My Top 10 Baby Sleep Tips
Sleep, as we know, is such an important aspect of our lives, and we take it for granted
until we have our beautiful little one(s) come into our lives. Then the real meaning of
tiredness and the feeling of being a zombie dawns on us. Baby’s sleep is important for
them to grow and develop, as well as for us being the best version of ourselves for
them. It also unfortunately can sometimes be unpredictable and change often, therefore
having access to a few baby sleep tips will hopefully make a difference for you, and help
your whole family to be well rested.
1. Wind down routine and sleep cues
Wind down routines are such a great way to help prepare your little ones for sleep,
letting them know bedtime is coming, calming them down and helping to induce sleep. It
is also an important time to bond and spend time together. You can choose any calm
activity or activities to do together, such as reading, singing, etc., and should be in a
dimly lit room. The routine could last anything from 5 to 30 minutes, depending on what
works for you and your child.
2. Sleep environment
Having the right sleep environment for your baby is a good way to set the tone for a
good night’s sleep. White noise is a great way of cutting out external noises that might
disturb your little one’s sleep, and it is a very successful way of calming your little one as
it imitates the noises from the womb. Blackout curtains will help to keep the room dark
during naps, and also through the summer when the sun starts peeking through early. A
dark room encourages the body to produce melatonin (the sleep hormone). Keeping the
room temperature on the lower side is also good, as the body temperature needs to drop
a little to allow them (and us adults) to fall asleep.
3. Helping your baby learn to self-settle
As newborns, babies are not able to learn the skill of self-settling. Around 4 months you
can begin to help them a little, by putting your baby in the cot for one nap a day to fall
sleep by themselves. You will have to begin with getting them to be drowsy in your
arms, when your babies eyes are just starting to close and their bodies are feeling
relaxed. Then place them in the cot and continue to pat them, helping them to fall asleep
in the cot. After a few times of doing this each time slowly pat less and back off a little,
until you are able to place your little one in the cot after a cuddle pat/rock and then
laying them down awake.
4. Wrapping your baby in a sling
Putting your little one in a sling to sleep has a few benefits. Firstly, it is a good way to
get them to sleep on the move if you don’t have time to put them in their cot for a nap.
If your little one just isn't falling asleep in their cot and you are struggling, wrap them in
the sling and save yourself the stress, then you can try again next time. This ensures
your little one will have a good sleep, so they don’t become overtired.
5. Swaddling your baby
Swaddling your newborn is a great way to help them relax, feel secure and safe, and of
course imitate that cosy environment they know so well from living there for 9 months,
mama’s womb. It will also prevent their arms flailing around, which can often be a
reason they accidentally wake themselves up. Swaddling safely is very important, there
are many tutorials online, one of my favourites is on the Happiest Baby website.
6. Daylight exposure during the day and activities
A baby’s circadian rhythm needs help to synchronise to a 24-hour clock, and there are
different ways we can help this along. An important one is to ensure your little one gets
lots of daylight exposure during the day, so they begin to clearly understand the
difference between night time and daytime. Getting them active in the day, whether it is
in the garden, a trip to the park or a walk round the block, this will help to tire them and
get them nice and sleepy for bedtime.
7. Night time to be quiet and dim lights
At night time it is important to keep it calm and quiet, with the lights low. This is so your
little one understands it is the night and time to sleep, not to play. This applies also
during feeds, wake ups and changes of nappies or bedsheets (if they leaked their
nappy). Have everything you need ready so you don’t have to dig through drawers or
cupboards for things.
8. Following your baby’s cues
Watching your baby and looking out for their cues, as well as paying attention to their
tired signs, will really help to learn your baby’s individual cues and signs. Then watching
out for a pattern through the day up until bedtime, by checking the clock when you see
these cues, will really help you to prevent your baby becoming overtired.
9. Age appropriate awake windows and routines
Babies’ sleep develops and changes all the time, so unfortunately when you feel you
understand it and you have the perfect routine and your little one is sleeping great, it
will probably all change and you are questioning why this is happening. Often it is just a
case of checking your baby’s age appropriate awake window and routine to see what
your little one’s sleep needs are at each stage. For more details on these take a look at
my Instagram page: @adorablesleeperconsulting.
10. Stirring in the night
If you hear your baby stirring through the night don’t run into their room immediately. If
you have a baby monitor just watch for a moment, as it can very possibly be them
stirring between their sleep cycles and they will just fall back to sleep. They can cry out
for a few moments or even sit up, but if you wait a minute or two and they seem to be
calming down, and then you see they settle themselves back, then you can be sure it
was just them stirring between their cycles. If you don’t have a monitor just wait right
by their door for a few moments and you will again hear that they are putting
themselves back to sleep. If you go in thinking they need your help it is very possible
that you will be creating a habitual wake up as they will begin to expect you to come in
other times too.
Katherine is a mama of one and the founder of Adorable Sleeper. She is a qualified baby
sleep consultant supporting families to create healthy sleep habits for the long term,
using a holistic approach. She is trained in many techniques (but personally prefers the
more gentle ones) and creates personalised plans tailored to the individual child and
family. If you would like to ask any questions about your baby’s sleep, contact her on
email@example.com. Follow her tips and advice on Instagram:
@adorablesleeperconsulting and Facebook: @adorablesleeper.