Following on from the success of my Insta stories Christmas countdown here are the first “10 Top Tips” in my series of sleep tips to help improve baby sleep.
Number One – melatonin
Because your newborn baby will not start to produce melatonin until around 12 weeks of age there is no point in using black out blinds in the day. The goal at this age is to help regulate your baby’s body clock and using black out blinds will only make this harder.
Number Two – Naps
Naps are critical to prevent sleep debt as the day progresses. Too much sleep debt can cause frequent night wakings, changes to the sleep architecture and early risings. If you are worried your baby is waking too early from their nap set a timer 5 minutes before they wake and with your hand gently see if you can coax them through into another sleep cycle.
Number Three – Massage
Massage with lotion has been shown to optimise the time it takes for your baby to fall asleep – plus it also helps lengthen the duration of the sleep for babies and their mothers.
Number Four – Cot Play
To help improve night waking’s and to teach your child what to expect when they wake. Use the morning wake for cot play. Instead of getting them out of their cot, open the curtains turn on the lights and encourage them to play in their cot. This teaches them it is ok to wait and helps them to understand that you will not always immediately pick them up.
Number Five – Pink Noise
Does your baby wake frequently at night or very early in the morning? You might like to think about using pink noise which has been shown to deepen their sleep.
Number Six – Exercise
Allowing your child to have around half an hour of exercise in the afternoon between 4-5 PM can do wanders for sleep. For babies who can not yet walk, try swimming, singing, rolling supported standing or jumping.
Number Seven – Milk
To help your baby sleep better when they have a cold put a drop of fresh breastmilk in each nostril using a pipet. The immune cells and the antibodies in the milk are the only thing that fight a cold. If you are not nursing use a drop of sterile saline.
Number Eight – Gentle wake
Briefly waking your baby when you ease them into bed will bring you many hours of additional sleep and will help to prevent sleep problems later on
Number Nine – Tokens
To help limit the number of trips your little one makes out of the bedroom once lights are out – you might like to consider using bedtime tokens. Each time they get out of bed they have to give one to you and any they have left over they can swap for a small treat in the morning.
Number Ten – Gro Clock
Use your “Gro Clock” or something similar as part of your bedtime routine to help with the abstract notion of time. This is particularly helpful in the summer when the nights become lighter.
So there you have it; Part One of my Christmas Sleep Tips count down – tune in next month for Part Two.
Plus in the meantime don’t forget to follow me on Instagram @helpbabysleep where I will be bringing you daily sleep tips and updates.
There is no doubt that your baby’s sleep is highly individualised. This is why sometimes it can be helpful to have a personalised sleep consultation. Alternatively, I also offer a trouble-shooting call service.
Find out more about my packages here.