Babies: 0-12 months
Every baby’s sleeping pattern is different to one another. So through the words of our company’s rugby league ambassador, Robbie Hunter-Paul, we will look at what he does and has done with his children.
Let us start by splitting the baby’s first year of their life in half and focus on 0-6 months first.
In a baby’s first three months they are not capable of falling into a routine, so if they start crying – pick them up, as they are learning that their parent is there to keep them safe.
To help build a good sleeping habit put the baby to sleep in a dark quiet room, as like us all, a dark quiet room will help tell the brain it is time to go to sleep.
Creating white noise reassures babies and reminds them of the sound of being in the womb, which helps creates a familiar calming environment.
A baby sleeping bag will help keep him/her warm during the night and prevent him/her waking up because they are cold. However, you will need to get the correct tog for the sleeping bag depending on the temperature.
From three months old, start to put the baby to sleep in their cot when they are tired and drowsy as they can start to learn to fall asleep without being rocked. As they get use to this process I would start putting him/her into their cot when they are slightly more alert as they will learn the process of settling down and falling asleep.
Now let us look at the second half of their first year – 6-12 months.
A bedtime routine is very important as a baby/child thrives on a routine because they are not in control of their life yet. So I advise putting him/her to bed at the same time every night and doing the same things; bath, milk feed, pyjamas on, book then sleep.
Getting the baby some form of teddy or blanket can be comforting, especially when the parents induct their spell on it as that gives the baby reassurance and familiarity.
Do not let the baby cry themselves to sleep as this can teach them that their parents are not there when they need them. Instead, five minutes of dealing with the crying can help the initial wind down phase and try the same process until him/her are starting to settle.
Make sure the baby is having a long nap during the middle of the day, approximately 1-2 hours, as this can prevent him/her waking up during the night due to overtiredness. Also, giving your baby protein at lunch and carbohydrates at teatime can help him/her stay full throughout the night.
These are just a few things I did and do with my children to help them sleep as a baby. Some of the tips might work for your little one, so go ahead and give them a go.