently get themselves done.
- keep a plastic cup upstairs at night ready for those midnight drink requests from your children. Got to be better than trailing downstairs!
- If your baby is unable to get to sleep, try leaving the radio on low in their room - classic FM is ideal.
- A magic lantern that projects images on the walls and ceiling instantly creates the perfect 'winding down' atmosphere at bedtime and creates a home-link environment when we're on holiday.
- If your children are early rises and you tend to sit them in front of the TV until you come round, as hard as it may seem, try banning morning TV. My kids immediately started sleeping in longer!
- For children suffering from nightmares, ask them what they are about and then make a sign for their door saying e.g. NO snakes allowed!
- If your baby falls asleep while feeding, wake them up slightly before putting them down to sleep so they learn how to put themselves to sleep with out any props. It saves the trauma of controlled crying later on.
- Always follow a good night-time routine, eg bath, milk, story, bed. I didn't do this with my son and paid the price, but with my daughter we have stuck to this routine and she has(so far) always slept through the night.
- If your child is reluctant to sleep in his bed, try putting his matress on the floor and let him sleep there instead - it makes bedtime seem more like an adventure.
- Place a ticking clock in close (but safe) proximity of a crying baby - the rythmic tick tock helps soothe him/ her to sleep.
- For stopping night-time fears, I've found the Tweenies video 'Night Time Magic' absolutely wonderful. It goes through different imagined problems and has some great songs.
- For babies that wake at night because they've lost a dummy invest in a dummy strap. This attaches to the dummy at one end and to the baby's clothes/ sleeping bag at the other and stops all the scrabbling about in the dark.
- If you are constantly being disturbed by telesales people disturb when you're trying to put the kids to bed, register your UK landline or mobile with the Telephone Preference Service (http://www.tpsonline.org.uk/tps/) to get put on the Don't Call List. Peaceful evenings at last!
- Invest in a 'swaddleme', a fleece wrap for newborn babies - they truly are a lifesaver when your baby won't settle. They are available from the PHP catalogue(Perfectly Happy People)
- In the hot weather, you can keep your children (and yourself) cool by taking a cold water bottle to bed - if your feet are cool so will be the rest of you.
- If your baby won't go to sleep, try playing a recording of the washing machine... it worked for us!
- If your baby is soothed to sleep by white noise such as the sound of the hoover or the tumble dryer, make a tape-recording of the sound so that you can still play it at times when it's not convenient to have the hoover or tumble-dryer on.
- If you're struggling to soothe a newborn baby that's crying - try turning on the vacuum cleaner. Don't ask me why this stops them crying, but more often than not it worked for us.
- If your newborn always falls asleep halfway through feeding, try changing them. This usually wakes them up enough to finish the feed.
- Gently stroking a baby who won't sleep on the nose downwards encourages the baby to close his/ her eyes and fall asleep.
- I have plugged a digital timer, into a socket with a night light in it. When the light comes on in the morning, my girls know that they can get up and come into our room. What they don't know yet, is that it's set for a later time at weekends!
- My toddler was often waking up really early, not knowing whether it was time to get up. I've solved this by putting a lamp in the hall onto a time switch. We leave the lamp on all night and he knows that if it is still on it's not time to get up and so goes back to his bed.
- Put a t-shirt that smells of you in the cot with your newborn. It helps them to fall alseep.
- To assist a speedy transfer from bath to bed the first one who is ready in pyjamas with teeth brushed gets to choose the first story.
- To keep my constantly re-appearing toddler in his room at bedtime, I simply apply a coating of olive oil to the back of the door handle. He can't open the door, and means I can avoid 'locking' him in the room.
- A recent survey revealed that on average, new mothers sleep for only four hours a night in the first four months of their child's life.
- It may sound obvious but try singing to your baby at bedtime. Something soothing can help calm them down and therefore learn to fall asleep on their own. I found this out accidentally when my child was about six months old!
- Six percent of three year olds regularly sleep in their parents beds.
(The Daily Mirror)
- If you have a baby or toddler who is not sleeping very well put two or three drops of lavender oil on their pyjamas or sheet/pillow - it works wonders with my four (and their mum and dad.
- Don't be quiet when your baby sleeps. I always saw nap time as the perfect opportunity to get some housework done even hoovering, when my kids were tiny. Now they sleep through almost anything. My sister turned down the TV and spoke in whispers and her daughter wakes up if a flooboard squeaks.
- When your children are reluctant to go to bed try the race up the stairs event. This involves a "ready, steady, go" a lot of scrambling and, of course, a victory for the children. My son enjoys this so much, he has devised a points system and a league table. (Needless to say I'm up for relegation soon).
- Blackout blinds are a great way to keep young children asleep for longer especially now that days are getting lighter!
- If your pre-schooler wakes you at the crack of dawn invent a toy angel/fairy. Every night, while they are asleep, the toy angel leaves a different toy at the top of their cot/bed and in the morning, they can play with it - while you get a lie in.
- If your baby falls asleep during feeding, but always wakes when you put him in his cot/pram, put a muslin/blanket under him during the feed and transfer this with him, then he'll still have some of your warmth and smell with him when you put him down.
