How to get your baby to sleep

Jo's top tips for settling your baby (2-12 months)

Nadia Shireen's bedtime illustration

Your baby may start sleeping through the night sometime during this period. This will happen when they start eating solids - most likely around 4-6 months onwards. Or, at least, they'll certainly be sleeping for longer periods and waking less in the night. Here are some tips that will show you how to get your baby to sleep:

  • Shut the blinds or curtains like you would at night time.
  • Put them in loose attire so they are comfortable to sleep.
  • Make sure they have their familiar blankies and cuddly companion they are used to when sleeping.

Bath

A good bedtime routine consists of regular and calming activities for your baby. Babies may find baths very relaxing and this can help your child before you put them to bed.

Before you bathe your baby you could place a scented candle in the bathroom so the calming scents are present during their bath. Remove the candle before bathtime and place your child's bedclothes on a warm radiator, if it's cold. Your baby will be nice and snuggly once they're dressed for bed.

Singing rhymes and lullabies with your baby in the bath will help too. Hearing rhyming words will help them later when they learn to read. Favourites like 'Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star' will soothe your baby ahead of bed.

Once you've finished in the bath gently dry your baby and rub their skin in a soothing, calming rhythm with some moisturising cream or natural oil.

Book

Jo Frost quote - sharing a story

As part of a bedtime routine your baby will love to cuddle and hear your voice. They will know that it's time to wind down ready for sleep.

Bright and touchy-feely books with different feels and colours work well. At this stage babies enjoy playing with their books - encourage them to touch the book as you read.

Follow on from rhymes in the bath by choosing books with rhythm and repetition. Say the words a little more slowly than you usually talk to help your baby hear the sounds you're making.

We have some perfect choices in our Best Bedtime Books list. Or read your baby's favourite books over and over again. Try to use funny voices and make silly noises.

Bed

Baby sleeping

Put your baby to bed at the same time every night. You should do this even if you know they're going to get up in the night. You're setting a routine that will help make regular bedtimes easier for yourself in the future.

Make sure your little ones are getting enough fresh air each day. A trip to the shops or the library is easy to fit into the day's routine.

Think about exercise too - is your baby sitting in a chair all day? Try to make sure they get lots of mat time/crawling time - or even soft play once they're a bit older. It'll tire them out and it's also really important for their development.

Daytime sleep is also important. Ironically, children who are overtired often find it hard to sleep well at night. Daytime naps will help a lot - if they're well rested, they won't be super charged with adrenaline. Bedtime should  become much easier for everyone.

BBB booklet

Advice from Jo Frost and Daddy Pig

More Bath, Book, Bed tips and tricks

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Get advice on getting your toddler settled at night to make sure they're getting enough sleep.

Best bedtime books

Our recommended good night stories

Discover our specially selected list of perfect reads for the Bath, Book, Bed routine.

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