Top 10 Sleep Tips

Top 10 Sleep Tips

1. Create a sleep zone and stick to it.

This may be in their own room for the first 6 weeks, or in your room. It doesn’t matter where it is, as long as it is a ‘zone’ where sleep happens – they will learn to recognize it as such.

2. At sleep time, put your baby to bed.

Try to avoid letting them fall asleep wherever you may be at sleep time such as on the couch, in your arms or in the car. Obviously, there will be times where your baby will fall asleep out of their bed, but try not to make it the norm.

3. Watch awake times.

It is the time spent awake between sleeps that drives your babies sleep. This is absolutely vital to ensure healthy sleep habits. Follow the guidelines of “awake times” and allow your baby/child to fall asleep then. Don’t wait until they show signs of over tiredness before trying to put them to sleep.

0-2 weeks

40 minutes

2-6 weeks

60 minutes

6-12 weeks

1 hr. – 1 hr. 20 min

3-6 months

1 hr. 30 min

6-9 months

2 hrs.

9-12 months

2 hrs. 30 min

1-2 years

3 hrs. – 3 hrs. 30 min

2-3 years

4-5 hrs.

3-5 years

5-7 hrs.

4. Put your baby to bed “awake, but drowsy”.

Watch for her signals to indicate to you that she is getting tired (not is already tired!) These signals may be a simple sneeze or a hand on her face. Also listen to the “Owh” sound – implementing the Dunstan Baby Language to confirm tiredness.

5. Modulate the environment to promote sleep.

Switch off loud, jarring music or sounds such as a lawnmower at sleep time. For day sleeps, allow some natural light in and dim lights at night. If you are out and about, cover the pram with a cotton blanket to block out sunlight and noise.

Use white noise to dull the environmental noise and to help your child to move to the deep sleep phase and stay there for longer.

6. Remove all stimulation from the immediate sleep zone.

Remove mobiles, toys, activity sets and stimulating bumpers from your baby’s cot to prevent over-stimulation at sleep time. If she is over stimulated, she will be unable to fall asleep easily. Try to avoid as much visual stimulation as possible.

7. Encourage a sleep comfort or taglet.

A soft cotton toy or blanket will comfort your baby at sleep time. It will also act as a memory trigger to help induce sleep.

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8. Combine the bath and bedtime routine.

Babies generally sleep the longest after a warm bath. Bath time would also then become a bedtime signal.

9. Accept that babies don’t sleep like we do!

This acceptance goes a long way towards helping you cope with sleep deprivation in the early days. Expect not much sleep for the first 3 months at least. Have faith though; babies usually start to sleep for longer periods at night from the age of 12 weeks (even earlier if you are lucky!).

10. Stay calm.

Your baby will pick up any anxiety from you, and will be even more unsettled. Try not to get too bogged down in the moment, and focus on the good things about your baby such as her smile or her dimple.

Thank you Una for these lovely tips, you can contact her for more info regarding sleep training and the different methods available.




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Hi, I’m Shan. I’m a wife, mom to 3 kids and a businesswoman who works from home and gets very little sleep at night. My days are filled with dirty diapers and toddler tantrums, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything else. I am in the Forbes 30 under 30 list for Forbes Africa 2019 and just recently launched my start-up – MomSays.

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  1. 2014-08-19 / 11:48

    Great tips We had a routine and then something went wrong I had to get a sleep consultant to help us My sanity was wavering 🙂 Best decision for us

  2. Lauren Thompson
    2014-09-24 / 06:52

    Rosie seems on par with the 2 and a half hours awake. She only sleeps a half hour at a time during the day and that is relentless. Wish she slept a bit more. But cant complain too much. She only wakes once or twice during the night 🙂

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