Tips for difficult settlers
Some babies are naturally good at falling asleep, whereas others may need a little more encouragement to relax. Here are a few things that may help:
- If your baby is finding it hard to settle on a particular night, you may decide to stay with them, perhaps sitting by the cot or soothing them by stroking their hair or holding their hand
- As they begin to settle with you nearby, gradually move away from the cot. It may be a good idea to stay in the bedroom area for a while so that if they do wake up or cry, you can reassure them. Try saying a couple of words, or giving a gentle stroke of their hand or head, before moving away again.
- Some babies are happier if they can hear household activity nearby, so don't worry about making some noise at bedtime. However, it’s best not to bring an unsettled baby back into the main noise of the house if you can avoid it, as this is likely to stimulate them too much.
Tips for early risers
If your little one is an early riser, you’re in good company – lots of bleary-eyed parents find themselves starting the day at 4:30am, or even earlier! This can get worse in the summer, or on holiday, when the mornings are lighter. Luckily, we’ve come up with a few savvy tricks that might earn you a bit more shut-eye:
- Make your baby's room darker by installing thick curtains or black out blinds; that way, you control the lighting, not Mother Nature.
- Experiment with gradually shifting your baby's bedtime a bit later - ‘early to bed’ almost always means ‘early to rise’ for most small children.
- If you have more than one child and they share a bedroom, you might be able to encourage them to play and amuse each other in the morning for a short while before they need to wake you up!