Ask any parent and they will undoubtedly tell you that life with a baby is hard work. Luckily, the media and society as a whole will prepare us for sleepless nights and unending nappy changes… but are we ever really prepared? So many new mums tell us that they had been lulled into believing they knew what they were in for during pregnancy, but when the reality of an unsettled baby really hit home they admitted to feeling more than a little stumped. Put simply, sleep deprivation in the early days of parenthood is hard work. There is no other tiredness quite like it, which is why so many parents are willing to try just about anything to help their precious bundles get a good night’s sleep. Now, while we’re well aware that babies are supposed to wake regularly in the first year at least, we also believe that there is nothing wrong with doing all you can to encourage as good a night’s sleep as possible. So this week we’re sharing our secrets to a happy and calm baby bedtime, with the hopes that this will help the whole family sleep well tonight!
Establish a good bedtime routine
Regular readers will know that we regularly advocate a good bedtime routine, so it makes sense to stay really consistent with this where babies are concerned. We are all creatures of habit and we respond best when we know what to expect and when. Don’t be fooled into thinking a newborn baby doesn’t need a good routine, because it’s never too early to introduce a good solid bedtime ritual. A great example of a good bedtime routine includes:
- Quiet time, with low key activities, dim lighting and reduced sounds
- A warm and relaxing bath
- Baby manage with gentle, soothing music
- A warm feed
Of course, you can make your own routine to suit your family’s needs, but this example is one that so many families swear by. Make sure that you follow the same steps each night, in the same order so that your baby comes to understand when it is time to sleep. Oh, and make sure you have a good solid daytime routine too.
Use lavender to calm and soothe
Lavender is one of the best ways to calm and soothe the mind and body, for babies and grown ups alike. A great way to incorporate this into your routine is by popping some lavender essential oil into a diffuser around the home, or when your baby is a little older you can use our Pure English Lavender bubble bath too. Another great way to incorporate the relaxing lavender vibes around the home is to use our wonderful English Lavender soy wax eco candles too- well out of baby’s reach, of course.
Enforce day and night
Babies are born with a slightly different sense of day and night, and its often this that parents find the hardest to deal with. Thankfully, its not hard to enforce a sense of day and night within the home and it shouldn’t be too hard to get your baby on the right track. During the day time, keep the home filled with natural sunlight and even during nap times make sure you carry on with your usual noisy activities wherever possible. Babies don’t need you to whisper while they sleep, and in fact often sleep better with noise. Then during the evening, tone everything down so that there are clear differences between daytime and night time. Keep lights dim, music low and the atmosphere a lot more calm. Over time your baby will notice the difference and will begin to relax into evenings ready for sleep.
Hold your baby
You cannot spoil a baby with love. The first three months especially are hard on babies too, as they try to acclimatise themselves with a strange new world, away from the comforts of being in-utero. One of the best things that you can do to calm and soothe your baby is to hold them close, and comfort them when they need you. Baby wearing is a great option if you want to get things done, but there is also absolutely nothing wrong with simply slowly down a little and making the most of just cuddling your baby. A happy, calm, comforted and loved baby will definitely sleep a lot better- we promise!