Now that Edith is getting a bit older I’m trying to encourage her to sleep in her own bed a little bit more. It’s not easy, for either of us really, but she is getting there and so am I! She will now go down in her ‘big girl bed’ that is her cotbed, from around 6.30-7pm, and stay there (most nights) until her feed between 10-11pm. I’m subtly trying to encourage her to go back into the bed after that but to be frank with you I’m finding that she just doesn’t want to and the thought of getting up to her in the night when I can roll over and feed her, thanks to the Snüzpod, is just unwelcome to say the least. She is getting really good at going for daytime naps in her bed too, so it’s not a total loss and a bit at a time is my motto here, but I thought I’d share a few tips whilst I’m on this new phase that have helped me make the jump from the Snüzpod to her cotbed.
1.) It’s all about light
Look, you and I both know children and babies can sleep anywhere anytime, but once little ones get to around 6 months, they become a bit more sensitive to light, and if you are trying to put them to bed at 6/7pm during the summer, you might struggle if it’s really bright. You can use anything from a Gro Anywhere Blind to VELUX blinds or even a blackout curtain, but it is an essential part of helping to get baby into a sleeping routine – and really important for older kids too.
2.) A decent mattress with the same firmness as the one they have been used to helps
I’ve always maintained there are three baby products you can’t skimp on: your car seat, pushchair and mattress. Baby needs to be safe in the car, they will spend the better part of three years in the pushchair and you will have to push it, and their mattress needs to be free from dents, clean and good enough to last AT LEAST 5 years. With keeping it a similar firmness you are just helping make the transition smoother for baby, after all, we all like familiarity. We use The Little Green Sheep mattresses for Edith, they aren’t just natural fibres but firm and perfect for protecting her from dangerous dents or uncomfortable popped springs as she grows.
3.) Soothing sounds and smells
Edie likes smells, she’s like me. She also likes the sounds of running water and has been known to drop off in the shower, just because she’s warm and being held whilst hearing the water. I always put something like a Muslin square in her bed, one that I have been using for a few days that smells of me, and I also spray the room with sleep spray… Partly because I like the smell too and it beats room freshener. If your little one likes soothing sounds why not look into a sounds teddy or mobile, just something to help them relax – most monitors do this too nowadays. If they are like Edith and prefer silence, think about where their room is and keep quiet below and around it… No surround sound it its about the living room.
4.) Know your baby’s temperature preference but stay safe
Edith is just like me, she needs to be toasty warm or she isn’t happy. Problem is, babies can over heat really easily. It doesn’t matter if your baby likes to be warm, check your temperature and keep the room warm instead of piling on lots of blankets. Your room shouldn’t be hotter than 21C and 18C is optimum. I use sleep bags with Edith sometimes, that way she can’t kick off the covers and stays warmer.
5.) Finally, go with it.
Baby steps are the best way to do this. Don’t start thinking that because baby is X amount of months they HAVE to be in their own room. Nothing will change if they aren’t, go with the flow and do what works for you. At the moment, I’m quite happy for Edith to come into bed with me at 10/11pm (or rather, next to me in her Snüzpod) by pushing her to stay longer I might run the risk of her seeing her room as a place to dislike and I don’t want to do that. So go with the flow and progress over time, starting with day naps and working it up.
I hope that helps, I may well have some more tips as Edith gets better at staying in bed, who knows!