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Getting your baby to sleep tips

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By the age of 6 months, few babies are sleeping through the night, so you’re not alone if your wee one doesn’t. We know that even getting them to sleep in the first place can be very tricky. You’ve probably tried some of them before, but here are some tips to help your baby get to the Land of Nod.

Top tips from parents:

Tip #1: Bedtime routine

Tip #1: Bedtime routine

Tip #1: Bedtime routine

Sticking to a routine at bedtime can really help you and your baby get a good night’s sleep. Doing the same thing every night means they learn what to expect and how to behave. So after a bath, try a book or some gentle singing – easy, familiar things that will help your baby settle down.

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Tip #2: Night lights

A night-light can help. Not only will it stop you tripping over toys when you go in to check on them, it will also help to make them feel more secure.

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Tip #3: Tire them out

Tip #3: Tire them out

Tip #3: Tire them out

A good way to make sure your baby’s tired enough for bed, is by trying to make sure they’re moving around enough during the day. If they’ve still got bags of energy at bedtime try some supervised ‘tummy time’. Why not try putting their favourite teddies or toys a little bit out of arm’s reach so they have to reach out and grab them. Stay with your baby while they do this and make sure they don’t fall asleep on their tummy.

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Tip #4: Reading them to sleep

Tip #4: Reading them to sleep

Tip #4: Reading them to sleep

Reading can seem like a good idea, but depending on the book you choose, your child may become more excited than relaxed. Try and pick something that’s not too exciting, and read it to them in a gentle voice. You’ll have them snoozing away in no time.

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Tip #5: Bedtime blanket

Our baby likes to rub the silky bit of her blanket when she is falling asleep. We only worked out this is what she did when we put it in the washing machine. Now we have a couple of them.

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Tip #6: Cuddles

Tip #6: Cuddles

Tip #6: Cuddles

A loving cuddle before bed is often enough to make your child feel safe and secure. It’s also a lovely way to build a strong bond with your child.

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What the professionals say

“One of the most important things you need to do to get your baby to sleep, is to establish a bedtime routine. Repeating the same routine provides comfort and introduces a pattern of behaviour your baby will get used to and look forward to.”

Carol Ramsay, Family Nurse Supervisor, NHS Tayside Family Nurse Partnership (FNP)

More information

Ready Steady Baby has lots more information on helping your baby sleep and how to get into a routine. If you think your baby’s not settling at night because of a health issue, contact your GP or health visitor for help.

This article was created as part of 

NHS Health Scotland

Last updated: 8 Nov, 2018


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