13 May 2017
A total of 10 to 12 hours sleep at night is the norm at this age, with two naps during the day.
While this sounds great on paper, the Cuddlers team know that this is not always the case. We have put together a few helpful tips to help get your child through the night.
You can stop breastfeeding at night
As time goes by, your baby has less of a need to feed at night. Generally, after about six months, if your baby’s weight is increasing as it should be, night feeding is no longer nutritionally necessary; although your child might not agree. Feeding at night can be reassuring and comforting for your child and it is perfectly ok to continue doing this for a while longer, if you have the energy.
If your baby has started solid foods already and perhaps is having more formula than breast milk, you may have noticed they are sleeping longer at night already – this is great. From about eight months, your child may start sleeping less soundly again. There’s a lot going on at this time in a baby’s life, which can start affecting their sleeping patterns. Remember, there are just so many experiences and so much to get used to – the days aren’t long enough for all the excitement your child has absorbed.
Putting baby to bed
When your baby has learnt that food and sleep are not related and they can fall asleep without a feed, you will get to sleep longer. So instead of letting them fall into a milk coma tuck your little one in with their teddy, say “night night” and let them gently fall asleep. You can help them settle by stroking their back and by staying close by for comfort. There might be some protests to begin with but remember, it’s not punishment to be put down to sleep when you’re tired, you’re doing them a favour.
While this might be easier said than done, if you are persistent and stay nearby, it’s possible.
Do you have any tricks that help your child fall asleep? Share them on the Cuddlers Facebook page [LINK], so that other parents can learn from your experiences.