Baby sleep – Leading by example (by expert Jo Tantum)

When you’ve just had a baby, sometimes it feels like they’re holding your sleeping hours hostage! In this article Jo Tantum (Baby sleep expert) shows us how to take back control, and encourage positive sleep patterns. This article is courtesy of



Isn’t life hard enough without having to live on very little sleep? Sleep deprivation has been named as a torture technique because that is exactly what it is.

If your little one doesn’t sleep, for whatever reason you become a living zombie. You are probably sleeping in different beds, snapping at everyone, getting over emotional at everything. You start looking at the floor in the supermarket and think ‘mmm if I can just find a quiet corner I’ll have a quick nap’! There are parents everywhere reading this and thinking ‘yes that’s me! HELP!’ Well don’t worry. Help has arrived. Whatever problem you may be having and however you got there it can be fixed!

Many parents start off one of two ways with their wonderful newborn. They will either have an angelic baby who sleeps all the time, anywhere, or a baby that is very alert and doesn’t seem to want to sleep. The seemingly angelic ones may well become the baby that doesn’t want to sleep.

The reasons this happens, so that you can be forewarned, is for the first 2 weeks your baby is sleepy, after this she will wake up and will be hungry. Most parents are told to feed on demand and so by the time your baby is able to sleep for 12 hours through the night, (yes it is possible!) she is used to being fed to sleep and that is what she will continue to do.

When you aren’t getting any sleep you will do anything to get some. So out of desperation your baby will be picking up bad habits on how to get to sleep. Rocking your baby and using a dummy all contribute to your babies inability to go to sleep by themselves.

Firstly, don’t panic! There is always a way to re-teach them. It’s certainly harder as your baby gets older, especially after a year but it’s still achievable. Setting up a good bedtime routine will reassure your baby, and for younger babies a dream feed before you go to bed also helps them to sleep longer in the night. Making sure your baby has lots of daytime naps will stop your baby becoming overtired. For example a newborn will need to sleep every hour and a 6 month old every 2 hours.

Over-tiredness is one of the main reasons that your baby finds it difficult to go into a deep sleep. You need to be consistent with whichever routine you choose, and also realise that it took 3/6/9 months for this to become a habit so it may take 1-2 weeks for it to work. However be strong: encourage your baby and it will work! Your baby craves some sleep as much as you do and what better lesson for them to learn, and you to teach them, than how to go to sleep!

To speak with Jo for individual expert advice on babies and problems with sleep call her on 09064006222 or view her profile.



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