Sleep tips: how to get your little one to sleep for longer

By Adele Jennings

A recent study by Pampers reveals 90% of parents lose up to four hours sleep every night in their baby's first year.

As a parent, no matter how old your child is, you never forget the lack of sleep that comes with having a new baby and trying to function while looking and feeling like a zombie!

I have 2 children and to be honest they are both great sleepers but my husband Mark and I, have put the effort in with their bedtime routines.

Our daughter Amber is nine and son Jacob is 2. With both children, me and my husband used to bicker about who had more sleep, we would say things like: 'You've had half an hour longer sleep than I have'.

 Jacob getting a good nights' sleep

Jacob getting a good nights' sleep

Sleep deprivation is one of the worse things to deal with when your child is small (ok, so yes there are others but this is a biggie). We all need sleep, some more than others, but if we don't get enough it affects how you and your family function.

We have quite a strict routine at bedtime and both my husband, who is a house dad, who puts them to bed on 3 of the nights, and as I work full-time, I get to do 4 bedtimes. We both do the routine exactly the same. I really think this is part of the reason why both of them are good sleepers (as I touch the nearest piece of wood).

Our routine is: bath (not every night), get dried and dressed for bed with just a low-light lamp on on our bed in my bedroom, drinking milk while we read a story, snug while singing twinkle twinkle little star, teeth cleaned and bed, then when I leave the room, I always say 'See you in the morning for a cup of tea and some breakfast'. I used to say exactly the same thing when I was little (it came from my Grandad Shaw) and both my children say it. It makes my heart melt every time they say it. My 2 year old son asks me to close his door!

We never treat bed as a punishment. If either of my children misbehave (which is quite often), we never use 'If you don't stop being naughty, you will go to bed'. I want them to enjoy their bed and sleep as much as I do!

Recent research by disposable nappy favourite Pampers reveals 90% of parents lose up to four hours sleep every night in their baby’s first year.

Nine out of ten British parents claim they lose up to 28 hours of sleep every week (totalling 60 days per year) due to their little ones waking up in the night – according to new research launched by Pampers to celebrate new Pampers Baby Dry nappy, now with an extra sleep layer to help babies sleep uninterruptedly for up to 12 hours.

The survey of 2,000 parents in the UK also reveals that one in five cite a wet nappy as the most common reason their baby wakes in the night, followed by hunger (25%) and teething (24%). It’s no wonder the majority of parents (32%) consider their baby sleeping through the night as one of the biggest first year milestones, along with uttering their first word (26%) and their first laugh (22%).

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For over 50 years, Pampers has been supporting parents with innovative products and information. Through listening to parents, Pampers knows well that parents recognise the quality of their babies’ sleep by their mood and energy level’s when they wake up first thing. New Pampers Baby Dry, with an improved Extra Sleep-Layer absorbs wetness faster than ever before and reactivates quickly to absorb multiple urinations faster over hours of wear.

For a baby, uninterrupted sleep and a good night’s rest means remaining dry and free from nappy leaks, so by keeping the wetness away from the skin, they can wake up ready to seize the day after a dry night of Pampers Golden sleep. 

Wendy Dean, Pampers Village Parenting Panel Sleep Expert, comments:

“All babies wake through the night as part of their natural sleep pattern. Those that sleep well are able to get themselves back to sleep as long as they don’t have a need that mum needs to attend to i.e. are hungry, too hot, too cold, uncomfortable or have a wet nappy. The new Pampers Baby Dry nappy absorbs wetness away from babies’ skin faster than before, so that even if she/he wakes during the process of having a wee, there is no continued discomfort of wet skin. After a few minutes, baby can return back to the Land of Golden Sleep before waking up to a Dream Morning.”

Tips for a good night's sleep by Wendy Dean

1. Spend some quiet quality time with your baby before putting him down to bed. Singing a lullaby or reading a story with bright illustrations will be enjoyable for both. Baby will be ready to sleep through the night and wake prepared for the day ahead.

2. During your baby’s last feed before putting him down to sleep, try splitting his feed in half and changing his nappy in the interval. While the motion of changing his nappy will pep him up a bit so he’s not fully asleep before you put him down, the second half of the feed will soothe him again if the movement of changing his nappy has unsettled him a bit. Plus this will ensure that he has a fresh nappy to sleep in for 12 hours of Golden Sleep, resulting in a great morning of smiles and discoveries.

3. If your baby wakes very early in the morning i.e. before 6:00 am and is not crying, try not to dash straight to him. He may well have a little chat with himself and then surprise you and go back to sleep, but if not leave him for 10 minutes and follow with gentle rocking to return him to the land of golden sleep .

4. As you enter your baby’s room in the morning, gently talk to him. He won’t be able to talk back but it is the fact that you are looking at him and talking to him that he will love and will also give him a pleasant introduction to the day.

5. A morning cuddle is very important and is the perfect way to start the day for both baby and you and should make it a dream morning for both!

To hear more tips from Wendy Dean, check this video out below.

Visit www.pampers.co.uk for advice and tips on parenting.