Happy days equals sleepy nights

By Emma Lovell, Fly Babee

The arrival of your first child is not always as perfect as we expect. The lack of sleep can often leave us all in an absolute mess. Here Emma Lovell of Fly Babee, discusses the importance of making your child laugh, helping them feel secure and setting up an all-important sleep routine that will help the whole family get the sleep they need.

Finally – you fell pregnant, finally you get to plan for the awesome journey known as parenting. The news makes us spring into action planning nurseries, shopping for prams and madly doing research on how to be the best parent we can be. Sadly, for many mums, the arrival of baby is not all fun. Very often the lack of sleep for both baby and mum affects the mood of everyone in the household and leaves everyone feeling desperate and anxious.

In order to help prevent this from happening it’s recommended that a good settling routine is set up for your baby right from the start of your parenting journey. One of the ingredients to making your child happy is to ensure they get lots of quality time with you. Laughter and play feeds everyone’s mind, body and soul and it’s incredibly important during the first few years of life. However, sleep is also one of the most important key ingredients to a happy baby. A good bedtime routine is essential and it gives you as a parent the opportunity to display your love and assurance to them on a daily basis.

Nap times and bed time is often the best time of day to get that essential quality time with your little one. Phone calls, text messages, social media, work commitments and household chores are the worst thieves of our time… they steal away precious moments of our time with our kids…. Learn to put it all away and resist. That stuff will always be there, but sadly our babies won’t. It’s so important that we focus on our children to help with their development and sleep is integral to that.

Here are 5 tips to help you and your child have better sleep:

  1. Ensure baby doesn't get over-tired throughout the day. Don’t miss tired signs – day naps are so important in the first two years
  2. At bedtime, don’t use electronic devices. Scientists have proven that electronic devices can trick your brain in to thinking it’s day time and thus stop us from switching off. The bright lights of the screen affects our natural melatonin production and circadian rhythm which prevents us from winding down. So make sure you use good old fashioned books when reading to your loved one
  3. At the end of the day, give your little one lots of compliments. This is the time when we can help them believe in themselves and help them gain confidence for their life ahead. Your soothing tones will also start helping them to wind down
  4. Don’t miss their sleep window and allow a second wind to hit. Children thrive on routine so if you can make every night the same – they learn to know what’s coming and what’s expected of them
  5. Bath, teeth, story, cuddles and lullaby has been a trusted routine in our house for both my children and even now my six year old will say them out loud once it’s time to hit the hay! I often get complimented on how easily my children go to bed…. It’s not always been easy… but lots of hugs, reassurance, love, kisses, routine and consistency will help you get there over time

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Note: The views and advice expressed on this blog post are those of the author and are not representative of the Pregnancy Babies & Children's Expo.

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