Here are a number of things you can do to create the best conditions for a good night's sleep!
• Let your voice and body indicate to your baby that it’s time to go to sleep. Be clear; it feels safe and really helps baby settle.
• After a busy day with a lot of activity, it is important you provide your baby with a period of peace and quiet. Babies need help to relax.
• Routines. End the day with the same routine - a bath, brushing teeth (when a child is older), pyjamas, a bed-time story or song, and then good night. Sure you can break the routine sometimes, but most babies and children enjoy routines.
• Everyone sleeps better in the dark. Make it a habit to turn off all the lights when they go to bed.
• If you are invited out to dinner or are staying somewhere else for the night, maintain as much of your child’s routine as possible and bring their pyjamas, their blanket etc. This way they’ll be more settled and your evening out will be more enjoyable.
• In the very beginning it may seem as if messing with pyjamas is overdoing it. But it helps to show your baby there is a difference between sleeping during the day and sleeping at night.
• Always talk about the bedroom and sleeping as something that is cosy. And put your child to sleep in the same bed every night. Children sleep best in familiar surroundings.
• Little babies need a small, cosy space to sleep, just as it was in the womb.
• If your baby is sleeping in their pram, a cloth nappy hung over the front can block out any distractions, and it will be easier for your little one to fall asleep.
• Many young children like having a security blanket. It may also be a good idea to give your baby a cuddly toy or a fold-out book in their cot but remember: too many toys will keep them awake.
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