Get your baby to sleep – expert advice and giveaway from Jo Tantum

Today’s guest post is from Jo Tantum, one of the UK’s leading baby sleep specialists. Jo has a maternity nurse background and over 24 years of experience of getting little ones to sleep without distress. Jo is a regular speaker at the Baby Show Live and a guest expert on Channel 5’s Live with Gabby. Together with her best-selling book Baby Secrets available on www.babysecretsltd.com and Prima Baby Magazine column she has helped thousands of parents worldwide.

Babies need sleep, so that their developing brains can process everything they have learnt during the day. Getting your baby to sleep through the night is every first time parents biggest concern. So here is my special ‘Seven Secrets’ guide to getting it right:-

Follow a bedtime ritual consistently every night. Babies and toddlers relish routine and ritual, they like to know what’s coming next which provides certainty.

Treat every hour between 7pm & 7am as night time which means darkness, calm and quiet voices. Take your baby into the nursery and add a few drops of calming Sleepytime Room Aroma into a bowl of warm water. Ensuring bath water is tepid use Sleepytime Hair & Body Wash to gently cleanse your baby. Follow this by wrapping your baby in a super soft Cuddledry towel, gently pat dry and enjoy bonding whilst massaging baby with Sleepytime Organic Massage Oil. Dress your baby in a soft comfortable grow and a sleeping bag dependant on temperature. After a nice story give your baby the last feed of the day in his nursery. Wind, lay him down, pat gently, say night night quietly and come out of the room.

Try not to let your baby fall asleep in your arms or while feeding in the day time – always lay your baby down awake. The exception is at 7pm and night time feeds when it’s unavoidable as baby is so sleepy so don’t worry.

Use ‘Spaced Soothing’ to calm baby and reassure him that you are there for him without having to pick him up. ‘Spaced Soothing’ techniques are explained fully in the Baby Secrets book.

Don’t rush to your baby at every sound – many of the noises a baby makes are his attempts to fall asleep.

Give your baby a late-night feed or ‘dream feed’ at the same time every night even if you have to wake him to do so. Continue until he is ready to sleep through the night.

Set a base time for his middle of the night feed and never feed before it: stretch that time gradually until your baby sleeps through the night.

Finally, teaching your baby to have good naptimes is also a key to sleeping well at night. A baby who is overtired when they go to bed is only going to nap and not go into a lovely refreshing deep sleep.

My website www.babysecretsltd.com is packed full of useful sleep hints and tips plus great products for parents and babies. For one to one advice my e-mail and telephone packages offer great support. I’m also exclusively giving advice to my newsletter members every month, to sign up click – ‘monthly tips’.  I’d love to hear how you get on with the seven secrets, so why not drop me your story on twitter @jotantum and one lucky winner will be selected to receive a signed copy of my Baby Secrets book.

Jo has very kindly given us two of her fab sleepytime gift sets to give away. To be in with a chance to win one, simply leave a comment on this post before 14th March, telling us your top sleep tips – what helped your baby get a good night’s sleep?

Good luck!

22 comments

  1. Nicola’s avatar

    I found feeding baby in a dark room with just a night light a great tip i know sounds so silly now but a month ago i wasnt doing this and now bottle sleep bed perfect xx now if only he would sleep through for me would be great lol x

  2. renata’s avatar

    My little Isabella loves when I hold her hand and gently stroke her hair, she then slowly and calmly drifts off to sleep with thought- that her mummy is just next to her, making her feel safe… :) xxx

  3. Katie Vyktoriah (SnuggleBubby)’s avatar

    I only wish I had a top sleep tip! My little man is now over a year old and has never slept through the night! :( Could really use some help!

  4. Gill Mitchell’s avatar

    Good bedtime routine and keeping everything calm and quiet works for us. And having some quiet music playing initially, twinkle twinkle works wonders! X

  5. Alex Boyce’s avatar

    Having the same bedtime routine every night…bath, bottle, bed :)

  6. Pauline’s avatar

    having bathtime then story time, then mobile toy playing and my little one always went fast a sleep

  7. Gemma D’s avatar

    Luckily I have got a good sleeper but we also have a good routine of bath, bottle, music etc… :-)

  8. Hannah Irish’s avatar

    I would really appreciate this as my little one is awful at going to sleep. Have tried bath time, story, winding down but nothing seems to work!

  9. Lia P’s avatar

    For us it is a puzzle (book) and a little song…and then a little hug with the favourite teddy

  10. Claire Nealon’s avatar

    We have recently, on Jo’s advice, started to be disciplined with day naps. This has meant our little one has started to sleep a lot better – going from 6.30am to 6.00am. Of course, would love this to be 7 until 7 but I believe it will come in time!

  11. Louise’s avatar

    Bringing him into our bed, we have all slept a lot better since.

  12. Katharine Yates’s avatar

    No doubt about it. ROutine. Routine. Routine…. day and night. Some babies are sleepers and others aren’t so although one can advise, different things work for different bubs and some don’t work at all let’s not kid ourselves here :) But persistence is key!

  13. katie walters’s avatar

    i found winding down about an hour before bed, so quiet time, no tv or toys, then a bath and a story in bed works well

  14. lucy r’s avatar

    For me, I taught my little boy (16 months old) that his ‘friends’ (ie cuddly toys) were going to sleep too – it helps calm him down and gives him company in the night. I’m not very good at strict routine but he sleeps through fine though sometimes one of his friends gets stuck underneath him if he turns over and he gets a bit annoyed, but it definitely helps having them in with him. He even gives them kisses good night!

  15. Gemma D’s avatar

    Regular routine – bath time fun, PJ’s, Milk, Music and bed :-)

  16. Natalie Plant’s avatar

    Putting him in his own bedroom! Turns out we were all disturbing each other in the night.

  17. Sarah Worton’s avatar

    As with alot of people that have also commented I believe a strong routine to suit your family really works!! Also as hard as it is let them go to sleep on their own and not fuss over them unless their ill and then a little tlc never hurts xx

  18. Sarah Bull’s avatar

    My 5 mth old likes to stretch out so making sure any toys aren’t in the way is important. My 3 yr old likes a story, milk, squeezy bear hug and kiss, then his night light goes on and he lays down. They sleep in the same room and so far no problems, but I a m expecting them in the next few months when they gang up against me, not wanting to go to sleep!

  19. julia’s avatar

    We use a star that plays lullabys and projects images onto the ceiling, our 10 month old son has always loved it and now looks for it when we put him to bed x

  20. Sion Williams’s avatar

    Sticking to the same routine really helped, Bath, bottle and a story before bed – as well as keeping everything nice and calm so no telly on and the lights on low. now the only problem we have is getting him to sleep right through!!
    Thanks for the chance to win!

  21. Tania watkins’s avatar

    I brought an autofade touch light which gives a very faint glow so I can Tap it on and off when I need to feed during the night. I also refused to get up for feeds and now feed in bed. Baby sleeps much better!!

  22. kath v’s avatar

    I have found keeping the room dark with just a nightlight has helped my second daughter to sleep better

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