Top tips for getting your 3-12m 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 gently guide a 3-12m baby to sleep.
Have you heard the phrase 'sleeping like a baby'? No one seems to believe it anymore and it's become the accepted norm that babies can't, won't or don't sleep for months, if not years. However, every baby needs sleep to thrive, develop and grow. Most are capable of sleeping through the night for 12 hours, from 8 to 12 weeks.
teach the art of independent sleep
You may have been using different ‘sleep aids’ to help your baby fall asleep such as a dummy, feeding to sleep or rocking, but (sadly) in the long term these hinder sleep, and as part of implementing the Reassurance Sleep Training Technique, should be removed so baby can learn to self-soothe.
consistency, persistence and unity are key
Ensure anyone involved in your baby’s upbringing is on board with implementing sleep training. If everyone understands the technique & follows the pattern, baby will get one consistent reassurance.
follow the reassurance sleep training technique
Using my method, sleep-training is not something that goes on for days and weeks. It usually only takes around 3 days to change a baby's learned behaviours and accept the new ones that you implement.
ensure you implement a daytime nap schedule
Daytime naps are important for babies who need three naps a day until 6 months, then just two for the next 6 months and one afternoon nap from 12 - 36 months. Use the same technique for naps as well as through the night. Remember: Naps can take longer to establish than night sleep.
make sure your baby is fit and well before implementing any sleep-training
If you ever feel that baby is unwell or ‘something is not quite right’, then please read the last chapter in my book on reflux, colic and dietary related intolerances. You cannot expect a baby who is uncomfortable or has digestive discomfort to sleep. Reflex and related issues need to be diagnosed and managed before embarking on sleep training. Remember: Sleep is part of management, but often the last piece of the jigsaw that is put in place.
By following these basic rules, as 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.