Getting baby settled on their own
The safest place for your baby to sleep is in their cot, crib or moses basket in your room with you for the first 6 months. If baby won't settle without you, try moving where they sleep next to your bed as this may reassure them that you are near. If you have a partner ask for their help, perhaps take it in turns to care for baby while the other sleeps.
There may be times when your baby remains unsettled. Placing your baby skin to skin with you and gently rocking can provide comfort.
Make sure you and your partner do not put yourselves in a position where you could fall asleep with your baby on a sofa or armchair.
The safest position for your baby to sleep in is on their back, even if baby doesn't like it, so keep trying. There may be other reasons behind them being uncomfortable in this position, for example if they have a cold. Your health visitor or GP will be able to advise you on ways you can help with this.
Don’t worry too much if your baby moves onto their side on their own. Once they are strong enough to roll off their back onto their front you are fine to leave them this way.
The ideal temperature for a baby’s room is between 16 - 20oC but if you can’t get the temperature exactly between these, don’t worry. Just make sure you dress baby in the appropriate sleep wear and remove or add layers of bedding dependant on whether the room is too hot or too cold.
Whether your baby is spending the night at grandparents or you are going away on your holidays it's still important to follow our six steps to safer sleep. There are also some other factors that you need to consider. These are:
- At home, your baby will probably sleep in the same cot or Moses basket every night. Before you go away, it's really important to plan ahead – will the place you are staying provide a travel or ordinary cot, or will you need to take one with you?
- If you are using a cot that's been provided, make sure you examine it for any hazards. Is the cot assembled correctly? Is it free from cot bumpers, toys and excess bedding?
- You should also make sure the cot is not positioned near anything that could be a hazard, such as blind cords that the baby could become entangled in, or near a window sill that things could fall off.
- Make sure your baby doesn’t get too hot. Check the weather conditions and forecast, check the heating settings and make sure your baby is dressed appropriately. Have you got the correct bedding for the temperature? The ideal temperature for your baby's room is between 16-20 degrees centigrade.
- If the baby is going to be sleeping in a separate room, will you be able to hear them or do you need to take baby monitors?
Tips from other parents
Sleepless nights and caring for a baby can be hard but getting the right information from health professionals and talking to other parents can help. Here are some ideas from people who know what you are going through:
"Even though I’m not the best singer, Thomas loves lullabies and I find they really help to settle him when he wakes in the night."
Andy and Thomas
"If Bella keeps me up in the night I make sure I nap during the day when she does, the cleaning can wait!"
Emma and Bella
"When I’m up feeding my baby in the night I put on a night light and read a magazine to help stop me from falling asleep."
Shaghafta and Muhammad Eesa
"When my grandson stays over for the night I make sure I stick to his routine; quiet time, bath, book and then into his cot in our room. Doing this means he (usually) goes to sleep just like he would at home."
Steve and William