More than half (59 percent) of Canadian caregivers struggle to get their baby to sleep, according to the JOHNSON'S Baby Sleep Survey.
The poll of Canadians who have involvement in the bedtime routine of a child zero to three years shows that, while some resort to desperate measures such as bribes, television and even long car rides to get baby to drift off, most stick with tried and true bedtime routines such as stories, singing and baths.
"How well, and how much a baby sleeps can play a big part in the experience of parenthood throughout the early months and years," says Margaret Wallis, registered massage therapist, internationally certified infant massage instructor and owner of The Wallis & Associates Wellness Clinic. "Parents need to create bedtime routines that get baby to sleep, but also that they, as parents, can live with – now and months, even years, from now."
To help parents get their kids to sleep, JOHNSON'S suggests the following tips:
- Learn your baby's signs of being sleepy.
- Set a regular sleep and nap schedule.
- Provide soothing surroundings in a bedroom that is cool, dark and quiet.
- Even for newborns (zero to two months) it's crucial to develop a bedtime routine, such as bathing and massage, which ends in the room where the baby sleeps.
- Put your baby to bed drowsy but awake, to help him or her learn to self-soothe.
- For toddlers (one to three years) set clear limits (e.g., number of books read) if your child stalls at bedtime.