We ALL know the importance of a good nights’ sleep, not just for our baby but for ourselves too! Sleep training is one of my most requested topics over on my Instagram so I thought I’d take the time to round up what I’ve learnt on our journey with H, to hopefully give you some tips and advice to help all the family get their 40 winks (within reason!).
Ensuring good sleep hygiene practices are put into place can help to place your little one in the best position to be able to sleep for longer periods throughout the night.
Here are some of my top tips for good sleep hygiene – I’ve learnt them all from the Slumbertots Sleep Guides (the code NIC10 gets you 10% off!) – her Newborn Sleep Kit and 0 to 3 year nap guide have been essential to us (oh and the early wake up guide when that became a problem!!). I love Katy’s approach so much that we are potty training using her new guide next year!
SLEEP HYGIENE TIPS – Click here for the original post
✅ Dark Room – Babies and toddlers (and us too!) sleep better if it’s completely dark (which is one of the reasons why I love winter!). We use a blackout blind from 247blinds & tape the edges down using reusable frog tape. For travel we use a groblind.
✅ White Noise – We use a white noise maker which I can control via Bluetooth on my phone. We click it on at the start of the night & don’t turn it off until the morning (keep scrolling down for more info on this!). [update].. H is almost 25mo and we have just stopped using it.. the batteries ran out of charge and we realised that he was still sleeping the same!
✅ Temperature – I dress H according to the temp of the room using a chart that came with his sleeping bag – check out [this post] for more information!
✅ Routine – Babies like routine which is why our 30-45 min bed time routine rarely changes; we do milk/snack, bath, sleeping bag, book, bed – starting around 6:30pm (click #mummynutritionroutine for more information!).
✅ Monitor – Using a video monitor means that you can keep an eye on your baby without disturbing them. We used to use a sensor monitor under H’s mattress for added peace of mind (6-12 months ish).
Our Bedtime Favourites
OUR PERSONALISED SLEEPING PLAN
One thing that changed our lives when it came to sleep was speaking to Katy one on one, who created a personalised plan for H based on his sleep issues, age and our routine – I could not recommend her enough!!
So what changed since we started our plan?!
The main changes (originally written when H was 9 months old)
AWAKE TIME – Between 7 & 9 months of age Katy advised us that H’s awake time should be around 3 hours: meaning if he wakes from his last nap at 3:15pm, bed time should be no later than 6:30pm.
NAPS – H is down to 2 x 60-120 min naps a day now at 9:45am & 2:15pm. I tweak these times by 30 mins if we have a clashing appt.
MILK – I fed H had the START, rather than at the end of our evening routine to avoid feeding to sleep..
SAME PHRASE – When H goes to bed I say ‘night night’ every night.
PUTTING DOWN AWAKE – This is a must if you want your baby to sleep for longer & wakeup less often.. Katy guided us through a gentle 2 week sleep plan which started to work from night 1 (check out the ‘SLEEP TRAIN’ bubble below my Instagram bio for more detail). I never left H’s side for the first 10 days & supported him with my voice & touch to go to sleep. He took 40 mins on night 1 which reduced to 5 mins by night 2!
PAUSE – H started sleeping through the night from night 3.. during the first 2 nights I allowed him 10 or so minutes to self soothe which he did 3 times out of 4 before he stopped waking up completely.
Katy's Sleep Guides
WHITE NOISE – [written then H was 18mo]
Since I first started sharing our experience with sleep training, white noise is something I’m asked about on almost a daily basis! I am SO grateful we found the noise that works for us – I hope you do too!
What is white noise?!
White noise is ‘sound, especially of a continuous kind, that seems to have no pattern or rhythm’. It helps to mask other sounds naturally occurring in the environment & for newborns can mimic what it’s like to be back in the womb.
We’ve used white noise with H from birth (on the 12 hour setting & for naps too!). The other week though our (rechargeable) batteries ran out and I didn’t replace them & H then started to wake up at 430-5am (instead of 6am)! I swiftly recharged the batteries but this time (accidentally) changed the sound (most white noise makers have a few options & some you can even control from an app!) & increased the volume & guess what.. he immediately started sleeping to beyond 7am!!
✔️ My top tip therefore is to EXPERIMENT with different white noise sounds & volumes as it could be the sleep-hack that you need. Our white noise maker clearly masks the sound of the birds chirping outside, however it doesn’t mask a phone alarm going off in our room so we are going to swap to vibrate mode for that..
✔️Another tip is that you DON’T NEED a specific white noise maker like us (if you do though make sure you either get rechargeable batteries or one that plugs into the mains or charges via USB) as I’ve heard other parents using an old Ipad near their LO’s cot (& using a 12 hour YouTube playlist or Spotify!) or even an Alexa Dot or Google Mini Speaker – just ask them to play white noise all night!
Continuous White Noise Makers
If you’re a new mum or parent, I really do hope this post helps you.. make sure you keep up to date with more tips and advice over on my Instagram too @mummynutrition!
H's Sleeping Bags
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