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13 Things Every Mom Should Know About Good Sleeping Habits

Sleep: One of those things that we never really appreciated enough before motherhood came along and stole it from us!

So how does a mom go about getting enough sleep to get by on?

Establishing good sleep habits and routine for your child is the best place to start.

Here are 13 tips to get you started:

  1. Sleep is vital for physical and emotional wellbeing.
  2. Helping your child to develop and maintain good, healthy sleep habits will last a lifetime; and ensure the period of sleep deprivation lasts no longer than absolutely necessary.
  3. Following a well-established bedtime routine, which might include a bath or a bedtime story, may help settle your baby to sleep. It‘s a good idea to establish your own routine and then stick to it. Feed your baby, give him or her a bath, into pyjamas, then read a book, sing songs or play some music, then put him down to sleep.
  4. A bath can be a good way to help relax your baby ahead of sleep time. It can be a great sleep cue and may help to anchor the end of the day. Many parents report that this is a lovely start to bedtime and many parents find it a close and connected time with their little one. 
  5. Consider using a bedtime bath product such as JOHNSON’S Bedtime Baby Bath that can help prepare baby for sleep. You can buy JOHNSON’S Bedtime Baby Bath here, on the Meaghers Pharmacy website.
  6. When your bath-time is finished then retreat to the bedroom where your child will sleep. Try baby massage to relax your baby and get them ready for a good night's sleep. Try using a lotion, such as This Works Baby Sleep Body Lotion, to calm and relax your baby. Buy it here, on the Meaghers Pharmacy website.
  7. Having a realistic expectation of what to expect during the early weeks, and months, will help you, as a parent, cope better with lack of sleep.
  8. A newborn baby may wake frequently for feeding. During the first few weeks, this could be anywhere between 2-3 hours. Gradually the length of time between feeds will lengthen.
  9. It is important to understand the cycles of sleep, as this will help you predict when your child may wake and how to prevent it.
  10. A sleep cycle is divided into light and deep sleep. Deep sleep is when we sleep soundly and recharge our batteries. Light sleep is when your baby/toddler will wake easily by a sudden noise and movement.
  11. During a sleep cycle, your baby/toddler will pass from drowsy to light and into deep sleep. The cycle then starts again.
  12. A baby’s sleep cycle lasts approx 45 minutes. This increases to 90-100 minutes in adulthood.
  13. During a full nights sleep, your baby/toddler will pass through sleep cycles many times. However, your baby/toddler may not yet have developed the ability to link sleep cycles together.

Top Tips From Sleep Expert, Fiona O'Farrell:

If you need to move your baby/toddler when they fall asleep, move them during the middle 20-25 minutes of the sleep cycle. Moving them during the first 10-15 minutes after they fall asleep may result in them waking up again. This is a common cause of waking upon your baby/toddler being placed in the cot when he falls asleep firstly in your arms.

It can be very tempting to try and throw yourself and your baby into a rigid routine. However, this does not meet your individual baby’s needs and can cause further stress for your baby and you. By meeting your baby’s needs for sleep, you are helping him to feel secure thus leading to long-term positive, good sleep habits.

The secret to ensuring your baby/toddler develops good long-term sleep habits is to get off on the right foot from the very beginning.

Follow these few steps to get you on the right path:

  • Ensure your baby/toddler gets enough sleep during the day in the form of naps 
  • Establish a sleep zone
  • Establish a consistent bedtime routine
  • Put your baby/toddler to bed when drowsy but still awake
This article has been sponsored by Meaghers Pharmacy. Visit Meaghers Pharmacy in-store or online for products to help or for advice.

About the Author

Fiona O’Farrell is a Paediatric Occupational Therapist, specialising in baby development, premature babies and is an experienced sleep consultant, validated by the department of health. For information on workshops and sleep consultations visit fionaofarrell.ie or Facebook. Call Fiona on 0879144323

Comments

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Alix Howard
My now 2 year old since January has started to wake at 1:30am every night crying and tries anything and everything to get into my bed. She has never slept in my bed. She is no longer on her soother as she stopped wanting it. I leave it in cot just incase but she never asks. She has a security blanket she sleeps with all the time too. I'm at my whits end now, any advice? Please and thank you in advance!
28/04/2017 02:56:02

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