How can I help my baby sleep?

Your baby will sleep most of the time in the first weeks after birth. Afterwards, the baby will often refuse to lie down and have difficulty falling asleep. At this time, parents usually resort to a few tricks (cuddling, feeding the baby, etc.). This may not be a good idea, as the baby will get into a habit and won’t be able to fall asleep otherwise. It’s important to set a definite bedtime, which should be preceded by a soothing ritual that helps the baby wind down completely from the day’s activities. On their turn, parents should leave the room while the baby is still awake, leaving them with a comforting object.

Tips before bed

  1. Warm bath
    A warm bath late in the afternoon usually helps babies sleep. Parents should set a definite time for the baby’s bath and proceed with no rush or pressure (this should be a pleasant moment for all).
  2. Feeding
    Feeding and sleeping must be kept separate. Babies should feed while awake and only sleep afterwards, in their cots.
  3. Relaxing massage
    You can gently massage your baby’s back or chest and speak to them softly while putting their pyjamas on. These soothing gestures help the baby fall asleep more easily.
  4. Cuddling and touching
    You can hold your baby and speak to them softly before putting them to sleep. Physical contact is very relaxing and soothing. However, make sure your baby is still awake when you put them in their cot.

How can I help my baby fall asleep?

  1. Reading a story
    After putting the baby to bed, you can read them a story (babies like to hear their parents’ voices, even if they don’t understand what they’re saying), sing them a song or engage in any other relaxing activity that helps them wind down slowly.
  2. Freedom of movements
    Don’t cover the baby too much. Avoid using clamps or any other implements to hold sheets in place, as this may restrict the baby’s movements. Cover the baby with a lightweight blanket and dress them in thick pyjamas if they tend to shake away the covers during the night.
  3. Repetitive music
    Calm, repetitive music is an excellent ritual before sleep, as it will soothe the baby; however, make sure the music stops before the baby falls asleep. In time, the baby will associate the sound with a pleasant occasion.
  4. Familiar environment
    Your baby’s bedtime routine should include objects that will stay with them after you’ve left the room. On waking up, the baby will see these familiar objects and remain calm, eventually falling asleep again.
  5. Naps
    Some babies sleep well in their cots at night, but prefer to take naps in a different place. This is perfectly fine, as the routine of taking a nap will disappear with time. Therefore, it doesn’t matter how or where your child naps, as long as their bedtime routine is not disturbed. Don’t force the child to nap in their bed if they don’t want to, as this may cause the child to associate the bed with an unpleasant occasion. It’s perfectly fine for your child to take a nap in their pushchair or recliner, or at the park. What is important is to make sure the baby doesn’t come to associate sleep with the idea of isolation or punishment.


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