Getting a good night’s sleep provides a host of health benefits for everyone, but it's often difficult to snooze for a solid eight hours with a newborn or young baby in the house. If you and your little one could do with a bit more time in bed, we can help.
In this guide, we'll run you through the best baby sleeping aids, how to get a baby to sleep through the night, and tips on how to keep them asleep for longer in the mornings.
The most effective baby sleeping aid is a comfortable, restful and safe environment to drift off in. This will help your baby develop positive associations with bedtime, and allow a smoother transition from day to night. Some parents prefer to co-sleep with their babies, and this is very much a matter of choice; but all couples will eventually want to have the sanctuary of their bed back for themselves – especially as little ones grow up into toddlers.
Start with the essentials: pair a high-quality cot with a well-fitted cot mattress. Next, you can build a cosy den from our selection of cot blankets and bedding sets. If you want to keep your baby close, put the cot next to your bed; when both of you are ready, you can move it to a room nearby.
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Slight noises – even soft footsteps – may wake your baby. Using a soothing tape recording or a white-noise MP3 will create a gentle hum that masks other unwanted sounds. If you make this part of your bedtime routine, it will become a cue for your little one to relax and fall asleep. Babies also often wake up when they wriggle out of their blankets and become cold, causing them to panic and cry out.
Avoid any shivers by tucking them up in one of our cosy and supportive baby sleeping bags. Many have arm and leg holes so as not to restrict movement, as well as handy zips to make midnight nappy changes a little bit easier. Baby sleeping bags come in various togs that are suitable for different times of the year – just like duvets. This allows you to switch to something heavier when the weather begins to cool, and create the perfect temperature to draw them into a slumber that lasts all night.
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The distinction between night and day might seem obvious to us, but babies come into this world with no perception of this. You are there to help them learn that nights – and associated darkness – are for sleeping (among many other things!). One way to help your growing baby grasp this concept, and to help you get a modest Sunday morning lie-in, is by installing black-out blinds in their bedroom or nursery. These are especially useful in summer when the sun rises early and sets late. With the pull of a blind, you can begin to transform your baby's sleeping patterns to align them with your own.
To help lull your baby to sleep, consider hanging up a mobile above their cot at bedtime. Watching the gentle movement will have a calming effect, encouraging them to settle down and eventually drift off. Filling your baby’s cot with familiar items that are pleasant to touch will also help make them feel content. Toys for newborns are a great option, as they won’t have any sharp edges or small parts that can come off and be swallowed.
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Creating a peaceful home environment in the evening is an essential part of helping your baby get to sleep. Start by turning off the television and any music after a designated time, and speaking only in lowered voices. You can also switch off high ceiling lights and use lower level lamps for a more relaxed atmosphere.
Start the routine with a soothing bath, and follow by wrapping your little one in a super-soft baby towel. Finish by dressing them in some snug pyjamas and reading them a bedtime story to support the transition into a restful slumber. If you build this routine into your baby’s bedtime from as early on as possible, it will help to ensure that going to sleep is a comforting experience for them.
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As your baby starts teething, helping them get to sleep (and stay asleep) can feel even more challenging for both of you. What you need is something to distract your little one from the discomfort of teeth pushing through. This is where dummies and teethers come in: tried and tested, they have long been a new mum's best friend.
Made from super-safe materials that are designed to withstand the most determined little gnashers, they relieve sensations associated with teething and will soon become your baby’s favourite sleeping aid. Ours come in various colourful designs, adding a touch of fun where it may be most needed. Anyone who has ever passed on tips for new mums will agree that dummies and teethers are top of the list when it comes to getting your baby to sleep during the teething stage.
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Following our simple tips will help your baby fall into the land of nod like clockwork – giving you some well-deserved rest of your own. Raising a newborn is no easy task, so remember to ask for support when you need it: communicating that you could use some help is the best way to make sure mum is as healthy and happy as baby.