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7 Tips To Get Your Little Darling Sleeping Through The Night

Written by: Gemma Reynolds, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

If your baby or toddler is having trouble sleeping through the night, the first thing you should know is... you're not alone!


Studies show that up to 30% of babies have sleep problems, and that 75% of parents would like to change their babies' sleep habits.


The good news is that there are some quick and easy things you can do ‒ starting tonight ‒ to help your little one starting sleeping all through the night... and taking long, restful naps during the day!

So, as promised, here they are: The Seven Steps to Getting Your Baby to Sleep Through the Night!


Step 1: Choose an early bedtime.


The best time to put your baby or toddler to bed is sometime between 6 and 8 o'clock in the evening. This ensures that your child will be able to get a solid 11-13 hours of sleep during the night. (And yes... that is how much sleep children should be getting every night up until the age of about 10.)


Step 2: Put your child to sleep in the same place every night.


Whether your child has a room of their own or shares a room with parents or siblings, it's important that you put your son or daughter to sleep in the same place every night (and for naps during the day as much as possible.) Putting your child to bed in a familiar place lets them know they are safe and that they are in a place where sleep is expected of them.


Step 3: Create a predictable bedtime routine.


Consistency and predictability are really important to babies and toddlers. When they know what to expect at bedtime, it makes it *much* easier for them to make the transition from waking to sleeping ‒ and that's why creating a bedtime routine is so important!


A good example of a bedtime routine might be something like this:


6:20 p.m. Bath time

6:35 p.m. Put on pyjamas

6:40 p.m. Nursing or bottle (NOTE: Do NOT let your child fall asleep while feeding!)

6:55 p.m. Story or songs

7:00 p.m. Into cot or bed


Your bedtime routine shouldn't take more than about 45 minutes, and it's VERY important that the routine is the same every single night. The repetition and predictability are what let your child know that he or she will soon be expected to fall asleep.


Step 4: Put your baby to bed AWAKE!


If you've been rocking, nursing, or otherwise soothing your baby to sleep, this is going to seem like a tough one... but it's actually the most important step! It's only by letting your baby fall asleep WITHOUT your help at bedtime that he or she can learn the skills necessary to stay asleep through the night.


Step 5: If your baby wakes up during the night, wait a few minutes before intervening.


Everyone ‒ babies and adults alike ‒ will actually wake up several times every night. For most adults, these wakings are so brief that we don't even remember them the next morning. However, many babies will immediately start to fuss or cry when they wake up.


This is simply because they haven't learned how to fall asleep on their own. If a baby has been nursed or rocked to sleep at bedtime since birth, it's not surprising that they wouldn't know how to fall asleep independently. The good news is that many babies can figure out how to get back to sleep within just a few minutes of waking up in the nigh


If your child continues to fuss or cry for more than a few minutes, you'll want to go in and offer some comfort, but it's important to let your child do the work of falling back to sleep. You can speak softly to your child and do some gentle rubbing or patting, but you should avoid picking your child up and rocking or nursing back to sleep.


Step 6: Skipping naps and having late bedtimes is going to impact the next 24-hour cycle.


DO NOT think that skipping naps will help your baby sleep longer at night.


So many people tell me that their doctors advise them to pull their baby’s daytime nap to help them sleep longer during the night. That is SO untrue.


We know that the better a baby sleeps during the day the better they will sleep at night.


I had a client who had their baby signed up for every class (swim, baby massage, storytime) and the baby really only got to sleep ten minutes here or there in the car on the way from activity to activity.


She struggled so much with nighttime sleep but the minute we scaled back the daytime activities and implemented a normal nap schedule, the nighttime sleep got way better.


Step 7: If feeding during the night, don’t let the baby fall back to sleep at the bottle or the breast.


Keep baby awake by tickling toes, talking to her, and even removing the breast/bottle until she wakes up again and can continue feeding.


Keep the lights low to indicate that the wake up is a nighttime wake up and that sleep will follow obviously, this can be hard with a newborn or young baby but do your very best.


This will help you to wean out of nighttime feeds a little faster rather than the baby relying on the breast or the bottle to get back to sleep (vs. being actually hungry) during the night.


So there you have it... the 7 most important things you need to know about getting your child to sleep through the night. Of course, it's important to keep in mind that every child is a little different ‒ there's no "magic formula" that will work 100% of the time for every baby!


My passion (and my profession) is helping parents like you develop customised plans for solving child sleep problems, so if you have any questions about what you've just read, please feel free to get in touch!


All the best,

Gemma


P.S. DO YOU HAVE 15 MINUTES TO CHAT ABOUT HOW WE CAN SOLVE SLEEP? I'VE GOT A SPOT TO TALK WITH YOU! FIND A TIME HERE.


Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and visit my website for more info!

 

Gemma Reynolds, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Gemma Reynolds, is a certified Paediatric Sleep Consultant, author, thought leader and influencer in the childhood sleep space.


After struggling with extreme sleep deprivation after her son was born, she decided that we as a society need to normalise the need for wanting better sleep for both the parent and the child. Gemma is now on a mission to transform sleep deprived parents into well rested parents.


Gemma provides sleep advice, guidance and resources for parents to be able to charter the stormy sea that is childhood sleep. Gemma also works privately 1:1 with parents delivering personalised sleep programs.

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