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

7 Days in Dubai - - FRONT PAGE -

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...

THE STARFISH

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.

SKYLARK

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.

SLOTH

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.

OWL

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.

MEERKAT

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.

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