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If your baby can't bear to be separated from you, try putting the cot next to your bed, so that baby can see and smell you. Every night try moving the cot a few inches away from your bed and eventually into their own room. This slowly, slowly approach gives baby time to adjust to the distance that's being put between you both. Breastfed babies will need to nurse every two to three hours in the beginning, and bottle-fed babies every three to four hours, so don't expect more than a few hours of sleep at a time. During the early weeks your baby spends most of the time either sleeping or feeding – that tiny stomach can still only hold a small amount of breast milk or formula at a time, so it needs to be topped up regularly! Helping a newborn nap anywhere other than a parent’s arms, is one of the most asked questions I hear from new parents. They are always keeping their eyes peeled for anything that helps their little one sleep well. They know it’s what’s best for baby – and of course, much better for them, too. Upon baby’s first night waking, attempt a full feeding, otherwise some babies, especially breastfed infants, get in the habit of nibbling all night. Put your babies on a flexible schedule. During the first month (corrected age), keep naps under two hours and wake after four hours of night sleep to feed. The second month (corrected age), you can extend night sleep to five or six hours—and longer after that.

Baby Sleep Specialists

Infants fight bedtime if they’re confused by an irregular or inconsistent bedtime (for instance, when you travel across time zones or switch to daylight savings) or if bedtime is too early or late. If you feel your eyelids getting heavy and your baby is asleep, turn off your mobile and shut your eyes and just see what happens. The washing and ironing can wait. You and your baby are your top priority and if you can’t function then it isn’t good for anyone. Many sleep experts warn that moms who lull their babies to sleep in their arms or while suckling are setting themselves up for misery. They caution that these babies won’t learn to self-soothe and will scream for Mama’s help every time they pop awake. Make sure that as baby moves past the sixth week of life (when newborns seem to suddenly rouse from sleep and are not as apt to fall asleep anywhere and everywhere like they used to), you begin to put them to sleep for both naps and at nighttime in a very dark room . For gentle sleep training guidance it may be useful to enlist the services of a sleep consultant.

  1. Set A Time And Stick To It

A regular bedtime ritual creates a sense of comfort that can be especially helpful during trying sleep periods for you and your baby, such as when you're sleep training (which you can try between 4 and 6 months old) or when your baby is going through a sleep regression. In the womb, at 28 weeks, your baby probably spent almost all her time in fussy REM sleep, which explains all that dancing around! Until your baby is 6 months old, she’ll also spend about half her time in non-REM sleep, a deeper, quiet sleep that doesn’t include as much twitching and movement. In comparison, adults spend only about a quarter of their snoozing time in REM sleep and about three-quarters in non-REM sleep. Let lots of light into the room where your baby is during the day, take them out to see daylight too. Then when it’s time for bed make sure their room is completely dark; they will associate this with napping/sleeping which will help them fall asleep easier. SIDS is the unexplained death of a baby younger than 1 year old. SIDS usually happens when a baby is sleeping. It’s sometimes called crib death because the baby often dies in his crib. If you’ve tried all these techniques and your infant is still waking up frequently – and painfully – suspect there may be an underlying medical problem contributing to your baby’s night waking. The gentle approach and caring manner of a baby sleep expert allows them to assist you in the most preferable way to deal with 4 month sleep regression and to assist you and your family in any way possible.

