Sleep problems are probably encountered by all parents at some point during their child’s early years. Often the problem has been exacerbated by the things we as parents do, and in order to prevent storing up problems for the future these basic steps will ensure that your baby develops a good sleep routine which will develop their ability to settle themselves to sleep.
From early on try not to develop the habit of letting your baby fall asleep in your arms. This is a tough one for most parents as there is nothing more enjoyable than feeding your baby and watching them fall asleep in your arms. The problem arises when you try to put baby into their cot. If they have become conditioned to needing the smell and closeness of Mum/Dad to fall asleep, they will find it very difficult to settle without you. If you are planning to return to work you need to get into the routine of placing baby in the cot before he falls asleep that way he learns to settle himself.
Don’t turn your baby into a motion addict by rocking them or pushing them in a stroller your baby will be unable to settle without motion and sooner of later you will have to break the habit.
Remember to make sure that your baby does not overheat, grow bags are a great alternative to blankets and as your baby gets older they have the added advantage of making it difficult to climb out of the cot!
Playing the same music at nap and bed times creates a sort of auto hypnosis effect which lets you baby know it’s wind down time- the great thing about this is that you will also start to associate the music to quiet time and it will help you take advantage of nap time by resting too! Have a routine around bedtime as routines are really important to young children as they create a sense of security.
There are different opinions on using soothers but personally I believe that babies need to suck and it helps them to self soothe. As they get older you can start to bring in an only at bed/nap time rule for using the soother that way you are giving your child every opportunity they have to develop their speech.
That's all for now folks, sweet dreams!