Sleep doesn’t have to be complicated. Sometimes simple changes are all you need to help improve your sleep situation.
As well as certified sleep consultants, we are also parents. We truly understand the impact that lack of sleep can have on a family. It can often be an emotional journey to struggle with sleep and make the decision to work on it.
We’ve put together our top five tips for you to try if you are having struggles with your family’s sleep.
#1 Embrace the dark side
Some children sleep just fine with some light in their room, but for those who are struggling to settle or are waking early, a dark room can be beneficial.
Try a well fitting black out blind and/or black out curtains. For quick and temporary fixes you can get great travel black out blinds or even use tin foil.
Natural light and blue based artificial light stimulate us to be alert and awake. Avoid electronics in the build up to bedtime and use a red/amber based light if you need a night light or light for night feeds/nappy changes.
Trouble falling asleep, frequent wake-ups or early morning starts can often be helped by keeping our sleep space dark.
#2 Keep it cool
Our body temperature naturally dips as part of the process of falling asleep, so a cool room can assist this process. 16-20°C is the ideal room temperature.
You can use a room thermometer to measure the temperature of your child’s room and some monitors also detect room temperature.
Adjust your little one’s clothing to the room temperature, ensuring they aren’t under or overdressed – we have a blog here with a helpful guide on what to wear to bed.
Bedrooms should be kept on the cooler side in line with Safe Sleep Guidelines. If you need any information on safe sleep guidelines then The Lullaby Trust have fantastic resources available.
#3 Shape a predictable routine
Humans thrive on routine. Most people naturally feel more relaxed when they wake, eat and sleep at roughly the same times every day.
We all rely on a routine to regulate our internal body clock. The timing of when your child eats, sleeps and wakes helps to bring structure to their day.
Babies really like to know what is coming next. A predictable routine helps them feel safe, secure and relaxed.
A routine doesn’t need to feel restrictive or leave you feeling like you have to watch the clock all day. The aim is to create a predictable rhythm to your day.
#4 Think about how they fall asleep
It is normal for babies, and all of us in fact, to stir between sleep cycles. Some babies and toddlers are fed/rocked/held to sleep and happily sleep for long periods of time, but for others the way they first fall asleep can have an impact on their sleep.
If your little one is waking frequently, and supporting them back to sleep is becoming unsustainable, then you may want to assess how they first fall asleep and make some changes.
#5 Don’t forget about you
You can’t pour from an empty cup. Parenting requires energy and stamina. Try to get an early night if possible, and rest whenever you can during the day.
Getting baby down nice and early can also avoid periods of evening fussiness, which can be a sign that your baby wants to wind down and go to bed.
Optimise your time in your sleep space, even if it is a broken night’s sleep you will still benefit from resting in bed.
When you’re tired and sleep feels challenging, it can feel overwhelming to know where to start to help get sleep back on track – or what changes can help without making things feel harder!
It is always ok to want to try something new, even if it feels a little daunting. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it – we’ve helped families all over the world find their way to better sleep, so you are not alone in wanting support.
Need more help with your baby's sleep?
If you feel like you’re struggling with your little ones sleep, then we are here to help! Our best selling sleep courses cover all things sleep – including different strategies you can use to support your baby to fall asleep in their own cot, crib or bed and no longer rock/feed/bounce or pace the room with them in your arms.
You can choose an approach to suit you and your baby or toddler – you can go gradually or move more quickly. We give you the know-how and you go for the approach that feels right for you!
We guide you step by step how to make sleep changes – just choose the age group closest to your little ones age and see how we can help you all sleep better!