All Things Baby

Safe Sleep & Bathtime

A consistent night-time routine is essential in promoting quality sleep for your little one, which is vital for their physical and mental development as they grow. Here, we’ve put together the ultimate guide to the perfect bath time and sleep routine for your little one.

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Your Sleep and Bathtime Guide...

One of the most challenging things to deal with as a new parent is lack of sleep. Young babies tend to have unpredictable sleep patterns, and getting them to sleep through the night can be a real struggle. This is where sleep training comes in! Sleep training is the process of teaching your baby to sleep through the night without waking up.

As you speak to friends and family about how sleep training went for them, you’ll soon realise that there are plenty of different sleep training methods out there, and different techniques work for different families.

Every baby is unique, and what works for one may not work for another. Some sleep training methods include controlled crying, the pick-up, put-down method, the gradual retreat, and the no-tears method. For more advice on each technique, see our article on sleep training hacks.

Some parents start sleep training when their little one is only a few months old, while others prefer to wait until their baby is closer to the 6-month mark and tie it in with weaning. There is no right or wrong answer regarding sleep training, but there are some key factors to consider when deciding when to start.

The NHS acknowledges that some babies might be ready to get into a sleep routine from around 3 months, but most experts recommend that sleep training between 4 and 6 months is most likely to be successful.

Still, it’s always important to consider your baby's temperament. Some babies are naturally good sleepers and may not need much assistance to develop healthy sleep habits. Others may be more challenging and require more guidance and support. If you're unsure whether it's the right time to start sleep training, speaking with your GP, midwife, or a sleep specialist for guidance may be helpful.

The safest place for your baby to sleep is in their own cot or Moses basket. Still, some parents find themselves co-sleeping or bed-sharing with their little one. If you choose to co-sleep, it’s important to do so as safely as possible.

The Lullaby Trust recently shared some important guidance on how to co-sleep with your baby most safely, and scenarios in which you should avoid co-sleeping.

A big part of safe sleep is dressing them appropriately for the night-time environment and ensuring that your baby's sleepwear is the right material and warmth for the season and temperature is important.

In general, it's recommended that babies sleep in a room that is between 16°C to 20°C where possible. In cooler temperatures and winter months, choose heavier fabrics and layer up, while in warmer weather, opt for lightweight, breathable materials.

As your baby grows, you can transition to sleepwear that doesn't cover their feet, such as a sleep sack or wearable blanket. These types of sleepwear can be a safer option than loose blankets, which can pose a suffocation risk. Be sure to choose a sleep sack that fits your baby properly and is appropriate for their age and weight!

For a complete guide, see our article on what your baby should wear while sleeping.