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I was sitting in the kitchen yesterday enquiring into Sleep Experts and I wrote this piece.

You may feel ready to introduce a bedtime routine when your baby is around 3 months old. Getting them into a simple, soothing bedtime routine can be a great opportunity to have 1-to-1 time with your baby. The routine could consist of changing into night clothes and a fresh nappy, putting them to bed and dimming the lights in the room to create a calm atmosphere. If your baby has trouble settling down, try moving their bedtime earlier, not later. Being overtired can make it hard to nod off. Many new parents often remark on the lack of sleep advice in antenatal classes, meaning parents are often underprepared for both what sleep looks like in the newborn days, as well as how best to deal with it. All babies are different, so naturally it is possible that some babies may no longer need night feeds at 6 months and will sleep for longer consolidated periods. However, many other babies will still need night feeds and wake several times during the night well into the second even third year of life. During the first few weeks of their lives, newborns have no set sleep times. It’s tempting to run around the house doing chores and catching up on admin while your baby is asleep during the day, but resist the temptation to tackle housework and instead combat sleep deprivation by taking the opportunity to catch up on sleep while your baby naps. If you are using a second-hand mattress for baby make sure the mattress you choose was previously completely protected by a waterproof cover, with no rips or tears and is in good condition. The mattress should also still be firm and flat to keep your baby sleeping safely.

Some nice belly massage and knee-to-tummy exercises will help your little one to poop during the day, so nighttime sleep isn’t disturbed by grunting. (Speak to your doctor if your infant is having firm or hard stools.) Good sleep habits created earlier may help settle your child as they age. But remember, some days will go as planned, but others can sometimes feel like you’re in a battle with your bub. Don’t stress. There could be so many reasons your bub is fighting sleep and is harder to get down. There is nothing wrong with the bonding process of cuddling your baby. However, if you find you cuddle your baby to sleep and they can’t get to sleep on their own then you might need to implement a bedtime routine to separate the cuddles and the baby going off to sleep. Becoming a parent is a very special time. Getting to know your new baby and learning how to care for her needs can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life. However, it can also be challenging, especially when you are tired and your baby is wakeful and wanting to feed frequently during the night. 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.

Struggling With Baby Sleep Problems?

No two babies are exactly alike, and there’s no one-size-fits-all strategy when it comes to how to get baby to sleep at night. Nevertheless, there are some general recommendations that will help at least set the stage for good sleep. A travel cot is an ideal place for a baby to sleep when away from home. The mattress on a travel cot may seem thin but this is perfect for your baby to sleep on. Extra padding for the mattress isn’t needed as it makes the surface to soft which can cause a risk to the baby if it moves. It can also get too hot. As babies can’t regulate their own temperature this can lead to over heating. Babies need a firm flat sleep surface. All babies need different amounts of sleep, and one baby’s pattern of waking and sleeping is likely to be completely different from another’s. If you have a separation-sensitive baby, leave a breast pad in the cradle, or play a continuous tape recording of yourself singing a bedtime lullaby. Sleep is essential for human development. During sleep the brain experiences intense activity, building the foundations for how we learn and grow, including the development of our behavior, emotions, and immune system. Poor sleep in infancy has been linked to problems with cognitive performance, social skills, obesity, and quality of life later in childhood. There are multiple approaches to Sleep Consultant Training Course and a sleep expert will help you choose one that is right for you and your family.

Safer sleep rules for baby apply equally to a travel cot, which should have a rigid frame and base, and a firm, flat mattress, covered in a waterproof material. Travel cot mattresses are often thinner and feel harder than those in a permanent cot, but don’t be tempted to place folded blankets or a quilt under the baby to make them ‘more comfortable’. Babies aren't truly developmentally ready to sleep through the night, which is generally defined as sleeping six to eight hours at a stretch overnight, until they're between 4 and 6 months old. By 6 months, if you're lucky, your little one could be clocking a solid seven or eight hours a night. Young babies need to feed round the clock as their tummies are very small and they need frequent ‘filling up’ to help them grow. You're probably craving a decent full night's sleep, but try to see night feeds as a quiet time to bond with your baby. What you do with your infant during the day makes a big difference in how things go at night. So set yourself up for nighttime success by starting when the sun comes up. If your baby is constantly waking up hungry during the night after 6 months, or waking very early in the morning ready for food, it’s a good idea to look at your daytime feeding patterns: are they getting enough? Perhaps introduce more solid food if they are 6-12 months old. Having a baby is a steep learning curve and aspects such as 4 Month Sleep Regression come along and shake things up just when you're not expecting them.

