You are on page 1of 8


By Doctor Kevin and Kate Buchanan-Dunne

p e le s o t y b a b r u o y Getting

helping you to help yourself

Getting your baby to sleep

One of the most frustrating and exhausting tasks of parenthood is getting your baby to sleep. Parents look forward to the time when baby sleeps through the night and they can start to top up those sleep cells in the brain. However, getting baby to sleep through the night can be exhausting for parents. The routine needs time to establish. The Experts for Life method to help babies get into a sleeping pattern:
Put baby to bed while they are tired but still awake.  Leave baby in the bedroom. If baby starts to cry do not return for the rst ve minutes.  eturn to the room and tuck babys bed clothes in, give soothing talk but R do not pick them up, leave the room after a minute. If baby cries again, wait up to 10 minutes and again tuck them in, talk soothingly and leave after a minute. If baby cries for a third and fourth time, follow the same routine leaving between 10 and 15 minutes before re-entering the bedroom. Eventually baby will fall asleep from tiredness. Should they start to cry when laid down the following night use the same procedure but add 5 extra minutes before going into the room.
Getting your baby to sleep: the Experts for Life Guide
helping you to help yourself

This method is based on the psychology of not rewarding misbehaviour; going to a child as soon as it cries re-enforces bad behaviour such as crying for attention. The constant crying can be very irritating and wearing, but it is imperative that parents stay calm, do not interact with the child (picking them up and talking to them) and ideally take it in turns. If you are a single parent with no partner to help establish the sleep pattern, try to nd a close relative or friend who would take the rst hours shift.

Getting your baby to sleep: the Experts for Life Guide
helping you to help yourself

Sleep problems in children

Babies need up to 14 hours sleep in their early days, whilst young children and teenagers need at least nine hours of sleep per night. Lack of sleep can have negative effects on a childs performance at school and in developing social relationships. A lack of sleep may cause accidents and injuries, behaviour problems, mood problems, performance problems, poor memory, slower reaction times, concentration and learning difculties. Sleep problems in children can be spotted by any of the following signs:
with s m e l b Pro rough h t g n i sleep ht the nig Snoring ng Breathi pauses sleep during vents e l a u s Unu sleep during leep s such as g walkin ained Unexpl e decreas ime in dayt ce an perform

ty Difcul ke awa staying e day th during

Getting your baby to sleep: the Experts for Life Guide
helping you to help yourself

Tips for helping with your childs sleep problem


lar time u g e r a h Establis to bed, waking g for goin ng. di and fee


Have a comfortable temperature in the bedroom.


Make sure the noise level in the house is low.

large n e r d l i ving ch edtime. i g d i o Av se to b o l c s l mea


time g in k a w lter the han Do not a kends by more t e at the we half hours. a one and

Do not give children any food or drinks with caffeine.


xing Try to create a rela ch as giving su , e n ti u ro e m ti d be rm bath or your children a wa them. reading a story to

e Make sure that th bedroom is dark.

playtime Make after-dinner too much a relaxing time as dtime can activity close to be ke. keep children awa

Getting your baby to sleep: the Experts for Life Guide

helping you to help yourself

Key to managing the sleep patterns of infant twins

Putting twins together in a cot when they are still small is often called co-bedding. It is considered very safe, indeed it may help in the early days of coming home, especially when in the maternity hospital they were in the same cot. Certainly it can be soothing to have the warmth and heart beat of its brother or sister close by. Where household space is a problem co-bedding can be of help to the parent, whilst sleeping in the same room as mother and/or father has reduced the risk of cot death. Putting twins down to sleep is no different to a single baby. Lay them on their backs with the feet touching the end of the cot. Twins or triplets can be placed across the cot in the early days.

Getting your baby to sleep: the Experts for Life Guide
helping you to help yourself

Key to managing the sleep patterns of infant twins

Multiple births are commonly early deliveries and spend more time in the maternity unit at the hospital where they are used to noise, other babies being close by and being handled by different members of the midwifery/nursing staff. They may nd their new home environment to be discomforting for them so sharing a cot has positive features. It is important to establish a routine as soon as possible. The following are tips to achieving this: Keep to a routine of timings for feeds, nappy changes, washing and comforting. Make sure they are kept warm. If one constantly wakes before the other and disturbs the sleeper, they may need to be separated so possibly place one in a different room. Dont break the routine because an important family member or friend is visiting and arrives when they are asleep. Make sure mother/in-law keeps their hands out of the sleeping babys cot and does not disturb them.

Getting your baby to sleep: the Experts for Life Guide
helping you to help yourself

Dont forget the other fantastic Expert publications and have a very happy life!
Our mission is to offer you, your family, your friends and colleagues the tools to obtain a happy life by providing you with excellent health and wellbeing skills and information. We look to help you to meet your lifes challenges with fun, humour and the strength of mind necessary.

Experts for Life range, simply visit our online store at

helping you to help yourself

This guide is for your information only and not a substitute for professional diagnosis or treatment. The Experts for Life have used all reasonable care in compiling this information from a variety of sources but make no warranty for its accuracy Copyright. The Experts for Life 2012