Sleep expert reveals: How to help your baby sleep better
New-born babies bring love, happiness, and that new-born baby smell that you just can’t seem to get enough of. On the other hand, they need constant attention and are notorious for depriving parents of much needed sleep.
Eager to help parents regain some semblance of a sleep schedule, TheDozyOwl.co.uk spoke exclusively to Lisa Lewis, a certified, qualified and experienced Sleep Consultant for some expert tips on how to aid your baby in getting a good night’s sleep.
1. The 5 Bs:
“These are my mantras for getting babies to sleep every night. The 5 Bs are ‘sleep cues’ that enable the baby to start remembering what needs to happen come the evening time.”
- Bath When bathing your child, it’s always preferable to leave this part until the end of the day. It’s important for our core temperature to rise, ready to fall which is needed for sleep.
- Bedroom Once your baby is in the bedroom, ideally, they stay there! We hope at this point they understand this is now the place they stay for the night. Make it a nice cosy and relaxing, quiet and dark space ready for them to sleep in.
- Books Babies/children are never too young for books! This is a time to hear their parents or child givers soothing voice which will give them some familiarity in a calm environment to evoke sleep. Or try singing some nursery rhymes very quietly too.
- Bottle/Breast Whether you bottle or breast feed, try to be in a comfortable seated position whilst feeding ready for their sleep. This is another lovely calming time of their day.
- Bed (Cot) Ideally, always put your baby down to sleep when they are sleepy and not in a deep sleep. This is so they will learn to self-settle when they wake in the night, so will not need your help.
2. Pink Noise:
“You may be familiar with white noise (washing machine, hair dryer etc.), but the pink version is a softer one.” ‘Coloured’ noises have been shown to have power as sleep aids. Pink noise has lower sound frequencies and therefore more pleasing to the ear than the harsh tones of white noise. Examples of pink noise are: Nature, rustling of leaves, ocean waves, rainfall and heartbeats. Several studies on pink noise have even shown that sleeping with it can also improve short and long-term memory.”
3. Your Smell:
“A great tip for helping babies to sleep is to give extra comfort and you can do this by leaving an item of clothing close by… with your smell on. The familiar smell will help comfort the baby and remind them that you are there. Be careful of its proximity to your baby and do not leave it loose. Have it tied tightly to one of the cot railings out of arms reach.”
4. The 5am Call:
“5am is when our body temperature is at its lowest in a 24-hour day. This is why many babies wake early and cannot get back to sleep. You could pre-empt this by adding an additional blanket (safely) just before this time, or before you go to bed for convenience.”
5. Let’s Go Outside:
“Swedish research has claimed that babies who are put out to sleep in the garden/outdoor space between the hours of 12-4pm sleep much better at night. It doesn’t matter too much about the cold weather, take a leaf from the Danish and wrap them up as warm as can be and leave them outside to get some fresh air into their lungs. I always suggest this tip to clients who are having trouble with new-borns settling into a night-time routine.”
“Black and White mobiles are perfect for new-borns. They have a limited range of vision (roughly the length between theirs and their mother’s face while feeding) and monochrome patterns stimulate the development of the optic nerves holding their attention longer.”
Author: Hannah Johnston
Photo credit: (javi_indy/Shutterstock)