How To Get Your Baby To Sleep Through The Night In 3 Weeks By The Sleep Chief
When your baby isn’t sleeping well at night it can feel like it will never end, but according to Sleep Consultant and owner of The Sleep Chief, Emily Houltram, it can actually be turned around in a relatively short period of time.
“We have a method that looks at three key areas and when those three areas are working together harmoniously, babies sleep well,” Emily says. “Once a baby is over 6 months old and weaned onto solids, most are fully capable of sleeping through the night, or at least achieve nice long stretches overnight. This generally takes a matter of weeks rather than months to achieve.”
Here are The Sleep Chief's top tips for getting your baby sleeping through the night within three weeks:
Look at your baby’s sleep environment
Is the room that your baby sleeps in totally conducive for sleep? We want it to be as dark as possible. And that means pitch black, especially if you have an early riser on your hands! Other things to consider are: aiming for the room temperature to be safe and optimal for sleep (16-20 degrees Celsius) ensuring a nice clear cot with no toys, books or any other distractions. Ensure they are not being disturbed by other noises either inside or outside the home. If that is the case, lots of babies sleep well with the aid of white noise which can also be helpful for blocking out ambient noise.
A daytime routine
For babies, daytime sleep (or lack thereof!) can greatly affect the night time sleep, so if they are getting too little, they may be going to bed in an “overtired” state which can then cause a number of things – frequent night wakes, waking up crying or screaming, being difficult to settle and can contribute to early rising (5am starts!).
Equally if they are getting too much daytime sleep you might have a situation where they are not wanting to go to bed until very late or are waking in the very early morning feeling “refreshed”. So, a good tip would be to have a set daytime routine or simply have an idea of how much daytime sleep your baby should roughly be having for their age.
Is your child able to fall asleep independently at bedtime?
If your baby is still relying on input from you or your partner in order to fall asleep at bedtime there’s a good chance they will need that same thing when they are coming in and out of sleep cycles during the night. So, if you are feeding or rocking them to sleep for example then this is the same thing that they will need in order to fall back to sleep when they next wake during the night.
Teaching your baby how to fall asleep by themselves at bedtime is often the key to cracking the night time wakes and helping them learn to settle themselves back to sleep during the night.
What is happening in the run-up to sleep?
Lots of parents have a strong bedtime routine but are not doing any wind-down before naps and are struggling with daytime sleep. Building in around 5-10 minutes before your baby’s nap to take them from play-mode to sleepy-mode can work wonders. So this might be: a nappy change, a top-up of milk (if needed), making the room nice and dark, a short story, a cuddle and a kiss then a lullaby as you put your baby down into their cot.
Are you as the parents feeling “ready”?
Some parents are fine with doing night feeds and dealing with night wakes for far longer than others. Some may have to go back to work earlier and then decent sleep becomes much more of a need than a want. I always come back to the saying, “if it’s not a problem for you, then it’s not a problem” and I find that if parents are truly feeling ready to tackle their baby’s sleep and have absolutely had enough of the current sleep situation, improvements to sleep tend to then happen very quickly.