How to Get a Good Night's Sleep With Baby: The do's and don'ts of infant sleeping
From Mrs M at the corner dairy, to a paid sleep consultant, everyone has an opinion on how to get baby to sleep better. At the end of the day, only you will know what works best for you and your baby. Here are a few tips to try out if you haven’t all ready...
What not to do: Avoid these tempting fix’s to a sleepless night where possible
Healthline recommend this list of “don’ts”, which are based on research into the causes of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome).
- Avoid soft toys or other sleeping aids in the first 12months
- If you are co-sleeping, then keep baby in an area of the bed free of blankets and pillows
- No blankets or pillows in the cot for at least the first 12months
- Avoid placing baby in another room for at least 6months, and preferably 12months if possible
- Avoid placing baby on her stomach to sleep.
- Avoid using sleeping positioners such as wedges or specialised mattresses.
Safe and proven tips that may help you’re family survive the first year
Here are few weapons for your baby sleep training arsenal...
Get dad involved
Dad’s don’t have milk, but that doesn't make them completely useless at 3am. In fact, in my experience, most dads are pretty keen to get involved in settling and feeding, but often feel a bit helpless and unsure. You might choose to divide the night up between parents, or have dad burp and walk baby after a feed... whatever works for you.
Be as close to baby as is safely possible
Baby’s want to be close. Experts don’t recommend co-sleeping, especially where risk factors are present (such as smoking, drinking, or medications), but there are some pretty cool solutions these days for parents who want to retain that closeness. Check these awesome co-sleeping cots and baby hammocks for some ideas.
Try a swaddle
Not everyone agrees with the idea of swaddling, but it does work for a lot of babies. Apparently being wrapped up tight reminds them of the womb. Check out these great swaddling tips for pro's. Just remember, babies should have their arms free before they are able to roll over, and it might be best to keep one arm free at first to help transition them out of the swaddle.
Use a sleep sack to keep baby warm
Blankets are out, but sleep sacks are in! They are safe, comfortable, and perfect for winter.
The theory behind white noise is similar to that of the swaddle. It is supposed to remind baby of the womb. Personally, we had babies who would wake every time a floor board creaked, so we cranked the white noise and found it really helped for our light sleepers. We ended up investing in a dohm white noise machine, but you can download a white noise app on your phone, and that works pretty well to.
Make sure your baby is getting appropriate sleep cues
A good routine can go a long way, especially as baby get's older. Parentingscience offer some great advise on helping baby get ready for sleep, including lighting, body clock, and emotional security.
For more tips and tricks for helping baby sleep, a quick search on google will give you hundreds of opinions. Just remember, it's your baby, and every baby is different, so don't let anyone bully you into doing it their way, or make you feel bad for the choices you make.
Pond, M. (2020). When can my toddler sleep with a pillow? Retrieved from: https://www.healthline.com/health/childrens-health/when-can-toddler-have-pillow
Dewar, G. (2018). 15-Evidence based baby sleep tips. Retrieved from: https://www.parentingscience.com/baby-sleep-tips.html
Author: Parent Village aims to provide useful research based information to parents and caregivers.