Top Tips For Getting Your 0-3m Baby Happily Sleeping
We've partnered with Alison Scott Wright, also known as The Magic Sleep Fairy, to help you get your baby to sleep happily. Helping your little one to start sleeping well is different for every stage they go through, so Alison has provided her top tips to help gentle guide a 0-3m baby to sleep.
*Please note that all advice given from sleep experts is guidance only and parents should consult their paediatrician before hand. Parents discretion and intuition is also advised before taking any advice from consultants.
Contrary to popular belief, babies are designed to sleep and some are capable of sleeping 12 hours through the night from 12 weeks old. Sleep deprivation is detrimental to our health and is something that should always be gradually improved upon for the best future possible.
Differentiate between day and night - Follow the natural cycle of day and night. I use the timings of 7am to 7pm, with each 24 hour period split into 12 hrs of day and 12 hrs of night - 'sleeping through' means the full 12 hours with wakings for feedings. In the day, keep a light, bright and happy atmosphere, ending with a bath & bedtime routine. Keep the night calm, dark and quiet,
Settle your baby for bedtime - Persevere in those early weeks to settle your baby to bed in a calm and peaceful environment when possible. Try to gently encourage your baby to self-sooth by putting him to bed awake or drowsy but not fully asleep.
Promote the art of independent sleep - Promoting the art of independent sleep in your baby is absolutely key to establishing positive sleep habits. Mobiles, music, rocking or shush-patting can hinder sleep in the long term. White noise can be effective in helping baby to learn to self soothe and block out outside noise.
Sleep breeds sleep - Ensure your baby gets enough sleep during the day and establish a good nap pattern. An overtired baby will be more difficult to settle at night - Sleep Breeds Sleep! A 4 week old baby needs at least 15 hours sleep, ideally achieving 17 daily. Most will only stay awake for one to one and a half hours before needing to sleep, so aim to feed every 3 hours during the day, with a sleep in between each feed.
Never wake a sleeping baby at night - Only feed baby at night when he wakes and needs to be fed. After settling baby for the night, a newborn will wake for 3 hourly feeds for the first week or so. His need for food at night should lessen quickly. By 6 weeks, baby could be sleeping from 7pm to 3am before waking for just one night feed (however, this varies in each baby). The need for that feed will diminish as a full night's sleep takes over. Remember: Never wake a sleeping baby at night unless there is a medical reason to do so!
By following these basic rules, and implementing the plan as detailed in my book The Sensational Baby Sleep Plan, you will allow your baby's natural sleep rhythms to develop and he will be a content and well rested little chap for years to come.
Alison Scott-Wright is the author of best-selling ‘The Sensational Baby Sleep Plan’ and recognised as the leading baby sleep expert & infant reflux specialist. Her book is known as ‘the baby bible’ for so many parents who follow her ethos and endorse her methods.