At around three to four months of age, your baby will be able to tell the difference between night and day, and that gives some hope for a more settled sleep pattern from now on. Time for some bedtime rituals and a teddy bear!
Sleep associated with food
During the first few months of life, your baby will often fall asleep while feeding. As they get older they won’t fall asleep quite so easily. Take advantage of this. Try to gently coax your baby into being put down to sleep during the day after they have eaten and played. This way sleeping won’t always be associated with milk.
How to do this: When you put your baby down, don’t make eye contact. Try whispering something like: “Shush now, off to beddie byes”, and rock them gently.
Many babies protest when they are put down to sleep, and it usually takes a little while, somewhere between 9 and 15 minutes, before they “let go”. Comfort your baby if they cry.
A few evening rituals are good
It is a good idea to have your main emphasis on letting your baby fall asleep rather than making them fall asleep.
Introducing a few bedtime rituals can help. They let your child know that it’s getting close to bedtime. Children actually like routines, such as ending the day with a bath, putting on pyjamas, and reading a book or listening to a song before it’s time to say goodnight.
From about four months of age, babies can get attached to a teddy bear or comfort blanket. They act as temporary “substitutes” for their parents. So when you’re not in the room, teddy or the comfort blanket is, and that feels safe.