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Parenting: How to Get your Baby to Sleep Alone


Having a baby is one of the biggest challenges life can throw at you. There’s no test you can pass or fail and there’s certainly no rehearsal, and with every baby and parent having different needs, some of the most basic stages of our children's development can be the hardest.

Encouraging our babies to sleep alone is just one of these stages, but it can be difficult based on our own different abilities to let go and of course our child’s dependence on our company. Ethan tends to go to bed in his cot at night but then wake up in the night to come in with us. We're currently working on this and knowing how difficult getting through this stage can sometimes be I thought I would share a few things that I've picked up so far to help tackle this at times quite difficult stage:



Create a comfortable sleeping environment



Whether you have a baby learning to sleep alone for the first time or a toddler learning to sleep in his or her own bed, it’s always important that you make this transition as comfortable as possible. Invest in a sleep easy bed if your child is slightly older, and for younger babies, try a baby sleeping bag, which will restrict unnecessary movement in the cot and also keep them warm in the winter. Personally, we are BIG fans of sleeping bags. I find they offer such reassurance compared to blankets/duvets and Ethan always looks so snuggled when he's got his on. We've tried many different sleeping bags but our favourite is this one from The Gro Company. It's ultra comfy and I love the pattern and the free nursery thermometer is really handy! :] Take a closer look: here.






Wean your baby


Night time feeds are a big part of teaching your baby to sleep alone, so it’s important to understand when they can sleep through the night without the need to be fed. Generally speaking, babies between four and six months can sleep throughout the night without feeding providing they have had sufficient calories throughout the day. Start the process slowly, and even if you have to wake up in the middle of the night, don’t immediately feed your baby – try comforting them first to ease them back into a comfortable, self-reliant sleep.



Choosing timing carefully

Every baby develops at a different rate, so read your baby’s signals and respond to them appropriately. Many parents (my Husband and myself included) decide to leave their baby sleeping alone from around six months, but it is entirely up to you and how comfortable you feel. Before six months, encourage the mother and baby bond with a cot or Moses basket next to your bed, which you can easily move into a separate bedroom when your baby is ready.

Eliminating distractions


Computers, televisions and other electronic devices can all disturb your baby while he or she is sleeping particularly bright screens (Ethan never falls asleep at night with us in the living room when we have the TV on) so keep these off or remove them from your baby's room altogether.

I hope that this has helped any other Mums/Dads who are also currently trying to get their little ones to sleep on their own. It can be a difficult stage to overcome but persistence and patience is most definitely the key!
 

4 comments

  1. I have always slept on my own......until recently following me being poorly. I too go to bed ok, but wake up to go in with mummy. Mummy has decided to not get stressed, and that it's a phase! Little does she know!! ;) xx

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  2. I'd recommend playing some gentle music or a story tape in the background too. My little one has always been stubborn about falling asleep, she's 21 months now and very rarely self settles. We tried a lullaby cd tonight and she became very calm and still as soon as I started playing it. Not a miracle cure by any means but it knocked a good few minutes off our bedtime battle! :-)

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  3. We love sleeping bags too! I think they give you peace of mind and saves covers being kicked off! X

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  4. I have used sleeping bags since Jem was born and I find them so great that when I do use a blanket I still (he's 1 year now) panic about using them and find myself checking him more often so they are a massive help for me! We have recently moved onto a sleeping bag with separate legs from Dreamgenii Twinkle Tog which is brilliant.

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