10 tips for getting baby to sleep from Colief expert Dr. Jumoke Thomas

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Dr. Jumoke Thomas is a General Practitioner with over 16 years of experience. She works part-time as a GP partner in a busy practice in Kent and enjoys the multifaceted aspect of Family Medicine caring for patients from birth to old age. She has a special interest in women’s health, maternal and child health issues and risk management.

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One of the most common things I get asked about in my clinic and in my role on the Colief® Expert Panel is about getting baby to sleep. Whether it’s babies not sleeping in a routine, or parents struggling from a lack of it, there’s no denying this is one of the biggest challenges facing new parents. Although it can seem like there is no end in sight, the key is to persevere and to remember that you aren’t alone in feeling that way- nearly all new parents go through this at some stage.
The first Colief Online Clinic discussed the topic of sleep, so I have put together a list of my top tips on coping with a lack of sleep, and how to help your little one get into a routine.

1) To ensure you and your baby are getting enough sleep, set a bedtime routine which could include a bath, feed, a cuddle and putting baby in darkened room with little noise – so that baby learns to associate this routine with sleep.

2) To help babies fall asleep naturally, you could try putting them down in their cot before they are completely asleep, helping them to fall asleep on their own.

3) If a baby wakes up regularly in the night, try to keep an eye on daytime naps and ensure that they are not sleeping excessively or having naps late in the day.

4) When baby is refusing to settle, comfort them with some gentle head stroking and leave the room quietly. If they don’t settle return to the room, do not take them out of the cot but repeat the process of gentle head strokes and avoid engaging in chat or cuddles.

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5) Giving baby something to comfort them like a baby blanket, stuffed animal or even a small piece of muslin can sometimes help with settling. Do not put mobile toys in the cot.

6) Giving baby a feed before you go to bed – between 10pm and midnight – encourages your baby to ‘tank up’, hopefully encouraging them to sleep thanks to their full tummy.

7) When baby is teething, you may find teething gels or granules helpful or alternatively, you can use an appropriate paracetamol treatment before bed if required. Teething gels should not be used at night.

8) Encourage your partner to be actively involved in the bedtime routine. After breastfeeding you could hand over baby to your partner so that you could get some sleep.

9) Placing baby to sleep on their back reduces the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), also known as cot death. NHS advice is that the safest place for your baby to sleep is on their back in a cot in a room with you for the first six months.

10) The main thing to keep in mind is to keep calm, and have a single consistent approach to your baby’s sleep. Remember that every baby is different in the amount of sleep that they need. So if it feels like your baby is not getting enough sleep be reassured that it will get easier as they get older. If you have any concerns speak with your health visitor or GP.

Dr. Thomas sits on the Colief Expert Panel which includes child psychologist Maggie Redshaw, paediatric dietician Judy More and health visitor Dawn Kelly, who host an online clinic on the Colief Facebook page every fortnight for all those important parenting questions.

Find out more at www.facebook.com/ColiefCare.

maternity & infant

Originally posted 2015-08-06 13:24:19.