Get the low down on sleep: proven sleep tips for your baby
“Why won’t my baby sleep?” This query has over 250 million search results on Google. Why? Well, it’s by far one of the biggest concerns new parents have.
When it comes to finding ways to help a baby sleep better, many parents are ready to try almost anything Google suggests!
Why is sleep so important for babies anyway?
The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) says:
“Sleep is especially important for children as it directly impacts mental and physical development. As well as needing rest and relaxation, our babies need to sleep in order to develop as they should.”
NSF recommends babies aged 0-3 months old get between 10.5 to 18 hours of sleep per day. This includes day naps and night sleep.
So what can actually improve a baby’s sleep?
We’ve teamed up with Flo, sponsors of this article, to bring you five helpful tips to aid your baby get a good night’s sleep. And, if your baby sleeps well, you and the rest of the family will too! Win-win for everyone!
5 tips to help your baby sleep
1. Spot their signals
Over time, you’ll get to know the signs that your baby is getting tired. Perhaps they’ll start to rub their eyes or be fussier.
The key is to spot these signals early and act upon them, rather than let your baby get over tired.
As they develop, you’ll become more accustomed to your baby’s disposition and may well recognise if they’re feeling unwell or have a cold.
2. Be consistent
If the thought of setting up a sleep routine for your baby sends a chill down your spine, fear not. A stricter time schedule might work for some families but it isn’t always everyone’s cup of tea.
However, being more consistent with what happens just before and at baby’s nap or sleep time goes a long way towards making sleep come easier.
This can be as simple as them putting them down in the same room or bed, being swaddled the same way and listening to the same lullaby or white noise as they drift off. You might decide on a longer bedtime routine that includes feeding, changing, bath and a book.
3. Practice good “sleep hygiene”
A quiet and uncluttered nursery is a great start but good sleep hygiene starts before your baby hits the hay.
In the run up to bedtime, start reducing distractions so that your baby can start to unwind too. Turn off any screens, TV or radios, dim the lights and make sure that the temperature where they are sleeping is comfortable.
Set the cot up for success too. Wash all bedding and soft toys in hot water weekly (a least 55°C) to kill dust mites and remove allergens. If bedding can’t be washed hot, put the items in the dryer for at least 15 minutes at a temperature above 55°C to kill the mites. Then wash and dry the bedding to remove allergens.
Keep pets out of baby’s bedroom and ensure your baby’s favourite sleep toy is regularly laundered and free of dust.
4. Give massage a go
How does a calming and gentle massage before bed sound to you? Well guess what, your baby might love one too! After a bath, try gently massaging your baby with a gentle, non-hypoallergenic moisturiser or oil to help soothe your baby and aid sleep.
Massage has many added benefits for your baby, including helping them to relax – and it may also benefit digestion and circulation. Perhaps another family member such as a dad, sibling or grandparent can also give baby a bath and massage because it’s a great way for them to bond with your baby and give mum a little break!
5. Help them breathe
If you can help your little one breathe easier at night, then there’s a very high chance they will sleep much better too. Many parents know how what noisy little critters they can be and perhaps your baby is keeping you awake because they are snuffling or snoring so loudly during rest time! If that’s the case, they may have a snotty or blocked nose due to a cold or an allergy.
A snotty or blocked nose can disrupt their sleep but it can also impact their feeding. One sign of this at feeding is that they appear extra fussy or find it hard to latch properly. An easy way you can help give them some relief is by thinning the excess mucus in their nose with very gentle, preservative-free nasal saline like Flo Baby Nasal Saline Spray or Drops.
Flo Baby can help reduce the mucus in your baby’s nose and wash away germs, bacteria or allergens that may be lurking there, which means your baby can have much better chance of breathing easier. This is very useful for babies, particularly given that the first few months of their life, they only breathe through their nose so ensuring that their nasal passages are clean and clear can only benefit!
One mum from the TMB community decided to give Flo Baby Saline Spray a go when her baby was suffering with nasal congestion and had trouble sleeping. She gave it a 5-star rating and said: “Flo was one of the best ways to help him breathe better during the night. One spray in each nostril and the mucus would easily flow out, easing his congestion. I definitely recommend it.”
Another mum also gives it 5 stars because Flo Baby is not only effective but it can be used on her baby at any position or angle: “I found other brands hard to use with a squirmy little baby. Flo Baby sprays a very fine mist and can be sprayed from any angle so you can lay baby down and quickly spray up each nostril. It helps with congestion and can even be used on newborns. Would definitely recommend.”
Other TMB members have also rated this preservative-free nasal saline to help with their baby’s breathing. Flo Baby Nasal Saline Spray has been voted as TMB’s number one baby health care product.
Our bedtime tips are well-trialled by many parents so why not give them a try yourself, so you and your baby can also enjoy better sleep!
References / Sources:
- Diagnosis and management of the newborn and young infant who has nasal obstruction. Olnes S Q et al. Paediatric in Review 2000 Dec (12) pp 416 -420.
- Nasal irrigation with saline solution significantly improves oxygen saturation in infants. Schreiber S et al Acta Paediatrica 2015 Nov 26.
Flo is an Australian preservative-free nasal brand and proudly supports Asthma Australia.
This giveaway has closed – find more great competitions here.
Flo has teamed up with Mustela and ergoPouch to give away a beautiful prize pack to one lucky TMB community member. It’s full of goodies to help babies get a better night’s sleep.
The prize, worth $264.95, includes:
- 2 x Flo Baby Saline Sprays
- 2 x Flo Baby Drops
- Flo Elephant Bath Toy
- Mustela Gentle Cleansing Gel (500ml pump)
- Mustela Foam Shampoo for Newborns (150ml pump)
- Mustela Multi-Sensory Bubble Bath (750ml)
- Mustela Hydra-Bébé Facial Cream (40ml tube)
- Mustela Hydra-Bébé Body Lotion (300ml pump)
- Mustela Baby (Massage) Oil (100ml spray)
- Mustela Musti Eau de Soin Perfume Spray (50ml)
- Mustela Vitamin Barrier Cream 50ml
- ergoPouch 0.3TOG Sleep Suit Bag