How unpredictable is your baby?
“You can set your watch by predictable babies. They eat, sleep and get wet nappies at around the same time every day, so it’s easy to work out when they need their naps and when they’ll wake,” says Nicole. “A good-odds baby will be mostly predictable, but now and again her routine will hit a blip. But if you have
a crackerjack baby, it’s anyone’s guess when she’ll do anything! Her internal clock seems to change daily, and you’ll never know when she’ll sleep.”
Help your crackerjack baby sleep better
Feeling a bit bleary-eyed? It’s not surprising, because many aspects of sleep can be hard if you have a crackerjack baby. “You might find it hard to get her to sleep, you might find her waking at any time of the night and getting up early. You might generally struggle to get her to nap, or find that her naps are really short,” says Nicole. “So if yours is a crackerjack baby, the trick is to tell yourself that you can only do so much. You can provide her with the opportunity to sleep, but you can’t make her sleep. There is a lot you can do to help, though: the more unpredictable your baby is, the more important it is that you stick to a schedule. That sounds counter-intuitive, but the more irregular you are, the more irregular your baby will become.”
So make a schedule and stick to it. Put her down for naps at the same time every day, and ditto for bedtime. Use the same sleep routine for both nap time and bedtime. And apply your approach to the little things as well as the big things. So, for example, open up the curtains at the same point in your routine each day.
Encourage her to be as active as possible during the day, too. Obviously this will get easier as she gets older, but even as a young baby make sure she’s having tummy time. Ensure her bedroom is at a good temperature for sleep, around 18 degrees. If you’re breastfeeding, try cutting out all caffeine for a couple of weeks and see if that helps your baby sleep.