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Settling - Newborn – 6 Months
Unless your baby’s unusually co-operative, prepare yourself for some crying – it’s useful to have someone else there to support you.
1.Wrap your baby firmly, but not tightly, in a small blanket or pram sheet, covering their hands to help them feel more secure and prevent them from catching themselves in face if they flail around. 2.Place them in their cot on their side so that they’re looking away from you (avoid eye contact), and with their feet close to end of cot. Remember that this isn’t position that they’ll sleep in – you’ll turn them onto their back once they’re asleep. In meantime, they won’t come to any harm, as you’ll be in room with them at all times. Look at clock and make a note of time. You’re going to give them 15 minutes to settle. 3.They’ll probably have started crying by now. Place one hand on their shoulder and gently stroke their back or pat their bottom gently with other hand. They’ll probably continue to cry. 4.If, after 15 minutes, they’re still crying and showing no signs of settling, pick them up and give them a cuddle (don’t rock them to sleep – remember this is what you are trying to avoid). 5.Once they’ve calmed down, put them back in their cot, facing other way this time, and try another 15 minute period of settling. Put one hand on their shoulder and pat or stroke them, as before. If they start to quieten, take your hand away – idea is for your baby to settle itself. 6.Once your baby is soundly asleep, roll them gently onto their back, loosen wrapping and leave them. 7.If your baby is still crying, pick them up, cuddle them, and start again.
The most important thing is persistence. New routines take time, but just think how much more enjoyable parenthood will be when you are getting a good nights sleep.
Settling 6 – 12 months
Again, it will really help if you have support. With this technique your baby will never be left alone crying for more that ten minutes at a time. Are you ready? Well here goes!
1.Lie your baby in cot on their back. Ensure that their feet are at end of bed and tell them “It’s time to sleep now”. Leave room and wait for two minutes. You want to give you baby chance to fall asleep by themselves. As soon as they realise that they’re alone it is likely that they will start to protest. If they don’t settle within 2 minutes, then go back in. 2.Roll them on their side, facing away from you. Put a hand on their shoulder and keep patting their bottom or upper thigh gently with other hand. Do this for two minutes, repeating words “It’s time to sleep now” in a gentle and soothing voice. If baby us still protesting after two minutes, then leave room, and wait out side, this time for four minutes. 3.If they still haven’t settled, go back in and try settling them, this time for four minutes. Next time, it’ll be six minutes, then eight minutes and finally ten minutes. 4.In unlikely event that after ten minute session they still haven’t settled then pick them out of cot, give them a cuddle, calm them (making sure you don’t rock them to sleep), and when they have settled repeat process.
You will notice that your child’s crying will reach a peak, and then it will tail off, often very quickly, until they eventually settle themselves off to sleep.
As has been indicated throughout this article, key to success is perseverance. If you follow this routine to letter then within 3 – 10 days your baby should be sleeping through night, and be able to put themselves back to sleep, should they waken.
Good luck and happy sleeping!
To find out more about It’s Time to Sleep programme then visit www.smileybaby.co.uk.
If you are looking to tire you little one out then take a look at www.busylittleones.co.uk to find parent and baby activities in your local area.
Graham Nicoll is a father of one, Toby, a keen entrepreneur and fitness enthusiast.
Graham spends a large proportion of his time consulting with small and medium businesses, helping them to grow through the development of their people and their business development activities. He is an active speaker at business events / conferences across the UK. Graham can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org