Good sleep habits is something you want your little one to have from early on. In my previous article, we looked at the top 5 BAD sleep habits and how to break them. Today, we are going to focus on the top 5 habits you want to encourage in your baby.
Instilling good habits in our children is something we all want as parents. As they grow, good habits are a great way to ensure that they are able to care for themselves and their responsibilities. It’s hard to think that encouraging healthy sleep habits in our babies can last a lifetime, but it’s true. That’s not to say that we want our adult children to fall asleep with a doodoo blanket, but we do want them to have a sense of security and wellbeing that allows them to fall asleep with ease.
With that in mind, let’s look at my top 5 sleep habits to encourage in your baby:
1. A doodoo blanky
A doodoo blanket or comfort object is an essential from 3 months onwards. In my book, Baby Sense, I talk parents through the steps to establishing a comfort object that your for your little one can use to self soothe and settle themselves. These comfort objects can last for a few years to come so my advice is to find an object that has the following qualities:
a. You can replace it if gets lost
b. It can be washed
c. It is small enough to carry around in a nappy bag
d. It has soothing sensory qualities
2. A dummy / pacifier or thumb
Any oral comfort that can be used without you is great – thumb, dummy or water bottle. Don’t listen to people who discourage dummies – they are GREAT! Find out more about how to use dummies in babies responsibly here.
3. A water bottle for toddlers
Drinking water is a primary good habit – for little ones and grown ups. Get into the habit of giving your toddler water and they will get into the habit of drinking it. Be consistent with this one – if your toddler wants tea or milk during night be gentle but firm that they can have water.
4. Being able to fall asleep independently
Any baby who can fall asleep on their own in the evening from 4 months onwards will be a good sleeper. Let your baby fall asleep independently by putting them down and walking out of the room from 3 months old. Don’t go back into your baby’s room unless they’re really crying. Moaning or fussing is fine to be left. As soon as your baby cries, you can go back but help them to find a way to self soothe to sleep.
5. Falling asleep in a consistent sleep zone
It’s important that your baby fall asleep in a consistent sleep space from 4 months onwards. The best place is a cot in a calming sleep space. Don’t let your baby fall asleep in front of the TV ever.
There you have it – good baby habits to encourage in your baby. Want to know more? Take a look at my 10 Ultimate Baby Sleep Tips or join Sleep Sense online course for a good night’s rest for you and your little one!