Tips: Under 12 Months
Guidelines and advice for children under 12 months of age
Based on my knowledge and experience, I would advise against any strict sleep training for children under 12 months of age.
During the first 12 months of life, your baby is developing so rapidly and so many things change. They also are building their little immune systems, therefore, will usually have more illnesses in the first 12 months.
NO sleep training should be implemented when your child is poorly.
Cutting teeth also is most prevalent during the first 12 months so understandably this will impact on the child's sleep.
It is important to build those strong attachments that will, later on, help when implementing sleep training methods. I did not sleep train my son until he was 13 months!
Things that you can do that will help in preparation for sleep training if you want to when they are 12 months or older. This is your choice.
Daylight exposure can help to start working the circadian rhythm which is what structures our sleep. Having a regular time that you open the curtains to let daylight in. Dimming the lights during nap times. This will help your child to regulate day and night. Something they have not yet had the opportunity to do as they have lived in a lovely dark and warm womb previous to being born.
You can start to implement a little routine at bedtime, try something like dimming the lights, playing the same music each night and a bath before bedtime. This will start to help your child develop some sleep associations which will help when you come to sleep train.
At this point, you can start implementing a more robust routine keeping it the same each night. Try quiet time the hour before going to bed...
Self-settling would be encouraged, but again no formal sleep training.
Try laying your child down for a nap in their cot/crib.
Remember to try not to get too stressed during this time, which can be really difficult when you are feeling very sleep deprived. The main thing is that you try to rest when your baby rests.
The first 4 hours of sleep are the most crucial in terms of how you feel, If you are able to get this is one block it will help with the lack of sleep. so could someone else take over a feed so you are able to get this?
These are just tips for you to try, the full digital pack will contain lots of informative advise on what to do when your child reaches 12 months, that will teach your child how to sleep and lead to a well-rested household.
Not long to go!