What’s your baby’s sleeper ID? It could be key to a happy home
Do you have an owl or a sloth? Tips to help the family sleep well
N ew parents are wellknown for missing out on proper shut-eye, but it’s not just mum and dad who might need a little help getting the prescribed ZZZs. Adults need seven-and-ahalf to nine hours a night, while babies are need an average of 16 hours per day. These hours are crucial to a baby’s development and wellbeing. Jo Tantum, author of Baby Secrets and a Pampers baby sleep expert said: “The brain reaches 75 per cent of an adult’s by year one, so the first year of sleep is the most crucial in a human’s life.” Tantum has devised five different baby sleep types, to help parents identify what kind of sleeper their child is - which may change - and what will help the whole family get a better night’s sleep...
Sleeps in the same position, on their back with legs and arms out. Wakes often and regularly, but does go back to sleep easily after you intervene with a sleep prop, for example rocking or a feed. They need this to get to sleep. YOUR SLEEP AID:
A muslin square, knotted in the middle. To provide more comfort, tuck it down your top before giving it
to baby so it smells of you. Try and teach your baby to fall asleep on their own gently. Start in the day, at nap times, watching for tired signs such as staring into space and rubbing eyes, then settle them for a sleep in their room. They’ll get used to their own space, instead of being put in a strange room with different smells and sounds.
Awake early in the morning, singing and shouting and refuses to go back to sleep, whatever you try.
YOUR SLEEP AID: Wave sounds. This can be a sleep app or sound machine. Keep it on continually while baby is asleep, so when they come into a light sleep phase it soothes them back to sleep. Total blackout is also key here, as even a small patch of light can stimulate them. Babies have a very light sleep between 5.306.30am, as do adults. Try to respond to your baby as though it’s still night, rather than creating a habit of early waking, expecting something to happen. It can take seven-14 mornings of soothing and not getting up until morning. So be consistent, as it does work.
Loves sleep and can sleep anywhere and everywhere. A great sleeper day and night. But what happens when they wake up? It’s likely to be because of a growth or developmental spurt, or they are teething or not well. YOUR SLEEP AID: Increase the feed by five minutes if breast feeding and by 30ml if
bottle feeding. If your baby is close to six months old, they may need weaning. If your great sleeper wakes up it can be an awful shock. So check for teething signs and temperature. Often this can happen at the 4-month sleep regression. Remember it is a phase.
Be consistent, try not to get into bad habits and they will get back to sleeping well again.
Goes to bed late and wakes in the night. Is wide awake for long periods and can’t get back to sleep.
YOUR SLEEP AID: Allow your baby to sleep for three hours during the day to reset their internal clock. Babies need lots of sleep. And it’s a myth that if you don’t give them naps, they will be so tired they will sleep through the night. In fact, the opposite happens. Your baby will find it difficult to settle, wake often and have long periods of waking. Babies who wake often and don’t go into a deep sleep cycle will often have low immune systems, because when they sleep more deeply it repairs skin and boosts their immune system. As soon as you see tired signs, let them nap in their room as much as possible, rather than downstairs where it can be noisy.
Stands up, moves around trying to get comfortable all night, doesn’t want to sleep; always on high alert. Late to bed, early to rise.
YOUR SLEEP AID: Wind-down time. Try bath-story-feed to establish a calming bedtime routine. Your baby is overtired. Babies need lots of sleep so when they are overtired from not having enough naps or night-time sleep, they will thrash around trying to get comfortable just like we do. They will have lots of energy around bedtime and early in the morning, as their bodies and minds are overstimulated and likely to go into meltdown at any time. There should be an hour before bedtime of no screen time or noisy interactive toys, as this stimulates rather than calms your baby.