What’s your advice on getting rid of the dummy for a 7-month old? My…
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 and will quickly learn to self-soothe.
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.
Include these elements in your sleep routine to help your baby sleep deeply and confidently, whether at night or during the day.
Use one even for daytime naps. Sleep sacks become holistic sleep cues. Just the action of changing into her sleep sack signals sleep to your baby.
The same book forever at every bedtime. My two favourite sleep cue books are Sweet Dreams, Peter! and Goodnight Moon. They both tell a lovely story, and will serve you well right through to preschool. You can add books as your baby becomes a toddler – just make sure you always read your sleep cue book last, just before “goodnight”. Once it’s an established sleep cue, you will literally see older babies begin rubbing their eyes when you pick up your sleep cue book.
That anyone can sing. A calm lullaby that talks of sleep. I have a great one to share. Check out Ra Ra’s famous sleepytime song here.
… made of quality breathable fabric.
Note that a comforter should not be left inside the actual sleep space before 6 months. Begin establishing baby’s relationship with her comforter much sooner.
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 bub as you cuddle and calm her for rest. Do this at every nap and bedtime.
Then put the comforter to the side, out of reach, and ideally within eyesight until she is 6 months old. When she reaches 6 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. We have some adorable comforters in the Raquel Tara online store.
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 a dummy or pacifier to help your baby sleep? Read my thoughts on why you should lose the dummy for better baby sleep.
Infant sleep is major parenting puzzle. Inspired by Magda Gerber’s RIE approach, I’ve been advising families for over 20 years on how to put the pieces together. I’d love to help you too.