Routine and Sleep

Expert / 3 January, 2018 / Lisa Clegg

A Quick Q&A with The Blissful Baby Expert on Routine & Sleep

We’ve gathered up the questions and answers from our Twitter chat with The Blissful Baby Expert Lisa Clegg in this quick fire Q&A on sleep and routine. 

My baby has started to wake up at all sorts of ungodly hours all of a sudden after being a great sleeper! Why would this be and what should I do? He’s 6 months old. 

Self settling is the key for all babies to sleep well once over 3-4 months. If they are still reliant on lots of help to aid to sleep using props like a dummy, motion, cuddling or feeding, then night and day sleep will naturally regress and not improve until they can settle to sleep without the need for props to help them.

I’m worried about my baby’s temper. Five months plus, she loses the plot v easily. Could it be lack of regular naps? She sleeps through the night.

Sleep deprivation makes all of us bad tempered including our little ones, so yes it is important to get good regular naps each day.

Which white noise products do you recommend?

There are lots of white noise products and machines available to buy. If you need a quick, simple and cost effective one then an app is fine.

Should I be weaning my 5 month off her dummy? At the moment she just refuses to go to sleep without it but does then spit it out.

I would recommend starting to wean her off it now yes, otherwise her sleep will begin to regress more and more in the next month or two. If she’s happy and not distressed then she will learn to fall asleep without it if you persevere and give her a comforter to cuddle instead

My baby refuses to nap at midday. What is your advice?

A short morning nap between 9-10am and then to be put down in the cot to sleep in dark quiet environment at 11:45 usually works well.

Do you recommend swaddling?

Some babies love to be swaddled and sleep better and others hate it, so I am always guided by the baby- they make their views known. Lol!

In light of recent warnings over sleep positioners, would you recommend using these/any in particular?

I personally never used sleep positioners with any of my children as it’s something you eventually have to take away and another transition.

Do you suggest putting baby down to sleep while still awake so they learn to self soothe and settle early on?

Yes, you can always try that from the early days and weeks and you don’t have to rock or cuddle to sleep if baby is happy to go down awake.

Do you wake a healthy newborn at night to feed if they are feeding well during day and putting on recommended weight?

I advise parents to wake fully for a feed around 10:30/11pm if baby’s last one was 6/7pm, and if baby is healthy and putting on weight let them do their longest stretch from after the 11pm feed onwards. The aim is that they gradually go longer and longer until there’s no need for it anymore.

My baby is 16 weeks and night wakes are very predictable. First after four hours then after two hours until morning. How can I break this routine?

I always advise waking baby fully at 10:30/11pm to do a top up feed-lights on, nappy change and start once alert and awake. This helps break the habit/expectation that they need feeding to aid back to sleep each time they stir overnight and they happily drop night feeds

What time should I put my 15 week old to bed? Sometimes he naps at 7pm so bedtime isn’t until 9pm. We have a bed, bath, bottle routine.

I would suggest that the final nap of the day should be between 4-5pm and then bath, massage, PJ’s at 5:30/6pm and milk and in bed by 7 for evening sleep.

My 15 week old won’t nap in day without rocking shushing while he cries. How can I stop this? If I put him down he screams.

It’s important to structure a feeding routine first and then it’s easier to work on sleep. Establish sleep cues like white noise/comforter so that baby gets used to using them to aid to sleep and will naturally start to need your presence less and less.

What age should we aim to start a routine?

You can gently start working towards a routine within the first couple of weeks in terms of feed times. It takes time and tweaking during growth spurts for example, but the mums that have used a routine as a guide from the early days and weeks find baby is much happier. My baby book would be able to guide you in this or we have membership options with email and phone advice.

Any advice for a very colicky baby who is up until 11.30pm most nights?

How old is baby? Infacol helps with colic/wind symptoms or gripe water once over 4 weeks old.

Four month sleep regression hit baby hard; any way to encourage longer night sleep stints and tips on no-cry self soothing please?

White noise and giving baby a comforter as a cue for naps and teaching them that sleep is dark, quiet environment and awake is stimulating.

My son wakes at 5am having done a poo, do you leave to go back to sleep or chance changing his nappy and try to settle?

You have to change his nappy as none of us would want to sleep like that, so you can’t expect him to. Do it in dim light and as quickly as possible. To try to prevent the Poo happening in the first place then avoid giving a protein based meal at tea time, as that’s more likely to cause an early morning poo.

With thanks to Lisa Clegg, The Blissful Baby Expert

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