How to Have Happier Bedtimes: A Midwife’s Perspective
I have had my fair share of sleepless nights when it comes to babies. My first child was very unwell so when I had my second I thought surely it would be a breeze in comparison. I don’t think anything can prepare you for that kind sleep deprivation, but you can be armed with some tips on how to set yourself up for baby and you to have a better nights sleep.
This advice is from Jodie Warburton is a Registered Midwife and Sleep Consultant with 15 years experience helping families adjust to the challenges of having a newborn baby up to 18 months of age. You can find Jodie at Mindful Mum.
How to Have Happier Bedtimes
Bedtime can often be the most stressful part of raising your child, as what you expect to happen and what ends up happening can often be very different. Babies of varying ages will require different amounts of sleep for proper growth and development, however, babies can be very unique in the pattern at which they get the sleep. Midwife Jodie Warburton explains some tips on how you can make bed time easier for you and your bub, and increase the amount of quality sleep time for everyone.
Tip 1: Routine
Getting your baby into a routine is one of the best ways to encourage your baby to sleep during the night and less during the day. Each baby is different, however, so it may take quite a while for you to find something that works for you and your loved one. An example would be bath, massage, feed, cuddles and then into bed. Over time, your baby will become familiar with this routine.
Tip 2: Bath time
The close physical contact between parent and child during bath time can be used to encourage sleep. This is especially good as you are able to clean off the messiness of the day, change them into a fresh nappy and sleep clothes. A good tip to try would be to spend some time massaging and moisturising your child and speaking to them, as all newborns find their parent’s voices soothing. Moisturisers, especially for babies such as DU’IT’s Baby Body Moisturiser, has ingredients such as Aloe Vera to assist with soothing irritated skin and calming your baby.
Tip 3: Restful activities
This tip follows along from the previous one; parents can try singing lullabies or reading to their child at bedtime. Calm activities such as reading to your baby may help relax him/her while knowing their parent/s is nearby, especially if your child tends to fall asleep only in your arms. Keeping the lights dimmed during the evening can also signal to your child it is time to relax and calm down for the day.
Tip 4: Environment
Ensure your baby’s sleeping environment is one that promotes sleep. Using some white noise, getting black out blinds for their bedroom, making sure the room is not too hot or cold and getting them familiar with being in their cot as soon as possible will all contribute to a happier sleeper.