When it comes to little ones, finding a routine can be incredibly difficult, from feeding to sleeping, it’s not easy to get everything right.
Speaking exclusively to VIP, sleep expert Lucy Wolfe has offered practical and honest advice for parents who are struggling to get their babies into a routine.
The founder of Sleep Matters, also has four young kids of her own, and has shared four top tips to make the early days easier for mums and dads.
Lucy reveals that worrying and stressing about getting everything right is one of the biggest problems as it wastes time and energy.
“The first thing I would say, to parents is to try not to worry too much,” she told VIP.
“We do love the idea of a positive sleep routine early on, but parents put themselves under an awful lot of pressure in the early weeks and months and sometimes it’s wasted energy.”
Establish some routine.
While getting everything right can be difficult, establishing even a little bit of routine can help parents to make sure babies are sleeping better.
Once the first routine is in order, creating a bit of regularity can be easier.
One example Lucy provides is: “once your feeding practices are established after maybe six or eight weeks, then you can look at having some regularity to your day.”
When some routine is established, parents can try to ease into better sleeping patterns.
“Small things like a regular wake time no later than 7.30am, and always starting your day with a feed, can help,” she explains.
Recognise when your little one is tired.
Detecting early on that your baby is sleepy can help prevent issues like crankiness or over-tiredness. This all comes with understanding your baby’s body language.
As Lucy explains: “I would recommend that the parents get really good at reading the body language, so, understanding the difference between starting to get tired, and being overtired. We try not to allow babies become more obviously tired, with intense eye-rubbing or big yawning or even agitation.”
Don’t be afraid to hold/lie down with them
One debated topic that comes up around children’s sleep patterns is co-sleeping.
Lucy explains that babies often need a parent’s warmth and comfort to help them.
“I feel that babies want a lot of human contact, they come with a need to be held and rocked so I really encourage parents to to embrace that.”
She adds: “I really don’t want parents to be worrying about bad habits, especially in the early months, because I don’t feel there is any such thing.”
“I really do advise co-sleeping. I know it’s not recommended by the health agenda but we know that upto 70% of parents are bed-sharing or co-sleeping and some point in their parenting journey.”
Parenting is no easy feat, but small tips and helpful advice can make the world of difference, especially in the early stages. This is why Lucy has teamed up to with Aptaclub, to help Irish parents.
Aptaclub’s team of experts is made up of experts like Lucy, including Nutritionists, Dietitians, Midwives and Mums who are on hand to offer advice, support and tips throughout your pregnancy, baby and toddler stages. You can check out more at aptaclub.ie.