Sleep Tips for Young Babies
To help you get off to a good start with your baby’s sleep, the specialist sleep experts Millpond Sleep Clinic have put together their top tips for those early few weeks.
1. Babies are born with no internal body clocks. You can help teach your baby the difference between day and night by taking them out for daily walks in the fresh air.
2. So your baby knows when it’s time to sleep have a short winding down bedtime routine that you follow every night. In the early days they won’t fully understand this, but gradually he/she will know these simple steps mean sleep is coming.
3. Have a simple short bedtime routine that might include:
- Taking your baby away from the rest of the family to calm down from the activities of the day – do this an hour before bedtime.
- Dim the bedroom lights. Prepare your baby gently for the bath.
- Relax your baby with a warm soothing bath. Don’t engage in playtime in the bath just before bed.
- Take him straight into the darkened nursery to dress into night clothes.
- Have a last feed
- Place your baby in the cot awake.
- Have a favourite phrase to use each night e.g. “night, night, sleep tight”, before you leave the room.
4. Try to put your baby down to sleep when they are still awake. Use your bedtime routine to wind your baby down so that he’s relaxed and ready to sleep. And if your baby falls asleep during the milk feed, rouse him/her gently before you put them down.
5. Teaching your baby to get themself to sleep at the beginning of the night means they are likely to do this again when they wake during the night.
6. It’s a good idea to create a place for your baby to sleep where they can be undisturbed. Having their naps and night sleep in his cot, in a cool, darkened room will help him/her to feel secure and safe as they drift off to sleep.
7. Create a daytime routine. This doesn’t have to be a rigid schedule – some days your baby will be hungrier than others, or need a little more or less sleep. However, following a general pattern to your day will stop your baby becoming overtired or having too much sleep in the day.
8. Lastly, always follow safe sleep guidelines from The Lullaby Trust.