Are you tired and desperate to have a good night’s sleep, and you are unsure what to do for your baby? I will give you my top tips for helping you all have a good night’s sleep. Did you know that your baby is not born with a natural inbuilt 24-hour clock?

A baby’s biological clock (circadian rhythm) begins maturing at about six to nine weeks of age, and does not work smoothly until about four to five months. They have two sleep states, active and quiet. Inactive, your baby’s eyelids flutter, body movements, and even grunts. In soft, there is slower breathing.

Check out my video

As the cycle matures, the baby reaches a point where they are mostly awake during the day and primarily asleep during the night. On average, most babies will need to feed up to three times a night before six months. This is because the baby’s tummies are tiny. So sleeping through the night is a myth.

  • Temperament can impact sleep; babies with “easy temperaments” seem to go to sleep earlier and wakeless. Sleep is the first emotional separation for mummy and child, so they will naturally need to become accustomed to being on their own at night and be progressive and gentle.

How much should my baby sleep? Check out the recently upgraded guidelines from the National Sleep Association?

  • Newborns (0-3) The range narrowed from 14-17 hours (previously it was 12-18)
  • Infants (4-11) The range sleep range widened from two hours to 12-15 (previously, it was 12-14)

What can you do to encourage sleep now?



Tops Tips

  •  Ensure you have the basics and that your baby has a safe place to sleep. Safety and comfort are two musts for good sleep.
  • Help your baby self-soothe, gently putting your child down, awake and quietly. Start by nursing, then rocking, in a swing having her near. Don’t rush stages. Be gentle, and this gives the baby time to adapt and feel safe.
  • Make sure your baby does not always fall asleep on the bottle or permanently at the breast. Many parents pick up their children even when they are not hungry or just making a noise.
  • Make sure their bedroom is a lovely cosy place, defining night and day. It’s still essential for those who co-sleep, as the baby needs more sleep than you do, and I know some mums who go to bed at 7 when their baby does.
  • If you choose co-sleeping, make sure the bed is safe for you and your baby. That means to ensure you are not getting stuck between mattresses, and there is no risk of covers going over her head.
  • Always put your baby to sleep on her back to avoid the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
  • Even when co-sleeping, it is essential that you don’t always have to feed them when they wake briefly. If you can “Watch and Wait”.

More Tips

  • Try not to allow too many daytime naps.
  • Do things that stimulate the anti-stress chemical system in their brains. Three essential comforts that can drop stress levels (Margot Sunderland 2006) are:
  • Touch, massage, sucking, and warmth (keep the room temperature at 21 degrees) stimulate the anti-stress hormone Oxytocin.
  • Get into a warm bath together if your baby is distressed.
  • Keep calm and try to be relaxed within yourself. Your baby’s state can upset you too and trigger your stress response, such as rage, fear and separation anxiety. Big feelings can help calm your baby, so contact a professional like me, join a group and let your partner help you.

Sometimes there are medical complications, so check them with your doctor (Gwen Dewar, Parenting Science 2014); click on my video to find out the symptoms to look out for:

  • Ear infections
  • Respiratory infections
  • Acid reflux
  • Cow milk allergy
  • Snoring and Sleep Apnea

Let me know how you get on, and if you have a question for me,

Be the parent you want to be, and try to take one action today to make your child feel safe, secure and loved.

With love Catherine

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