Baby Sleep Essentials

The Sleepy Time Essentials; 4 Must Haves To Help Your Baby Sleep

If you’re experiencing difficulty getting your baby to sleep, think about the routine you’ve established at sleep time.

Are you consistent – is it the same routine each time? Once your baby can predict the sleep time sequence, she will be comfortable with the process which will help her ‘relax and let sleep come’.

One of the most helpful things you can do to help your baby sleep is to include sleep cues with your bedtime routine. Sleep cues signify to your baby that rest time is about to begin. Once her sleep sequence is triggered by the cue, she’ll enter bedtime mode automatically.

These are the 4 Baby Sleep Consultant ‘must haves’ for all baby sleep routines

Include these 4 elements in your sleep routine to help your baby sleep deeply and confidently, whether at night or during the day.

1. A sleeping sack

Remember to use it for daytime naps too. Sleep sacks become holistic sleep cues. Just the action of changing into her sleep sack signals sleep to your baby.

Which sleep sacks. I love Woolino first and foremost because of they provide freedom of movement which encourages the integration of reflexes sooner. Merino wool works for your baby like it works for the sheep – it is temperature regulating, moisture wicking, hypoallergenic, silky soft, and exceptionally breathable.

They also have adjustable buttons so you can change the size as your infant grows. They are of high quality & excellent value for money.

Buy Woolino with HERE

Use discount code RAQTARA10 

2. A bedtime book

The same book forever at every bedtime. My two favourite sleep cue books are Sweet Dreams, Peter! and Goodnight Moon. Make sure you buy the board book option. They both tell a lovely story, and will serve you well right through to preschool. You can add books as your baby grows  – just make sure you always read your sleep cue book last, just before the last step below – the lullaby. Once it’s an established sleep cue, you will literally see many babies begin rubbing their eyes when you pick up your sleep cue book.

3. A brief lullaby you can sing.

And that anyone can sing. A calm lullaby that talks of sleep. Always the same one. And use a sleep phrase from this lullaby for resettles. I teach a very special lullaby to all of my clients called the ‘Sleepy Time Song’. It’s easy, soothing – and you can use the main chorus ‘Sleepy time, my love – sleepy time’ as your sleep phrase for resettles. By singing the same words as your baby heard as you said goodnight – it so much easier for her to settle back to sleep. You can listen to my updated version of the ‘Sleepy Time Song’ HERE

4. Introduce a comforter.

Ensure it is made of 100% cotton quality breathable fabric. Be careful as most have polyester in them – make sure you check the materials.

Always buy two identical ones – you’ll need a back up! Avoid the fancy battery operated ones! Look for comforters made of natural fibres and machine washable. I have been recommending the brand Cuski since my early days as a maternity nanny in the UK over 20 years ago. You can buy the Cuski bamboo cotton Cuskiboo HERE

How to introduce a comforter to your baby

Note a comforter should not be left inside the actual sleep space before 7 months. Begin establishing baby’s relationship with her comforter much sooner, and ideally from birth.

When you get one, get two identical ones – so you have a spare. Before introducing your baby to her comforter, leave them in your bed for a week so they smell like you. Place it in between you and baby as you cuddle and go through the bedtime routine. Do this at every nap and bedtime. Before long (around 30 days) the above items become your sleepy time essentials, essential sleep cues, that help your baby learn to relax, anticipating sleepy time. 

Then put the comforter to the side, out of reach, and ideally within eyesight until she is 7 months old. When she reaches 7 months, offer it to her at bedtime to cuddle as she falls asleep. She will already have a positive association with her comforter by this stage. This continuous buddy that smells of you becomes a healthy, predictable, sustainable sleep cue. 

How to use sleep cues for baby sleep

Go through your normal feeding and bathing routine, eg feed, bath/shower, top-up feed. Showers and baths should be quiet, relaxed times.

Calmly tell her invitingly what is happening, and what will happen next.  “You seem to be enjoying this relaxing bath, after bath, I will put you in your pjs and read you a story. After that you will be able to enjoy a lovely night of rest”. 

Talking to our babies calms us and them. There is nothing more soothing and reassuring to your child than the familiar sound of your voice.

Once baby is settled in her sleep sack, read her sleep time story just before you put her in her sleep space. If she has a comforter, offer it to cuddle while you read.

Say goodnight, then end with your lullaby.

Are you using my awake times guide. having a rough idea on when to put your baby down to sleep can take some much guess work out of  a dummy or pacifier to help your baby sleep? Read my thoughts on why you should lose the dummy for better baby sleep. 

About Raquel Tara – Baby Sleep Consultant 

I’m a RIE (Resources for Infant Educarers) Facilitator and a Gottman Institute qualified Bringing Baby Home Educator.

I have just uploaded an 11 part series teaching parents to respectfully and responsively sleep train. I developed this method during the 20 years of working with new parents.  

Need 1:1 support? 

Most parents find these transitions far more achievable with 1:1 coaching from an expert. And they need some baby sleep support to help them get through the first few days and weeks. The kind of coaching I offer on my 1:1 baby sleep support program is effective because it’s very intensive. It includes ‘In App’ support audio/video/text support and coaching all day every day for 14 days. It also offers a great deal of pre-program resources, pre-consultation analysis of your individual situation, a customised sleep plan, and a 60 minute video consultation on Zoom, as well as ‘In App’ standby support the first evening until your baby is asleep, and this support continues for at least 14 days. 


A lot of my clients have reported that the level of support I provide gives them the feeling of me being right there by their side, in their home with them, every step of the way. That’s a lot of support! And for some parents it can mean the difference between success and failure. If you think about it from the perspective of starting a new exercise regime – no matter what your level of fitness, nothing compares to having a personal trainer to ensure you do your exercises and to help you stay focussed on your goals, and ensure you are following their program correctly. Having a baby sleep support coach is just like that. But instead of the health of fitness, your goal is the health of regular, quality sleep for you and your family. 

Having a baby sleep coach every step of the way means parents have someone to check in with, ask questions and support them to be accountable for the changes they have committed to seeing through. And because adults learn through repetition, having a baby sleep coach available during this oftentimes challenging transition also helps them better understand not just what to do, but why. Because sometimes baby sleep programs can feel a lot like following advice blindly. A good baby sleep coach will leave you feeling more confident and capable – which is exactly what I set out to do with each and every client I work with.