Getting your baby to sleep can be one of the biggest and most difficult challenges facing new parents once home from the hospital.
If you have a tiny (or not so tiny) tot who doesn’t go down easily at bed time, one who wakes repeatedly throughout the night, or one who screams bloody murder the second you even point them in the direction of their cot, then you will know EXACTLY what I am talking about.
Torturous little buggers.
Some days as a parent you may find yourself so utterly exhausted, that you seriously consider propping your eyelids open with toothpicks to stop you from falling asleep mid nursery rhyme or crying whenever you need to get up and wipe up ANOTHER projectile vom.
And short of physically wrestling your tiny human to sleep, you have probably tried everything you could think of to send them peacefully into the land of nod, and most likely without success.
Because of this, we decided to team up with a Victorian based expert to discuss sleep training and what you can do to help your own little one go to sleep with as little fuss as possible.
Michelle Kingston – the Founder and Director of Dreambaby Sleep Solutions has been kind enough to share her own story with us which led to her creating her own highly successful sleep solutions business, and to offer her top 5 tips for helping your baby to sleep through the night below.
Dreambaby Sleep Solutions – Michelle’s story:
Before I became a sleep consultant, I found myself doing everything I possibly could to get my own child to sleep through the night. I was continuously searching for ways to improve my baby’s sleep, however there was such an overwhelming amount of information available and to be honest, I was so heavily sleep deprived, that I just didn’t know where to start.
Late one night I found myself rocking my baby near the washing machine (for some much loved and desperately needed white noise) when I thought enough is enough. I really needed to find a ‘better’ solution as I couldn’t go on like this.
So, the very next day I made a life changing decision to contact a baby sleep consultant.
I didn’t know what to expect from the consultant, as I honestly thought I had read and applied all of the different techniques available but they just weren’t working for me.
However, the consultation absolutely blew all of my expectations away. I couldn’t believe how such a small amount of easily applied adjustments made such a massive difference to my baby’s sleep!
It worked SO well and I was so amazed by what I had learnt, that I decided to go back and study to become a baby sleep consultant so I could help other families in the same way that I was helped!
Now, one of the questions that I’m most often asked is “when can I expect my baby to start sleeping through the night?”. Depending on the websites that you search or the books that you read, you will come across many different answers on when a baby ‘should’ be sleeping through the night.
Most of the experts in child health say that a baby has the ability to sleep through at around 3-6 months, some say when a baby reaches 5.8kg, others say its when a baby doubles his or her birth weight. Since all babies are different, there is unfortunately no one particular answer to this question.
However, based on my experiences since founding Dreambaby Sleep Solutions, I have compiled some of my top tips for helping your baby sleep through the night.
Give them a try, and as parenthood is already the most challenging job in the world, be kind to yourself. It may only be the smallest adjustment that makes the world of difference.
Dreambaby Sleep Solutions – Top 5 Tips For Helping Your Baby To Sleep Through The Night:
1) Predictable Bedtime Routine
Babies often fight going to sleep at bedtime. Once a regular routine is in place, a baby knows bedtime is on its way and becomes more accepting of it.
So each night have a consistent bedtime routine that lasts for around 30 minutes. This routine should be something like bath, pjs, milk feed, book, lullaby, bed.
2) Sleep Props
Note: A Sleep Prop is anything that you may do or use to assist your baby in going to sleep. This may include or be a combination of any of the following: rocking or cuddling your baby to sleep, dummy use (if a strong dependency develops), feeding to sleep, pram/car rides etc.
The way that you put your baby to sleep at bed time will set their expectations for when waking during the night. This means that if your baby wakes during the night, they will cry out for you, relying on you to come in and help put them back to sleep, as they haven’t learnt how to do it themselves.
Therefore, if any of the above becomes an issue for your baby’s sleep, then you need to help your baby by teaching him/her how to sleep independently. The best way to do this is to lay your baby down awake for all sleeps, and not rely on any of the sleep props to put them to sleep.
3) Understanding your baby’s cries
When waking to their baby’s cry, many parents rush in to resettle their baby. They feel that the sooner they can get to their baby, the less likely their baby is to fully wake and therefore will be easier to resettle.
However, it’s important to remember that your baby may not even be crying out for you, instead he or she may just be having a dream or practicing a new skill, so give your baby a moment to see if he or she will settle without you rushing in and doing the settling for them when it may not even be what is needed.
4) Comfortable & ready to sleep
Ensure you baby has eaten a sufficient amount of solids and drank enough milk during the day. When preparing your baby for bed, dress them for the coolest part of the night and ensure the room is at an acceptable temperature.
Bed should be as cosy as possible and give your baby his or her comforter/teddy if they use one.
5) Consistency, Consistency and some more Consistency!
Consistency is the most important part of any sleep training method.
There are many different techniques available for training your baby. After deciding on the appropriate training method for your family/child, ensure you keep it consistent.
The same goes for your settling techniques, bedtime routine, day schedule etc.
Consistency is the key!
Hopefully by making some small adjustments to your current routines, you and your baby will start experiencing a full nights sleep, making this tough parenthood gig just a little easier.
If you are finding that your baby is still not sleeping through the night and would like some assistance, please contact Michelle via her website www.dreambabysleepsolutions.com.
You can also follow her on Facebook here!
Do you have any of your own tips and tricks that you would like to share below? Leave a comment, we would love to hear from you! xxxx
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