It's such a wonderful thing becoming a parent, but it does also come with its challenges. Your body and lifestyle has to get used to a whole new routine that is centred on your baby, which can leave you feeling drained and exhausted from all those sleepless nights and constant feeding. All this is perfectly normal, but establishing some kind of routine is a great way to get your baby into good sleeping habits and also help him feel more settled overall.
Up to twelve weeks, babies can't regulate their sleep cycles so they may sleep for equal amounts during the day, but by twelve weeks most babies typically settle into longer sleep patterns, particularly at night.
Generally if a baby is well rested, it will tend to feel more settled in other situations throughout the day, so encourage positive sleep patterns is a good place to start.
From as early as six to eight weeks, it is a good idea to introduce a bedtime routine. It may be that your child isn't necessarily responsive at first, but it will soon become normal activity and signal it's time to go to sleep. Start by putting your baby to bed at a consistent time, make a bedtime story, cuddle or quiet game part of the routine before you put them down. Eventually this will mean your child will associate the routine with going to sleep.
A great way to settle your baby is with a bath. Using organic baby bath products and organic essential oils, like lavender and camomile, are known to sooth and help with sleeping too. By using organic products they will be less likely to affect their delicate baby skin too.
Many babies get distressed when the mother leaves the room, particularly at bed time, so it's a good idea to introduce a favourite comforter toy or blanket that they can snuggle with in the cot. Before you put your child to bed rub the item on your skin, so that it has the familiar scent of you, which will make them feel more relaxed.
To help your baby settle, it's important to recognise when they are tired and encourage them to self sooth their way to sleep. When they show signs of tiredness, then place them in their cot on their back. If they cry when you leave the room, try gently patting them until they stop and leave again. This can take some doing, but will be worthwhile in the end when your baby is settled.