- I often find the 'white-out' method is successful for soothing a baby. Basically I hang a white sheet over the hood of the pram/pushchair so that is all that baby can see. Holding baby over your shoulder and standing with your back to a white wall has the same effect and is especially useful when sometimes they seem to become 'overstimulated' and fretful.
- If you decide to do controlled crying treat yourself to a magazine/book, and in the five minute intervals sit up somewhere outside your bedroom and read. It sounds callous, but it's better than just lying awake listening to them cry
- When your child first moves into a big bed, or in unfamiliar beds on holiday, use a rolled up towel under the sheet at the side of the mattress to stop them rolling out.
- If your child uses a dummy, put 3 or 4 around the cot. If she wakes in the night, she is bound to find one and you won't be woken.
- As soon as you have a baby buy a Baby Soother tape - one that supposedly mimics the sounds in the womb. I used one - and have been rewarded with 3 children who've all slept well. I promise I don't have shares in the company!
- Never tiptoe around sleeping babies. Put the radio on, talk normally and keep them used to lots of noise (after all the womb is a noisy environment). Our two kids will sleep through anything now.
- If your new baby won't settle in his/her Moses basket, try putting a worn T shirt with breast milk on it in the basket first. They'll smell you and should feel secure enough to drop off to sleep.
- Buy the Baby Soother tape and use it precisely according to the notes. It makes a strange womb-like noise which soothes your baby to sleep. But it only works up to 10 weeks.
- If your child wakes at night because she has lost her dummy try leaving three or four dummies around the cot. She is bound to find one of them and you might get a few extra hours of precious sleep.
- If you find after a night feed your semi-sleeping baby wakes when being returned to the cot, use a small cloth (muslin) under their head - it means that their head doesn't go back on to a cold sheet in the cot and they are less likely to wake up.
- Don't try to force a toddler to move from a cot to a bed. Set up a bed in the room along with the cot, put some toys on it and make up the bed and wait for your toddler to show an interest in napping on it. It works sooner than you would think.
- Instead of moving a child from a cot to an ordinary bed, buy one of the bed combinations with a ladder to the top and a desk, etc underneath. They can't wait to get out of the cot to climb the ladder.
- If your baby has a blocked up nose and is having trouble sleeping, buy a pipette bottle and some sachets of saline solution from the chemist and squirt a bit up each nostril before bedtime. It loosens everything up and she'll be able to breathe more easily.
- After months of broken sleep - always ending up with our toddler coming into bed with us at some point in the night - we gave in and allowed her to start the night with us. We got a less interrupted sleep and after a few repeats felt able to start the sleep training we'd been dreading.
- When your new baby starts sleeping less and needs a change of scene, try a large basket (e.g. dog basket), and line it with blankets and towels to keep out drafts. It's comfortable enough to sleep in; there is room for toys and she can see older siblings on the same level yet be protected in her own space.
- My son wouldn't sleep in his own bed and always ended up in ours. In desperation I turned his bed round, so that it was facing the same way as ours and since then he's slept in it without any problems at all. It's worth a try!
- Take a blow up lilo in your bag and produce it for the kids to sleep on in the event of airport delay. Just one of those cheapo ones would have made so much difference.
- Keep a selection of story books by the side of your bed so that early-waking toddlers can be quietly entertained while you snooze.
- For early risers, put a timer switch on a lamp. Explain to your kids that they can play quietly if they wake up early, but can only come to your room when the special light comes on. It worked for us.
- If your child's sleeping/eating problems are driving you insane, just keep repeating the mantra, 'it's only a phase'. It's true and it calms you down.
- To wake up a sleepy older child in the morning, whisper the words 'Pokemon' 'S Club 7' 'Ice cream' or whatever he's into directly in his ear, then keep muttering under your breath as you walk away. Curiosity soon wakes him up.
- Try singing to your baby at bedtime. Something soothing can help calm them down and therefore learn to fall asleep on their own. I found this out accidentally when my child was about 6 months old!
- Up to 8-10 weeks old, we had to hold our daughter to get her off to sleep, but she would immediately waken on being laid down. A friend advised that pre-warming her bottom sheet, particularly around the head area, might reduce any cold shock that she experienced - although she occasionally still woke, she quickly settled back to sleep
- I've found that once you have your toddler in a sleeping routine you're happy with, it's best not to fuss with that routine even once. I let my toddler sleep in my bed one night when I had trouble putting him down, and it took three difficult weeks to get him to sleep on his own again.
- When your child goes into a bed instead of a cot and has a duvet, use a sheet underneath it to tuck her/him in. This prevents falls out of bed and, in the winter especially, provides extra warmth.
- When my son was ready to move from a cot to a bed, we decided to coincide it with introducing the 'Rabbit Ears' Clock. This taught him to stay in his room in the early mornings playing with his toys until the rabbit's ears popped up. It was a Godsend to us and still works today - he is now five.
- Reggae music has a calming effect on children. Every night I dance with my baby daughter in my arms to a favourite album, and she's always asleep by the third track. It also works in the car - it calms everyone down and is so much nicer for parents to listen to than those awful jingly jangly kiddy tapes.
- If your child wakes because she's lost her dummy, put three or four near her in the cot. If her dummy falls out of her mouth during the night she can always find another one.
- Sing the same lullaby every night to your child from an early age. By becoming part of their routine, it will help them to recognise - and accept - that it's bedtime.