As any parent to a newborn or toddler knows, finding the time for yourself can be a challenge. With all the pressure surrounding Valentine’s Day it’s easy to get frustrated when babysitters fall through or you can’t find a moment to spare. So this year, why not take the pressure off and plan for the perfect Valentine’s evening at home with a living room picnic, movie night, or romantic home-cooked dinner? Once you decide to stay home the next question is how to keep your little one restful through the evening so that you can take a few hours of much needed personal time. Below we have compiled our top tips for settled, sleepy babies, so that you can enjoy your evening with your love safe in the knowledge that your child is tucked up safe and sound!
Cover the basics
The first and most important step in ensuring that your baby sleeps through the night (or as much of it as possible) is to be sure that they’re fed, comfortable, warm, and tired. The last of these is especially important, the more activity your infant has during the day, the more sleep they’ll need to recoup their energy at night. Make time during the day to play games, read together, or even have a little dance party!
Once your baby is ready for sleep, provide them with the tools they need to settle themselves in case they wake up during the night. Put your baby to bed while they’re still awake but drowsy, so that they associate bed space with sleep time. If your child has a security object, such as a blanket or cuddly toy, make sure it’s in their sleeping space with them. If they’re teething, ensure they have their favourite teether to gnaw on if they wake up in pain - check out our full range of teethers for inspiration! These seemingly small steps will encourage your child to fall asleep in their own time, and will be helpful not only on this evening but for their overall childhood development.
Some young children are excited or agitated by noise and activity, and even though parents do their best to keep quiet, even a small noise can jolt your little one out of a snooze. Consider using a white noise machine in your baby’s sleeping environment: the humming and whirring will drown out small atmospheric noises but are still gentle enough to fall asleep to.
With all that said and done, it’s still very possible that your baby will still wake up fussy and distressed during the evening. If this happens, take a deep breath - ideally you would be able to find the time, but as we know ‘ideal’ isn’t always possible with a young infant! Luckily there’s no limitation on when love can be celebrated, so if the evening doesn’t work out as you wanted, start fresh on another evening!