Monday, 28 February 2011

Sleep - and how to hopefully get more of it

I am joining in with a new Blog Carnival.  This one I found on Mellow Mummy and it is all about suggestions for getting your little one to sleep.

I am far from an expert (is there such a thing when it comes to children?!) but as a Mum of 4 I have done my fair share of sleepless nights and sleep training, so although I cannot guarantee results I have found the following routine helpful with my own children.....

Little Man aged 1 week

My second child was and still is to some extent unable to fall asleep without reading or listening to music and in some ways I blame myself for this as I did not really have a routine when it came to bedtime.

With the birth of Little Man (now 4 months old) I started a rountine from the day I had him, although some people may think that a little extreme I have suffered nights of no sleep and endless tears from afore mentioned daughter and I really would not wish it upon anyone.  It is quite amazing how the body so quickly stops functioning at full capacity with only the smallest lose of sleep let alone days/weeks/months.

From Day one I always put Little Man in his own cot (my second baby only feel asleep in my arms and always woke when put down - arrrgghh! ) this way I felt he would get used to his cot quicker and then being placed in it would not be such a shock.  I always try and place Little Man in the cot when he is still slightly awake also.

I play a soft gentle CD in the background, I would really recommend any of the Baby Einstein range - we like Baby Beethoven. As well as blocking other sounds in the house from Little Man it means I can leave the bedroom without him hearing my footsteps. As well as the CD I always close the curtains and put on the same low wattage bedside light - all this is done to give the same atmosphere when it is time to sleep and also should we need to go away overnight we can take the same items with us and it is then like home from home.

If baby does not settle when you leave the room, pause for a short time before going back in and re-settling, try not to give eye contact (I know hard when they are so cute) and do not speak to them unless maybe ssshhhh for reassurance. You may need to repeat these steps a few times but do persevere. As I say I have had a baby that really did not sleep and know how difficult it can be...

I am lucky as Little Man has slept through the night from 2 weeks old. Whether it is luck or the early establishment of a sleep routine I will never know but as I say it has worked for me. Please let me know if you have any success stories... and sweet dreams x