All babies should be in the room with you both day and night, babies under 6 months should not be left on their own to sleep. Feeding a baby day and night can be very tiring and fear of falling asleep is common for most parents. Ideally you should have a chair in the room that you use for feeding at night. The younger your child is, the more sleep they need. Schedule ample daytime naps as well, so that they are not overtired. 3-4 hours of nap time is more than enough for the baby. The rest of the time should be devoted to playing, interaction with the family, feeding, cleaning and other activities. Wrapping your baby may help them to settle and stay on their back. The wrap should be loose enough to allow your baby’s hips to bend and chest to expand. Do not wrap your baby when they are unwell. To stop your baby from overheating, do not over dress your baby and keep their head uncovered (no beanies). Newborns should be placed skin-to-skin with their mother as soon after birth as possible, at least for the first hour. After that, or when the mother needs to sleep or cannot do skin-to-skin, babies should be placed on their backs in the cot. You should be present when your baby is sleeping up to the age 6 months to help prevent SIDs, so it is useful to set up a quiet corner of the room or use a pram for daytime naps and evening sleep. You don’t have to be quiet as a mouse but turn down bright lights in the evening and be mindful of loud noises. Sleep consultants support hundreds of families every year, assisting with things such as ferber method using gentle, tailored methods.

  1. Calm Before Sleep

Make bedtime the same time each day to regulate your child’s body clock. A bedtime routine is a powerful cue leading up to sleeptime and should take place in the room in which your baby sleeps. It should be simple, comforting and predictable with calming and quiet activities, such as lullabies and simple rhyming stories, all of which will help your baby to wind down before going to sleep. You can sleep train and night wean at the same time. In fact, sleep training will sometimes lead to a drop off in overnight feedings simply because your baby will learn to fall back asleep on their own. But sometimes, if your baby is underweight or has other medical conditions, you might need to continue night feeding, even during or after sleep training. Sleep, and getting enough of it, is a common concern for every new parent, and navigating the challenges of getting your baby to sleep whilst ensuring they also sleep safely can be exhausting and overwhelming! How your baby lies down and gets to sleep is a matter of safety, not just comfort. Put your newborn flat on his back in his crib, bassinet or play yard without any loose bedding, pillows, blankets, stuffed animals or crib bumpers. There is evidence to suggest that babies are at higher risk of SIDS if they have their heads covered and some items added to a cot may increase the risk of head-covering. Unnecessary items in a baby’s cot can also increase the risk of accidents. A sleep expert will be with you every step of the way, guiding you on how best to find a solution to your sleep concerns, whether its sleep training or one of an untold number of other things.

Get to know and watch out for your baby’s sleep cues (like rubbing her eyes, fussiness, yawning, looking away), so you can get her to bed before she’s overtired — which makes it harder for her to fall and stay asleep. A simple firm, flat, waterproof mattress with no loose bedding is the best advice. Use firmly tucked in sheets and blankets, or a lightweight baby sleeping bag. Place your baby in the feet-to-foot position and avoid using quilts, pillows or duvets. Cot bumpers are also best avoided. Avoid filling your baby's cot with soft toys - a clear cot is the safest option. Shush or rock your infant back to sleep instead of nursing him. (But again, be sure to gently jostle him awake when you put him down.) Chances are, you're not putting your babies to sleep in the same position your parents put you to sleep in - and possibly not even the same position that your older friends put their children to sleep in when they were infants. If you have a baby that has suffered with colic or reflux, their digestion can be an issue which can irritate and cause tension for them when trying to sleep. Baby massage can aid baby digestion therefore easing them to sleep. If you're looking for a compassionate, effective and evidence-based approach to sleep or just advice on one thing like sleep regression then a baby sleep specialist will be able to help you.

  1. Consistent Bedtimes And Rituals

Ever since parenting books found their way into the nursery, sleep trainers have touted magic formulas promising to get babies to sleep through the night – for a price and at a risk. Most of these sleep-training techniques are just variations of the old cry-it-out method. Slings and baby-carriers are useful for holding a baby hands-free, however they are not always used safely. Although there is no reliable evidence that slings are directly associated with SIDS, there have been a number of deaths worldwide where infants have suffered a fatal accident from the use of a sling. These accidents are particularly due to suffocation, and particularly in young infants. Be prepared to change routines as your baby grows and enters different stages of development. And remember, growth spurts, teething and illnesses can all affect how your baby sleeps. Get more details relating to Baby Sleep Specialists in this NHS page.

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