When did you last get a full nights sleep? A new baby in the house, can mean nights are exhausting and overwhelming. Navigating the challenges of getting your baby to sleep, whilst ensuring they sleep safely is a huge challenge. Nursery retailer Kiddies Kingdom spoke to baby sleep expert Katie Amies and the below is her best baby sleep advice.
What is the best position for babies to sleep in?
Babies should stay in their own cot in your room until they are at least six months old. Katie explains, “the safest way for a newborn to sleep is on their back, in the feet to foot position. Unless told to do otherwise for medical reasons.”
For safer sleep, don’t have any “loose items in the crib, including pillows, cot bumpers, comforters and soft toys. The safest way to keep baby warm in their bed is to have either a blanket firmly tucked under their arms to ensure it isn’t pulled over their face or a sleeping bag that is an appropriate age and tog rating.”
When is it okay for your baby to sleep on their tummy?
Whilst sleeping on their back is the safest position for babies, Katie comments that “once your baby can roll over, they will choose their preferred sleep position. Don’t panic, once they are able to roll, this is completely fine. Sleep can sometimes be disturbed whilst they are practising their skills and get stuck one way. Providing lots of rolling practice during the day will help minimise the problem.”
When should I introduce a bedtime routine for my baby?
A regular, soothing bedtime routine can help your baby to sleep well, improve their language and cognitive skills as well as a great opportunity to have 1-to-1 time with your baby. According to Katie, “it’s never too early to introduce a bedtime routine, the earlier the better! Babies love routine, as it helps them understand what’s coming and they find comfort in the familiarity of a routine after being exposed to the big new world. Develop a routine which includes the same activities, in the same order, in the same room(s).”
How do I get my baby to sleep through the night?
There are all sorts of reasons why your baby may be waking through the night which will disturb your sleep too. Katie comments that there isn’t a single answer to this question, mentioning that there “is a mismanaged expectation that little one’s sleep through the night once they reach a certain age, weight or start weaning.
She also adds that “it is also important to remember that night wakeups are very normal for little ones and are only a problem if they become a problem for the parents or wider family. As a practitioner of gentle sleep solutions, it is not necessary to leave a baby to “cry-it-out” to resolve sleep problems.”
What are the best ways to introduce a baby to sleep in their own room?
When you’re ready to introduce your baby to sleep in their own room, it may be difficult to start with. To prepare for the move Katie suggests to “have quiet play in their room during the day, avoid using clean bedsheets so they have a familiar smell and to introduce naps in their own room, with the first nap of the day often the easiest to try new things!”
Which baby sleep regression is the most challenging?
When people talk about sleep regression, they are usually referring to when your child starts waking up during the night and has trouble falling back asleep. There are many causes, and the triggers could be different at different stages of a child’s development. According to Katie “the four-month regression is the most challenging in regards to sleep as your little one’s sleep architecture is changing from a newborn to resemble more of an adult’s. For this reason, it can be the most impactful on sleep and last longer than other regressions. The key thing to remember is it is just a phase.”
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