Little Routines, Gillian Stewart

Self Settling
Gillian Stewart, Thursday, April 04, 2019

How many times do you hear the words 'self settling'? What do they really mean when it comes to getting your baby to sleep?

We all need good quality sleep and that includes your baby too. Understanding your baby’s needs in the early days can be quite challenging.
It is very easy to miss your baby’s sleep cues and you can end up introducing sleep props which your baby then relies on to settle to sleep. However, as your baby gets older their sleep patterns change and all the little props, they and you have come to rely on, suddenly become unhelpful sleep associations that will prevent your baby from sleeping well.
Sleep props will stop your baby from using their own natural ability to fall asleep.
Babies need to be well fed, rested and settled to sleep when they are sleepy but not asleep. No little tricks or surprises. Babies need to know exactly where they are when they go to sleep.
Always give your baby time to settle to sleep without intervening. This can often mean a little crying. Try to take a step back and just listen, watch and wait. Give your baby time. Use a reassuring hand to calm your baby if necessary. Avoid rushing in and picking your baby up as this will only confuse them.

The best sleepers are the babies that have been taught to self settle on their own, with no sleep props.
Babies just need positive sleep associations and a consistent pattern so they can learn what to expect and what is expected of them.

Above all, trust your little one.