Top tips on how to help your baby to sleep through the night
STEP 1: Choose an early bedtime.Kate advises putting your child to bed while they're still awake
It's recommended that children up to the age of 10 get a solid 11-13 hours of sleep during the night. This means that the best time to put your baby or toddler to bed is between 6pm and 8pm - the routine will help your little one sleep through the night
STEP 2: Put your child to sleep in the same place every night.
It is important that you put your child to sleep in the same place every night, whether they have their own room, or share a room with siblings. This is because children are likely to feel safer in a place that is familiar to them, and will know that they are in a place where sleep is expected of them, and if they wake up during the night, they will feel safer.
STEP 3: Create a predictable bedtime routine.
When babies and toddlers know what to expect at bedtime, it makes the transition from waking to sleeping much easier for them. Consistency and predictability are super important to young children, so creating (and sticking to) a bedtime routine is a must! Kate has provided an example of a good bedtime routine that will help your little one sleep through the night…
6.20pm Bath time
6.35pm Put pyjamas on
6.40pm Nursing or bottle (but don’t let your child fall asleep while feeding from a bottle)
6.55pm Story or songs
7.00pm Into cot or bed
Kate recommenders that your baby or toddler's bedtime routine shouldn't take longer than around 45 minutes. It’s also important that the routine is the same every single night, as the repetition and predictability are what informs your child that they are expected to fall asleep soon.
STEP 4: Put your baby to bed AWAKE!Kate launched Sleep Time Baby in 2016 after going through sleep issues with her son, Sam
This may surprise some, but this is actually the most important step of all! It is only by letting your baby fall asleep WITHOUT your help at bedtime that they will learn the necessary skills to sleep through the night. This means no rocking, nursing or otherwise soothing your baby to sleep. It might seem tough to some, but it is crucial so that your baby can learn how to sleep independently.
STEP 5: If your baby wakes up during the night, wait a few minutes before intervening.
Even adults wake up multiple times during the night - for most of us, these wakings are so brief that we don’t even remember them the next morning, but most babies will begin to cry or fuss straight away when they wake up. As much as you may want to rush straight in and comfort your baby (we empathise!), it is actually best to wait a few minutes before going in to comfort them.
This is because most babies will figure out how to get back to sleep within just a few minutes of waking up during the night. If your baby continues to cry or fuss for more than a few minutes, you’ll want to go in and comfort them, but remember - it is important to let them do the work of falling back to sleep themselves. Avoid picking them up, rocking or nursing them back to sleep - instead, speak softly to them or do some gentle rubbing or patting.
Kate launched Sleep Time Baby in 2016 after going through sleep issues with her son, Sam. After hiring a sleep therapist to great effect, Kate became fascinated with all things sleep and soon discovered The Sleep Sense Programme. Based in St Albans, Kate offers a range of age-focused sleep guides, personalised plans and sleep workshops.
Kate emphasises the importance of remembering that every child is slightly different and there is no “magic formula” that will work 100% of the time for everyone. Her sleep plans offer general advice attuned to different age groups; 0-3 Months, 4-13 Months, 14-24 Months and 2+ Years. Kate also offers private consultations in which families will receive a completely tailor-made plan with detailed, step-by-step advice that has been designed specifically for the individual needs of that family.
As well as her age-focused guides and bespoke sleep plans, Kate runs a range of sleep workshops and seminars during which you will learn all about sleep. With topics such as “How to set your child up for the best bedtime and techniques to get them to sleep”, “The Dos and Don’ts of Sleep” and “How to handle bumps in the road and why sleep regressions don’t have to be a big deal”, the workshops cover sleep advice for children from newborn to 5 years old.
A free 15-minute phone consultation provides an opportunity for you talk through your situation with Kate, receive some general advice and find out more information about what she can offer. To book your phone call, visit Sleep Time Baby.
For more information on Sleep Time Baby and the services Kate offers, call 07748 677908.