“I’m after some advice on how to get my baby to sleep longer than 45 minutes during the day. it seems to be a common topic with many mummies and i wondered whether you had already blogged this and if so if you could point me in the right direction to find it. Alternatively if you havent, do you think you would be able to provide us new mummies with some helpful tips.”
Sometimes babies don’t need to resettle. Simple as that. If your baby is happy and bright eyed after 45 minutes, get him up and play.
Set a time limit
If you feel your baby needs resettling, set a time limit (say 5 or 10 minutes) and cuddle , pat or breastfeed to help him go back to sleep. If he isn’t relaxing and going back to sleep by then, get him up. Otherwise you could find yourself constantly trying for longer to resettle your baby than he will go back to sleep for anyway.
Many babies will sleep longer in a wrap or carrier – you can jiggle a bit and help your baby resettle if he stirs and you feel he needs a bit more sleep.
Pre-empt the waking
Another thing you might like to try is to go in and watch your baby before the 45 minute mark then, as he stirs into lighter sleep (before he wakes), put your hand on him firmly and gently rock him (or pat if he likes this) through into the next sleep cycle.
A new and helpful product is the sleep rumbler, a specially designed mat that you can roll your pram over. It works really well to settle babies, especially if it’s too cold to go out. Or you could try laying down an extension cord on the floor and pushing your pram backwards and forwards over this – or over a bump between carpet and floorboards. Pop baby to sleep in the pram, then as they stir at the 45 minute mark, push the pram and help baby resettle.
Introduce ‘sleepy’ music
By playing music at every sleeptime as you assist your baby to settle, he will become conditioned to his ‘sleepy music’. If you put the music on a low volume on continuous play as baby sleeps, once he is used to the music (this will take around 7 to 10 days), when he stirs between sleep cycles, he will be comforted by the familiar music and resettle to his ‘sleepy music’. I recommend Music For Dreaming – this beautiful music is is all in the 3/4 rhythm, the natural rhythm of the resting heart (which your baby heard in the womb); there are no gaps between tracks and because the music gently flows your baby won’t be ‘aroused’ as tempo changes from one track to another.
Pinky McKay is an IBCLC Lactation Consultant and best selling baby care author. For Gentle strategies to help your baby (and you) sleep soundly, check out Pinky’s book Sleeping Like a Baby.