Answer by Sophie White. A Norland Nanny and founder of Raise Workshops.
Sleep is precious and never more so when you are lacking it in the early years of being parents.
Below are three tips to help encourage good sleep.
1 Get outside. Natural light (even in the winter) is so beneficial and helps with the development of your babies circadian rhythm, also known as your sleep/wake cycle. Opening your babies blinds/curtains first thing in the morning when you get them up for the day and then dimming the lights before bedtime again helps set our circadian rhythm. The fresh air and natural light will also help you mums and dads feel more human and also help you to sleep better.
2 Introduce a comforter. Use from around 4 months every time you settle your baby to sleep day and night. Make sure it is safe and cannot cover your baby’s face or restrict their breathing. Keep the comforter just for sleep time so your baby associates it with going to sleep.
3 Have a consistent bedtime routine. The great thing here is you get to choose what to include in your bedtime routine. There are no set rules apart from keeping it pretty calm and keeping it consistent. So if you include milk, bath, massage and a book in your routine, do it in the same order every evening and at about the same time. This helps form super strong sleep associations. Your baby will very quickly anticipate that bedtime is coming when you follow the same bedtime routine and your baby will appreciate the heads up so they can wind down and be ready to sleep once in their cot.