This is a collaborative post.
When did your little one sleep through the night? F was only 3 months old, E, however, has yet to do so (and she is 18 months now). I don’t think I am in any position to give sleep advice, do you? I strongly believe that all children will sleep through the night when they are ready. Over the last 18 months, I have been given no end of advice and opinions on why E wakes so frequently. Most commonly people tell me it is because she is hungry and doesn’t eat enough in the day. I’m not convinced. It doesn’t seem to matter how well she has eaten, her sleep is no different. Even if she is waking due to hunger, how do you get a toddler to eat more? You can’t.
I might not know how to get a baby or toddler to sleep through the night but I do know how to create a stress free, bed time routine.
Let’s start with the absolute basics – your baby’s bedroom. Get this wrong, and the likelihood is that all your attempts to establish a routine will fail. As For Your Little One points out, comfort is vital, so choose your bed and mattresses carefully, whether for Moses Basket or bed. But think about the bedroom decor, too. You want your child’s room to be relaxing rather than stimulating, so be wary of using eye-popping colours or giving them loud and distracting toys to play with in bed.
Develop a routine
All kids thrive on a regular routine. Things change all the time as your baby grows older, of course – there’s a sleep regression after about four months, for example. But aside from any minor tweaks, getting that routine in place will save you a lot of bother in the future. But it doesn’t just mean putting them to bed at the same time every night, it’s also about developing a ritual. Perhaps it means bathtime, followed by a story, and then lights out – or maybe some quiet background music to help them drift off. Whatever you choose, consistency is key.
Be ready for anything.
All babies and toddlers will wake up occasionally at night time. However, if you want to stop them from developing bad nighttime habits, it’s essential to be able to deal with them quickly and efficiently. That means having everything ready for when they need it – whether it’s a change bag at the side of their bed, or a comfortable seat so you can sit beside them and comfort them until they go to sleep.
Work as a team
Sleep problems will happen at some point, and it is a rare child indeed that never goes through a period of waking up all the time. It’s essential that you and your partner are supportive of one another, and work as a team to tackle the issues. Be consistent, too, and always stick to the game plan once you know what works. If you aren’t consistent in your approach, your child certainly won’t be consistent with their sleep patterns.
Do you have any tips you can share for baby’s bedtime? Why not share your advice in the comments section below?
Disclosure – this is a collaborative post. For more details see my disclosure page.