Sleep is one of the big topics when it comes to babies. How to make sure your baby is getting enough of it and how to manage the lack of sleep new parents suffer from as a consequence. Whole books have been written on the topic but one thing all the experts agree on is that a rested baby is more likely to be a happy baby, so it follows that helping your baby get the sleep they need means more fun and relaxation for you and your baby.
Without trying to write a book on the subject Solvej Biddle, mum of 2 and owner of quintessential travel brand Content&Calm has teamed up with baby sleep specialist and midwife Vicki Scott RM to create a set of top tips to help your baby get the sleep they need over the busy festive period.
• The single most important tip is to help your baby to settle himself to sleep. If he can go to sleep by himself in the first place, he’s much more likely to be able to resettle during the night or during his daytime nap.
• A darkened environment is essential for many babies to sleep, especially as they get older. When your baby comes into a light sleep during the nap, if it’s dark he or she is more likely to resettle himself back and continue to have a longer and more restful sleep.
• A familiar environment is very important when away from home, staying with family or friends over Christmas. The more you can do to make your baby feel safe and secure, the more relaxed they will feel and more easily they will sleep. We call these sleep associations: darkness, familiar bedding or toys, whichever you usually use. All these help your baby to know that it’s sleep time and so to settle more easily. So no matter where you are, once in his cosy, darkened cot he’ll feel able to sleep.
• If you can, use the holiday time to recharge your own batteries too. If you’re lucky enough to have extended family or friends around over Christmas, give them a chance to bond with your baby while you catch up and enjoy the occasional lie in or daytime nap.
• When you go away, of course it’s a holiday for your baby too. However too many late nights and early mornings will take its toll on all of you. Babies are much happier, more able to have fun when they get enough sleep and all this adds to your enjoyment too!