1. Help baby to differentiate between night and day.
Before baby can tell the difference between day and night (around 3 or 4 months), you need to make the difference clear:
During naptime: Just draw the curtains to ensure that there is still some light in their room and speak normally.
During the night: There should be no light, except for a nightlight, and speak softly.
2. Establish a bedtime routine.
For example: Bath time => pyjamas => cuddles => closed curtains => lullaby in your arms
3. Respect your baby’s sleeping pattern.
Do not wake them up to eat, do not force them to sleep if they are full of energy and, of course, don’t even think about sleeping pills or tranquilizers.
4. Put baby in bed at the right time.
Recognize when baby is tired: they cry or whine, are restless, and will yawn and rub their eyes. Just before bedtime, do not start to play active games that could excite them before sleeping.
5. Prepare baby gradually for bedtime.
Do not put baby in their bed “suddenly”: make them understand, gradually, that it is going to be bedtime, so they can prepare. Babies do not fall asleep just like that; they need a few moments to relax before falling sleep.
6. Lay your baby on their back, without a pillow or blanket.
This position supports proper breathing, and is especially helpful when baby has nasal or chest congestion. This is also good if baby has a fever. The chance of baby having a breathing problem due to their face being against the mattress, or covered with pillows or blankets is thus reduced to zero.
7. Install a subdued, soft light.
The nightlight is wonderful to watch over baby and visit them without waking them up.
From 2-3 years, children often express a fear of the dark. You can then leave a nightlight on, but not at a high intensity.
8. Massage your baby to help them get to sleep.
Baby will be soothed by a massage on the tummy, chest and soles of their feet. Be careful to be gentle and not to spend too much time.
9. Make them listen to soothing music.
Some music has a calming effect on children, such as classical music, reggae or the sounds of nature. A musical carousel can create a calm, inviting atmosphere at bedtime.
10. Give them their teddy to reassure them.
When they are old enough and can easily move their heads, most older babies are reassured by and find warmth and comfort with either a stuffed toy or blanket. It will become a fixture in baby’s bed.