Sleep Expert Jo Tantum shares the best bedtime routine for little ones during Lockdown

June 26, 2020Advice, How to, Information, Lifestyle, Parenting, Real life

Jo Tantum

Meet Jo Tantum, Purflo’s resident sleep expert! Paediatric Sleep Consultant Jo Tantum, a previous Purflo customer herself and Mum of 1, has been working with babies and parents across the globe for more than 30 years. Jo was a key speaker at ‘The Baby Show’ for 7 years and a Sleep Expert for Prima Baby Magazine for 8 years. She has also appeared on GMTV, Richard and Judy, ITN news and was the resident Sleep Expert on ‘Live With Gabby’.

Jo is a well-respected expert in the industry and has written for many parenting magazines such as Mother & Baby, Boots Parenting and Baby London, she is a Sleep Expert for Baby magazine and Annabel Karmel online. And has worked for many leading baby companies including Pampers, Mamas and Papas and John Lewis.

Sleep Routines-0-3 years

Once you’ve settling into life as a parent you start to think how you will get back into a routine. In fact, your baby is often already on a natural feeding and sleeping pattern. So how do things change through the first three years of your little one’s life? 

The First year

New-born babies sleep a lot usually around every one hour of wake time. They do not know the difference between night and day so will snooze all day and be awake ready to party at two am. You can start helping them with this in the first six weeks by;-

  • Making daytime -noisy- chat to them, have music on. Change their nappy before a feed.
  • Wake them at least every three hours for a feed so they do not miss a feed.
  • Night-time is – Calm and quiet.
  • Only change their nappy at night-time if they have got a dirty one. 
  • Let them sleep if they want to- unless they are low birth weight or premature and you have been told to by your midwife.

They will need a safe comfortable place to sleep day and night so try the Purflo baby bed that means your baby feels secure and not too exposed in a large crib. 

Bedtime routine 

You will find you want to start a bedtime routine as they get older, and you can start this whenever you feel comfortable. This really becomes important as they start to understand about going to bed and will know what happens next. 

This can be simple at the beginning; –

  • Quiet time – no tv or tinkly toys
  • Nappy off time – from six weeks
  • Bath or Top ‘n’tail 
  • Massage 
  • Into PJs  
  • Feed
  • Later on, a story can be added – around 3 months. 

I also always suggest having soothing sounds on whilst this is happening, like womb or waves. Or classical music like my CD -‘Sleep Baby Sleep’ with Classic FM . It really helps them get sleepy and relaxes you too. Make sure to check out the Purflo Portable Night Light also.

Triggers

At nap times and nights your baby will need to;-

  • Be swaddled with a light breathable fabric. This helps them feel safe and secure. Then at around 4-5 months old baby sleeping bags can be used.
  • Waves or white noise. This will help relax them. Help them settle themselves to sleep and reassure them as they heard lots of noises in the womb. 
  • Blackout- this gets more essential as your baby gets older and they need the sleepy hormone – melatonin – to help them drift into sleep. 

These are all triggers to help your baby anticipate they are going to sleep. 

Nap Times

As your baby gets older, they can stay awake for longer without getting grumpy and overtired. Once they are three months old, they can stay awake for around 90 minutes. Then at six months, this moves to two hours, by nine months around two hours 30 minutes.

Once your baby reaches one year, they can stay awake for around three hours. They will still need two naps though usually until around 15 months. 

Your baby will only have a 15-minute window of opportunity from then being tired to overtired. And once they are overtired that is when you usually have to help them get to sleep by rocking in your arms, feeding. Going out in the pram or the car seat. 

So, watch for their tired signs 

  • Rubbing eyes /ears
  • Getting grumpy
  • Short sharp cries
  • Staring into space
  • Yawning

1-2 years old

When you baby becomes a toddler, they will still be having a nap and should be sleeping through without a feed. In fact, if they wake in the night don’t give then a milk feed as this will mean they will wake up for it. And ,it will also mean that they won’t take enough calories in the daytime so will then get into the habit of meeting a feed in the night as they are hungry. 

At a year old your baby goes through a developmental phase as they are more physically active in the day and will practise their moves at night. Try not to react to this. If you see baby sitting or standing up in the cot just leave them and watch what they do. If they can’t get down then go in and gently lay them down again and leave the room. This is so they do not start the habit of standing up for attention. 

Naps 

  • One year- 2 naps a day – morning and after lunch. Total 2-3 hours. 
  • 15-17 months – 1 nap a day around 11am. Total 2-2.5 hours
  • Two years- 1 nap a day after lunch- have lunch about 11am. 

Age 2-3 years

This is when you will be thinking about transferring your little into a bed. If your toddler is happy in their cot and can’t climb out then leave then as long as possible in the cot where it’s safe. Then when they move to a bed you can use a cot side or have a bumper under the covers that help keep them from falling out. The Purflo Maxi baby nest is an amazing alternative to bed bars and keeps them snuggly and secure.

You may also find they will wake up in the early mornings as their body clock changes. Try not to engage in a conversation with them. Just use one sentence like -‘ it’s night time, back to sleep.’ Make sure you still have blackout and white noise.  Try a sleep trainer such as the Purflo Sleep training clock a great visual tool to help them differentiate day and night.

Naps 

  • 2-3 years old- 1 nap a day 1-2 hours. 

As they get older you need to reduce the amount, they sleep in the day so they will sleep at night. By 3 your little one will stop their naps. 

I hope that helps, you’ll find lots more information and advice over at www.purflo.com where you can ask any questions about your baby’s sleep.