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You are tired, too tired to read a tome on how to get more sleep and all you want is a quick fix for your baby’s sleep. If things are going awry, here are 15 quick fixes to try that really will make a difference.
- Swaddle your newborn until 12 weeks of age for every sleep. This inhibits the startle reflex and prevents cat napping.
- If your 7 month old is waking more than once at night, increase the in his diet to 2-3T per meal. Protein is found in meat, dairy, chicken, beans, lentils, nuts, eggs and fish.
- If your baby under three months of age wakes twice at night, feed him rather than putting the dummy/pacifier in. You are likely to start a soother habit if you don’t meet the basic needs of a feed. Babies may need a night feed until on full solids at 6 months of age.
- Use white noise to keep your baby in a deeper state of sleep. Buy a white noise CD or play the radio tuned to no station – static.
- After 6 months of age, turn off your baby monitor if your baby’s room is fairly close to your room. You don’t need to hear and respond to every toss and turn and if your baby really needs you – you will hear him!
- Follow a strictly until 18 months. Start with a bath and end with a soothing massage or lullaby.
- Don’t let your little one sleep later than 4:30pm if over 6 months of age, otherwise he won’t want to settle to sleep by 6:30 or 7pm, which is the ideal bedtime for this age.
- Don’t take your baby or toddler from the nursery after bath. Take him to his room, read a story, feed and then a lullaby and to bed.
- Turn off the TV – TV especially after 4pm affects sleep habits.
- Turn off the night light for babies under 18 months and turn on the night light for toddler over 18 months – when imagination develops and nightmares and fears set in.
- Leave your hand on your newborn for 15 minutes after you put him down to sleep until the hypnagogic startle passes.
- Drop a day sleep at 14 months to one at 12-2pm.
- During the day try to only let your baby have one sleep on the run – all other sleeps in the nursery so he gets used to falling asleep in his sleep zone.
- Make sure your little one has taken to a ‘doodoo’ blanky or security object by 6 months of age – they are lifesavers for years to come.
- Deworm your toddler (older than18 months) if he is restless at night or waking and staying awake for hours in the middle of the night.
- 15 minutes of movement for all babies and toddlers in the late afternoon – use a swing or walk in a sling/
- Use high quality nappies/diapers at night so that you don’t have to get up for a wet baby.
- From 4 months of age aim to have your baby settle himself to sleep.
- Use a sleeping bag from 5 months of age, when babies start to kick off their blankets.
- Use block out lining on the windows to darken the room – this will encourage later waking.