Children Getting a Good Night's Sleep

When your baby’s little, their sleep patterns will probably be one of the things you think about most.

Here are some of the ways you can help everyone get a good night’s sleep.

How much should your baby sleep?

Every baby is different, and some need more or less sleep than others. In fact – though it might not seem like it – babies sleep much more than older children and adults. A newborn can sleep for up to 16 - 18 hours each day, compared with 7 or 8 hours for an adult.

The difference is that your baby can only sleep for short periods at a time. That’s because they have such a tiny little tummy that they wake up regularly for feeds.

As they grow bigger, they’ll sleep for longer stretches. And the great news is that some babies are sleeping through the night by the time they are 6 months.

So if you’re suffering from severely sleepless nights – don’t worry. There is an end in sight.

Routine can make all the difference

Of course, there are lots of things you can do to help your baby get into good sleeping habits. One of those is to get into a routine, so that your baby gets used to what to expect each night.

There are different schools of thought about how strict you need to be when it comes to sticking to a timetable, and that’s for you to decide what works for you. But here are some ideas that should stand you in good stead.

  • It’s a good idea to set a bedtime for your baby once they are a few months old.
  • Getting your baby out of their nappy for a good kick and play can help them use up any spare energy before bedtime.
  • A regular bath can be a relaxing run up to bed.
  • Try singing a song or reading a story together – it’s never too early to start reading to your baby. And if you download the CALPOL® app to your phone, you could even play them a lullaby to help calm them.
  • You might want to get your baby in their bed clothes and give them one last feed before bed.
  • Some parents play soft, soothing music when they’re lulling their little one off to sleep.
  • And don’t forget a goodnight kiss!

Whatever routine you settle upon, the trick is to try to do the same thing every night. Knowing what to expect will help make your baby feel safe and relaxed, in readiness for sleep.

More handy tips

Here are a few more tips that could help you out when you’re trying to get your baby used to going off to sleep.

  • Learn to spot the signs that they’re tired – from grizzling, to eye-rubbing to yawning.
  • Try letting your little one settle themselves to sleep, so they don’t come to rely on you feeding them or rocking them every night.
  • Get your baby used to the difference between night and day – keep lights soft and nappies changes low-key so they understand that night-time is for sleeping.
  • Try to stick to regular naps in the daytime too. Regular naps and a regular bedtime from about 3 months will help your baby get used to a predictable sleep pattern.

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