I should start by saying that we were very lucky with our first baby, he started sleeping through the night within a couple of weeks. Before baby number two came along, I thought I was an awesome parent and knew everything about baby sleep.
Everything changed when our baby boy was born last year. If we didn’t have another child, I would never be able to understand the meaning of sleepless nights and the importance of a good night’s sleep.
Our baby boy was waking up every couple of hours for a feed during the night and, after a few weeks, I was exhausted. I had no idea babies could wake up so many times!
I started looking for advice and tips on baby sleep and have basically tried everything that could potentially improve his sleep. If you are struggling with sleepless nights, check out Emma’s Diary. Not only it has brilliant tips on baby sleep, it is also a fantastic website for parents, full of tips and advice on various topics, such as feeding, health and development.
After trying for several months, these are the baby sleeping tips that worked for us:
Establish a bedtime routine
Babies learn new skills every day and sleeping through is also a skill they need to practise in order to get better at it. Sometimes, it seems that you are not getting anywhere, but it is very important to establish a bedtime routine and stick to it.
After dinner, we start to unwind and relax with a warm bath. The baby then has some quiet time before going upstairs. As soon as we go up, I close the curtains to ensure the bedroom is dark. Then I put his sleeping bag on, he has some milk, then falls asleep.
Once you have more than one child, it is easier if you coordinate bedtimes, so the children go to bed around the same time. Usually, I put baby to bed while little man is reading a book, then take him to bed too.
Every day is a new day
I see every day, or should I say, every night as a new opportunity to work on sleeping patterns and routine. If the baby didn’t sleep well last night, I try to forget about it and start all over again.
Unfortunately, sleeping is not plain sailing all the time. Babies go through growth spurt every few weeks, which could make them hungrier than usual and they might need an extra feed at night. They also learn new skills at a fast pace, such as rolling and crawling, making babies more likely to wake up during the night.
Let’s not forget about teething. Once you think that you have mastered sleeping, teething comes along and spoils it. Do not worry, teething is only a stage that they go through and they will soon settle back to their routine.
At this time last year, I was lost and didn’t know if I would be able to cope with the lack of sleep. I am pleased to say that everything worked out well in the end. At the moment, the baby is 15 months old, he goes to bed around 7:30pm and wakes up around 6:30-7am.
What are your best sleeping tips?