Sleepless nights can be one of the toughest parts of being a parent; you’ll no doubt experience a few of them in the first few weeks, but you’re not alone. However, in some cases, bad habits can exacerbate sleepless nights. Here we share some practical tips to help you and baby get you through those bleary-eyed early weeks and help your baby sleep.
Keeping a simple but consistent bedroom routine can work wonders in getting your little one to sleep as they get older. Sleep experts say that starting a routine around 30-45 minutes before bedtime is optimal, and it should be filled with calming activities that will help them wind down. Do whatever works for you, but it could include giving them a bath, changing them into sleepwear and a fresh nappy, reading a bedtime story when they’re old enough, singing a lullaby or winding-up a musical mobile and brushing their teeth (if they have any!)
Keep your routine the same every night, at a similar time too, so you’re giving your baby plenty of cues that it’s time for sleep. It’s also a lovely opportunity to have one-to-one time with your baby.
FIND THE PERFECT CRIB
The centerpiece of baby’s nursery is the crib; a special, comfortable space where baby will begin and end the day. When it comes to choosing the right one, there’s a lot to think about, not least colour and style, but also safety, practicality, space and versatility. It’s also important to note that for the first six to eight months your baby should be in the same room as you when they’re asleep, both day and night. The kubbie™ sleep from Joie is a gorgeous and compact bedside cot for safe and cosy side-by-side sleep. Not only will the simple and sleek design fit in with most nursery interiors, the crib has been cleverly designed to work as both a sleeping space for baby and a secure frame for naptime. A removable mattress doubles up for naps and playing, and a full size bassinet removes and attaches easily. In the early weeks, you may find that your baby only falls asleep in your or your partner’s arms. Get them used to sleeping without you by putting them down before they fall asleep but if they do nod off early, you’ll be able to slip baby easily into the kubbie™ sleep via four zippered sides that allow for easy access.
NIGHT & DAY
Darkness triggers the brain to release melatonin – a key sleep hormone, so although it sounds obvious, getting your baby to grip with night and day from the early days will go a long way in helping them to nod off.
Keep the days sociable, busy and bright with curtains wide open, and the nights calm, quiet and dimly lit. During the day, play games and don’t worry too much about everyday noises when they sleep. At night, you might find it useful to not talk much and keep your voice quiet. Also consider installing dimmers on the lights in your baby’s room, but also in other rooms where you both spend lots of time and not play with your baby. If they wake up during the night, don’t turn on the lights or carry them into a brightly lit room. Instead, soothe them back to sleep in the dark bedroom.
You’ll still be feeding through the night until at least three to six months old, so try to stay calm, accept the night wakings and respond to your baby’s demands for food quickly and quietly, with minimal excitement, no lights on and as little eye contact as possible. That way they’ll hopefully drop off back to sleep quickly afterwards and so will you. A baby who knows it’ll be fed when they ask for it will feel secure; you’ll more likely to be able to soothe them to sleep later on. This part can be tough for on new parents but remember, it doesn’t last forever.
PUT THEM DOWN AWAKE
It can be very tempting to lay them down immediately after a feed or if they fall asleep during the middle of one. However, one school of thought however suggests that you rouse them slightly so that they’re awake when you lay them down. This way, they’re less likely to wake in a panic knowing that you’re not there as they drift off. It also encourages them to sleep without you there.
All parents go through sleepless nights with little ones. It’s important to remember that it doesn’t last forever; most of the time it’s a phase that’s over almost as quickly as it started. If one solution doesn’t work, try another. It’s important to just do whatever works best for the both of you.
For more information about Joie, and to discover other Joie products from the brand, you can visit joiebaby.com.