There are several gentle strategies to nurture sleep, including some that are natural sleep enhancers.
- Respond right away Responding to your baby builds trust & healthy attachment. It can also result in baby falling asleep faster and will give a foundation for good sleep habits later on
- Follow your instincts You are the expert on your baby.
- Back to Sleep & Tummy to play Both will reduce the risk of SIDS and ultimately help with sleep.
- Co-sleeping Research shows that co-sleeping can improve yours and your babies sleep. Be sure to research ‘safe co-sleeping’
- Increase day sleep Day sleep improves night sleep
- Avoid overtiredness Children have a maximum length of time they can be awake for before they get overtired. Becoming overtired increases cortisol and adrenaline making it difficult to fall asleep, stay asleep and causes early morning waking
- Natural Sleep enhancers: Light in the day and dark at night, Relaxation, massage, breastfeeding in the evening, lavender oil (only a tiny bit), lower temperatures in the night and fresh air
- Babywearing in the day can promote more restful night
- Going down to sleep awake or drowsy Children who are comforted or fed to sleep or drowsy, will usually need that same support in the middle of the night to get back to sleep. If you comfort your child to sleep and it is working for you, there is no reason to change it as long as you are okay with going back and comforting in the middle of the night too. Don’t worry about long-term bad habits, if it stops working for you then you can change it later. This is not easy for many children but you can try it and if she cries or fusses for more than 5 minutes, it is fine to go back to comforting or feeding her to sleep.
- Try doing a Dreamfeed before you go to bed
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