Helping Your Baby To Sleep – Out of the Moses into the Cot!
Making the transition from a Moses basket to a cot is rarely an easy process for you or your baby, but you can’t keep putting it off! Most babies start to outgrow the Moses at around 4-6 months (depending on their size) and will start to need more space to stretch and move without feeling constricted.
How to do it?
There is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way to help your baby make the move to a cot. Often it depends on your own circumstances, such as whether you are still breastfeeding, whether you have other children to consider, or how much space you have at home.
Gradual Process or Clean Break?
Some parents prefer to do things gradually, by starting their baby off in the cot in their bedroom for a few weeks until they become used to it. This can help minimise disturbance, as you are on hand to reassure your baby. On the other hand, you may feel that making a clean break will be more effective in the long-run – establishing your baby in a cot in their own room so that they can learn to sleep independently of you more quickly. If you take this route you may want to wait until you both have a week off work, as disturbed nights and wake-up calls are pretty much inevitable!
How you approach it is up to you – it’s important to do what works best for you and your baby, but here are some tips to help the process go a bit more smoothly:
Start with Naps
Familiarising your baby with the cot well in advance of you putting him/her in it at night will help ease the transition. An ideal way to do this would be to start putting him/her in the cot for daytime naps. Let your baby have positive associations with the cot by allowing him/her to play in it and have stories and songs in it too.
Choose a ‘special’ comfort blanket for your baby from the Asda George’s baby blankets range, and make sure it always carries your natural scent. Babies have an acute sense of smell and having a special blanket in the cot with them, which they can associate with their Mum, will be a big comfort and reassurance.
Make it Welcoming
A cot will seem cavernous to your baby at first, and its open bars will feel strange after the closed sides of the Moses, so make the cot feel soft and welcoming with a cheerful cot bumper and some favourite soft toys. Cot mobiles are great too, especially those with movement and sounds which can help soothe your baby to sleep.
Be Gentle but Firm
Try not to succumb to your baby’s every cry and whimper. However hard it is to hear their distress they won’t learn to self settle if you’re at their beck and call all night. Leave it a minute or two before tending to your baby and extend the time between each visit. When you do go back to baby soothe him/her but keep contact to a minimum. Eventually s/he will learn that s/he won’t be rewarded each time s/he cries and will begin to realise that surrendering to a good night’s sleep isn’t such a bad option after all (for any of you!)
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