3 March 2021

5 tips for getting babies to sleep

All babies have different sleep patterns and it can be stressful for parents if their baby isn’t going to sleep easily. We’ve got 5 simple tips that might help you both get into a routine:

  1. Balance your baby’s body clock

It’s important to help your baby tell the difference between day from night. Try:

  • keeping your baby involved in your usual activities during the day
  • going out for fresh air as daylight helps to set babies’ body clocks
  • keeping things dark and quiet at night and avoiding activity and eye contact to create a calm space.
  1. Create a bedtime routine

A good sleep routine is key to having healthy sleep habits. Try doing the same thing every night so your baby learns to know when it’s time to sleep.

This might include:

  • quiet play
  • a short warm bath
  • a story followed by bedtime.

Sticking to the same routine can help your baby learn it’s time for sleep.

  1. Plan your bedtime feed

Young babies can get used to falling asleep by sucking on a bottle or breast. From 3 months you could try separating the bedtime feed from your bedtime routine. This can help to avoid wind issues at bedtime and teach them to fall asleep without sucking.

  1. Put your baby to bed awake

Try putting your baby to bed when they’re drowsy but not fully asleep. And use your bedtime routine as a wind down so your baby is ready for sleep.

If your baby can fall asleep on their own they’re more likely to be able to settle by themselves in the night.

  1. Keep daytime naps regular

Aim for your baby to take regular naps in the day. This not only helps to establish more predictable times for eating but will mean they won’t be overtired when you put them to sleep. And they’ll settle more easily.

From 9 months of age try to avoid late afternoon naps.

Source: National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children