Master The Four B's: Bath, Book, Bed, Bottle

Some experts think that using a dummy when you settle your baby to sleep may reduce the risk of SIDS. But not all experts agree as the evidence isn’t strong enough. If you decide to use a dummy, experts advise waiting until breastfeeding is established. This is usually by the time your baby is about a month old. By the time many babies are 6 months old, they don’t need middle-of-the-night feedings anymore. So if your baby is not sleeping without nursing and rocking first, or she still gets up multiple times throughout the night and won’t go back to sleep without the same send-off, she may have become wise to the fact that crying often results in being picked up, rocked and fed — pretty good motivation to keep right on crying. Baby bedtime routines have numerous benefits. First and foremost, they offer children a sense of security. Consistency is important because babies and toddlers thrive off of structure. For decades, grandmas—and doctors—taught that feeding babies a spoon or two of cereal would fill their stomach and keep them sleeping all night. But several studies show that bedtime cereal does nothing to promote sleep. By the first birthday about 70 percent of parents have moved their baby to another room. When’s the best time for this move? I recommend doing it by six to seven months. After that, infants become much more tuned in to the particulars of their surroundings and may have trouble with the change. The gentle approach and caring manner of a baby sleep expert allows them to assist you in the most preferable way to deal with Sleep Training and to assist you and your family in any way possible.

In cases where your child is waking earlier than 60, but you are waiting to start your day until then, you should count the start of their day as the moment they get up and are exposed to direct sunlight and fed for the first time. If you force your child to stay awake until a later bedtime and they still wake early in the morning, you are robbing them of nighttime sleep. Every baby is different, but many babies start sleeping for longer from around six months. So there is a light on the horizon, but you won’t see much of it because you’ll be asleep. If your baby is already sleeping through, great, but not every parent is so lucky. Change your baby’s nappy before the nighttime feed to minimize arousing them. And unless your baby has pooped or soaked through their nappy, you probably don’t want to change them at all in the middle of the night, to keep them in that sleepy state - especially if they’re only waking to feed. Many parents feel anxious about making sure their baby is sleeping safely because of the risk of Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). This is the sudden, unexpected and unexplained death of an apparently healthy baby. This usually happens in their sleep. If your child is just an early bird who doesn’t need much sleep, you better start going to bed earlier so you can adapt to her schedule! However, if you think she may be waking early because her bedtime is too early or too late, follow the advice for shifting an infant’s bedtime. For How To Become A Sleep Consultant guidance it may be useful to enlist the services of a sleep consultant.

Wait Out Those Whimpers

If you teach your baby to rely on a crutch to get back to sleep, like being nursed or rocked, as your infant gets older, that habit may become ingrained and hard to break. A better habit to start as soon as possible: put your baby into the crib when your little one is drowsy, but not yet asleep. Try not to be too quiet during daytime sleep. While it is OK to draw the shades and close the door behind you to create a conducive sleeping environment inside the nursery, you do not want to create a noiseless environment outside the nursery. Everyday noise around the house actually is not bad, but good, during and after training. A baby sleep consultant or baby sleep coach can help demystify the process of getting an infant to sleep better and for longer stretches. We all hear stories about babies who sleep through and are no trouble at all. But the vast majority of wee ones are up during the night. Most parents are in the same boat. It is important to look after yourself. A lack of sleep isn’t easy for anyone. If your child is napping ‘on the go’ (for example in the car) try to ensure that this is balanced by daytime sleep in their own bed at home so that they get good quality daytime sleep over the course of a week. 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 Ferber Method or one of an untold number of other things.

There are things you can do to help you both sleep better at night. Babies love routine, so try and be as consistent as you can at bedtime. This means your bedtime pattern should be the same every night and your wee one goes to sleep at the same time. We appreciate how difficult it can be to keep your baby’s room between the ideal 16-20⁰C in the warmer months, knowing that overheating can pose a risk. If the room where the baby sleeps is difficult to cool, follow the ‘summer rules’ of lighter bedding and clothing and open the bedroom door and a window, if it is safe to do so. Baby will likely experience growth spurts at around 3 months, 6 months and 9 months (though the exact timing can vary). When this happens, he'll likely wake up earlier from naps, and more often during the middle of the night to eat. One can unearth extra insights on the topic of Sleep Experts in this NHS link.

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