1. Create a sleep zone and stick to it

This may be in your room for the first six weeks, or in their own room. It doesn’t matter where it is, as long as it is a ‘zone’ where sleep happens – they will learn to recognise it as such.

2. At sleep time, put your baby to bed

Try to avoid letting them fall asleep wherever you may be at sleep time, such as on the couch, in your arms or in the car. Obviously there will be times where your baby will fall asleep out of their bed, but try not to make it the norm.

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3. Watch awake times

It is the time spent awake between sleeps that drives your babies tosleep. This is absolutely vital to ensure healthy sleep habits. Follow the guidelines of “awake times” and allow your baby/child to fall asleep then. Don’t wait until they show signs of over tiredness before trying to put them to sleep.

0-2 weeks

40 minutes

2-6 weeks

60 minutes

6-12 weeks

1 hr. – 1 hr. 20 min

3-6 months

1 hr. 30 min

6-9 months

2 hrs.

9-12 months

2 hrs. 30 min

1-2 years

3 hrs. – 3 hrs. 30 min

2-3 years

4-5 hrs.

3-5 years

5-7 hrs.

4. Put your baby to bed ‘awake, but drowsy’

Watch for her signals to indicate to you that she is getting tired (not is already tired!) These signals may be a simple sneeze or a hand on her face. Also listen to the ‘Owh’ sound – implementing the Dunstan Baby Language to confirm tiredness.

5. Modulate the environment to promote sleep

Switch off loud, jarring music or sounds such as a lawnmower at sleep time. For day sleeps, allow some natural light in, and at night dim lights. If you are out and about, cover the pram with a cotton blanket to block out sunlight and noise.

Use white noise to dull the environmental noise and to help your child to move to the deep sleep phase and stay there for longer.

For more baby sleep tips, click through to the next page…