Best Way to Help Your Baby Sleep

Sleep is fundamental to your baby’s development. His brain is incredibly active during the early months, growing and making new connections at an amazing rate, He is taking in new information about his world all the time, and while he sleeps this information is being processed and stored for future reference. His body also needs rest in order to store energy, gain strength, and grow.

Developing a sleep pattern

From around four to five weeks, with your help, your baby will start to develop a pattern of sleeping more at night than during the day, which becomes more established over the next few months. At the moment, he cannot differentiate between day and night, so you need to help him learn this.

Baby Sleep Best Way to Help Your Baby Sleep

You can help begin to establish a day/night pattern by putting him to sleep during the day in a room which is not too dark, and where he can hear normal daily sounds, such as the phone ringing, the vacuum cleaner, or people talking. Then, at night, put him to sleep in a different room, which is dark and quiet.

Once your baby is around two months old, you can begin to lay the foundations for a sleep routine. Put him down for his daytime naps at roughly the same time every day – probably during mid-morning and mid-afternoon – and put him to bed at the same time every night. This helps teach your baby that life has a rhythm to it, and instils a sense of security and confidence in. himself and his environment. By six months, he may be sleeping for around ten consecutive hours at night and five non-consecutive hours during his daytime naps.

Establishing a bedtime routine

As he becomes more aware of what’s going on around him and his memory skills improve, your baby will learn to anticipate events and familiarize himself with the patterns of his days. He will probably respond very well to routine at this stage, and start to enjoy the rituals of preparing for his night-time sleep. Try to follow the same pattern at around the same time every evening. For example, you could start off with a warm bath, followed by a cuddle and gentle play. You could then feed him and put him into his cot, drowsy but awake, perhaps accompanied by a lullaby.

Putting your baby down to sleep while he is still awake means that he won’t depend on your breast or the bottle in order to fall asleep. It also means that if he stirs he will know where he is and may feel secure enough to drop off again without disturbing you, unless he is hungry or uncomfortable.

Baby Sleep 1 Best Way to Help Your Baby Sleep

If possible, involve your partner in your baby’s bedtime routine. Perhaps he could bathe him or read a book with him. It will strengthen the bond between them, and help to build up trust, so that your baby won’t rely solely on you for his sense of security and well-being.

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