Ah sleep. Something you take for granted and when your newborn comes along? It's something you feel that you will NEVER experience ever again. My youngest is now four and despite the odd nightmare, our household generally gets a good night’s sleep. We may still get up at 6am every single day but that's not so bad when you've had 8 hours straight. So, when Bepanthen got in touch and asked me to impart my sleep tips as someone who has made it through the other side? I jumped at the chance to help other exhausted new parents.
For the first few months it's really hard to get a good routine going but my first piece of advice is to stick at it. We have the same bedtime routine today that we had when they were newborns. A nice warm bath, followed by nappies on and a cuddle in bed with a warm milk. We always made sure that they had comfy seasonal pyjamas on. As night time is the longest they will be in the same nappy it's also a good idea to use a nappy care ointment like Bepanthen at every bedtime nappy change. It really helps to protect against the causes of nappy rash which is not only sore for the baby but also could disturb their sleep.
With my eldest child, we bought a lovely lullaby machine. It gently sang lullabies as well as projecting stars onto the ceiling. She loved to have this on whilst she dropped off. I tried to limit my fussing whilst she was going to sleep so she learnt how to settle without me. I know since she was little these machines have become far more advanced. So, may be a good idea to ask other new mums what they use with their babies.
It's really important to have the right temperature in your baby’s bedroom. Not only for their safety but also to ensure that they don't get too hot or cold in the night. Which in turn may cause them to have a disturbed night’s sleep. We invested in a Gro Clock Egg which handily tells you if the temperature is right in the room by glowing a different colour. It really helped to keep my mind at rest and ensure the baby was in the most appropriate sleepwear.
Of course, babies wake up in the middle of the night. That's just something that they do. Both children were very different. My little girl would be happy to drop back off with a little soothe and putting her lullaby machine one whilst my boy would like you to wait in his room until he falls back to sleep. It's a really good idea to take it in turns so your children don't become attached to one (exhausted!) parent to help them sleep. Each child is different and you will soon become accustomed to what they like.
When I had a toddler and a small baby I was very conscious of one child waking up the other. Whilst we always maintained a very good bedtime routine I also embraced that sometimes? I may pop one in bed with me for a cuddle until they dropped off. Also, sometimes routines would get disturbed by growth spurts or sickness bugs. The best thing to do is remember that whilst it seems like a lifetime, your babies are only small for a short while and eventually, everyone will get a good night’s sleep. Promise!
Emma is a mum of two and founder of the parenting and lifestyle blog, Brummy Mummy of 2! On her blog Emma covers all parts of family life, from parenting tips to product reviews.