Updated: Jun 3
1. Follow an age appropriate routine
Day sleep and night sleep are closely related. If your baby or toddler is having too much or too little day sleep their night time sleep will be fragmented.
Sleep begets sleep. Making sure your baby is having age appropriate naps with at least one long nap during the day will prevent them from becoming over tired. The biggest culprit for disrupted night sleep is over tiredness.
Click here for age appropriate routines.
On the flip side, if your baby is nearing a point where they are ready to drop a nap, broken sleep at night can be a sign that they are having too much day sleep and a nap is ready to go, or at least be shortened.
Find out more about when and how to drop naps here.
2. Get outside
Exposing your little one to plenty of natural light throughout the day helps set their circadian rhythm. Sunlight promotes the production of serotonin. At night, this serotonin is converted into melatonin, our sleepy hormone.
Getting outside makes you feel good. A bit of fresh air and a dose of vitamin D will not only help your baby sleep better it will make you feel refreshed too.
3. Keep night feeds dark and calm
If your baby is still having feeds at night, keep the lights dim and the feed quiet and calm. Too much light or interaction will overstimulate your baby and can make them harder to settle back to sleep after the feed.
The same goes if your little one needs some help resettling after waking in the night, even if they don’t need a feed. Too much light or social interaction can disrupt their circadian rhythm and trigger their body to think it’s time to get up and start the day. Not what you want at 3am.
Restlessness in the early hours of the morning can often be linked to a drop in temperature. If you aren’t able to control the temperature of the room, keeping it consistent all night, dress your baby for the coldest part of the night.
5. Bedtime Routine
Don’t underestimate the power of a good bedtime routine. This is lovely time to relax and unwind with your baby or toddler after a long day. Having a consistent routine which you do every night allows them to prepare for a good night sleep. The bedtime routine doesn’t need to be long or elaborate. Depending on the age of your baby or toddler 10-30 minutes is all you need to have a bath, story time, cuddle and sing a lullaby before getting into bed.
If you are still struggling with bedtime battles or frequent night wakes, get in touch to find out how I can help you all get a solid night sleep.
Get started with my FREE online eGuide on how to improve sleep overnight or try my comprehensive online sleep guides for information on routines and how to solve early morning wakes.