Helen: When we returned home from hospital we started bed sharing with our little girl to help her feel more settled and sleep better.
When she struggled and fought naps during the day, I would pop her in the sling and walk around with her, and she would fall asleep straight away: all snuggled up and feeling safe next to me.
We transferred her to her own bed full time around the 5 month mark, when she started moving a lot more in her sleep and needed the space. She still stayed in our bedroom until she was 10 months before we moved her in to her own room.
From when she born, we followed her cues and needs, and created a bedtime routine around what she needed and what she wanted. We still follow the same routine today.
We start by having a bath, followed by a gentle massage with nursery rhymes as we do.
As we get dressed for the night, we talk in soft tones and have a low night light too.
We read three books, and then we always end on the same book where we say good night to main character.
When I was breastfeeding I would nurse her to sleep, but she stopped wanting to nurse to sleep around 11 months. She would still feed, but it wouldn’t send her off to sleep, so we started laying her down awake and with her cuddly toy. We would turn the lights off and I would rest my hand on her back until she fell asleep.
Now (15 months), we follow the routine, and when she goes in her bed she blows me a kiss and I simply say ‘good night, I love you, have a good sleep’ and I turn off the light and leave the room. She rolls over and goes to sleep by herself.
I wait outside until she falls asleep in case she needs me. If she does, or if she needs me in the night, I go in straight away and comfort her back to sleep.
By following her cues, responding to her when she needs us and offering love and comfort, we have created a happy, confident sleeper.
Thanks for reading! Helen (and baby Chloë)