Getting a baby to learn proper sleep habits is right up there with potty training as being one of the hardest parts of parenting. Some parents luck out with little ones who are easy and love to sleep. I’m not going to lie, that was us the first time around. Lilly has always loved her shut eye and has been a great sleeper 90% of the time.
Cole has been a different story all together. While he has slept good stretches from the beginning, getting him to sleep takes a lot of extra time. He’s just a little more high maintenance, which became very obvious during his colicky days...
The smart minds over at Disney Baby have developed a list of helpful DO’s and DON’Ts for putting your little one down for a good night’s sleep. I also basically have to do the majority of the bedtime routine to get him down for his two naps as well. Right now, I am likely still breaking about half of the rules listed below, but we are getting there. Just this week, we have cut the rocking time in half and started to let him settle on his own. And while it has been tempting to just let him nap in his swing over the last few weeks, I have persevered and finally gotten him into napping properly in his crib.
My favourite trick on this list is the story time. Both my kids have always responded well to books. It’s our secret weapon. I don’t read a book before Cole’s naps, but he won’t settle without one at bedtime. He has his favourite already and smiles as soon as he sees the cover. I’m raising little book lovers over here
After you’ve had a chance to read over the bedtime tips, be sure to check out a link to the Magical Moments Contest from Disney Baby and Today’s Parent. Also, I am giving away a Disney Baby prize pack to one lucky reader!
SAYING GOOD NIGHT:
DO’S AND DON’TS WHEN PUTTING BABY TO BED
It’s tiring being a mom and, at the end of a long day, putting baby to bed can seem overwhelming. Getting a baby to sleep peacefully through the night is one of the biggest challenges of early parenthood. To help you navigate this often difficult task, Disney Baby has put together a list of bedtime do’s and don’ts – because when your baby gets a good night’s sleep, the whole house is happier!
There are some common mistakes that parents make when it comes to soothing baby to sleep. When it is time to put your little one down for a rest:
DON’T: Extend night-time feeding
As long as they are healthy, babies stop requiring night feeds somewhere between 4 and 6 months. Continuing late-night feedings beyond this age makes it difficult for babies to learn to pacify themselves and to get back to sleep all on their own.
DON’T: Rely on rocking
While gentle rocking can be very soothing for your baby, try not to rely on rocking to send them off to the land of nod. Babies can quickly become reliant on motion, and may soon find it difficult to get to sleep without it. Of course a little drive or a walk around with mom and dad is sometimes necessary, but try not to make it a part of your regular routine.
DON’T: Change your schedule
Stick to your guns! Teaching your little one good sleep habits is hard (and exhausting!), but you’ll be much more successful if baby knows what’s in store. A bedtime routine is important for both of you – whether it’s a warm bath and a snuggle (try this inflatable tub for a quick, safe splash), or a song and a story, it’s easier for both of you to transition if you know what to expect.
Fortunately, there are some easy steps you can take to make bedtime a little easier:
DO: Set the mood
Like you, your baby needs a peaceful and relaxing place to sleep. Dim the lights to establish a calm environment, and try to create some soothing background noise. Many babies find the hum of a fan calming and sound-making toys like this Simba Dreamy Sounds Soother can also help comfort baby to sleep. This Mickey Mouse SoftPal Night Light is another great way to provide safety and comfort, and is especially useful for late-night check-ins.
DO: Tuck them in
When babies are very small, swaddling is a great way to calm them down, making them feel safe and secure. Plus, it helps to ensure that they won’t be disturbed during sleep by their startle-reflex. If your little ones are slightly older, trying giving them a cozy blanket, like this Winnie the Pooh one. It will keep them warm and cozy, and also give them a way to soothe themselves.
DO: Tell a tale
Reading to your baby before bed is great for so many reasons: it creates some quiet time to cuddle and bond, and helps relax your little one after a day of excitement. What’s more, hearing you read every night exposes your baby to new words, which can only be good news as he continues to grow and learn. Disney Baby has a great selection of stories to help you out, including this adorable book of nursery rhymes.
Disney Baby will be hosting a month-long Magical Moments photo contest in partnership with Today’s Parent. The contest is open until October 19th, so get your entry in today! There are some amazing prizes to be won, including a $500 Target gift card!
To enter, simply visit the contest page and follow the three step process:
- Upload a photo of you and your baby showing your Disney spirit
- Enter your contact information
Also, I am giving away a $65 prize pack from Disney Baby! This adorable pack includes everything listed below. Personally, I am completely in love with the Sulley night light. It is so soft and innovative. Lilly absolutely adores hers.
- A Monster’s Inc. SoftPal night light, featuring the lovely Sulley
- A set of Minnie Mouse orthodontic bottles
- A Minnie Mouse learner cup (for ages 6+)
- A set of Minnie Mouse natural shape orthodontic pacifiers