When my husband Charn and I brought my daughter Celeste home from the hospital it was the happiest moment of our lives! We were so overjoyed to have our first baby.

However, we noticed almost immediately that Celeste really wasn’t sleeping solidly at all. She could sleep for around 30 minutes, and then would wake up again crying for ages.

We weren’t sure how to soothe her correctly, and what we needed to do before bed to get her to settle. We didn’t really know what was going on or if something was wrong, and it was so worrying!

I first moved here in 2004 from Sri Lanka and have been living here consecutively for 12 years, but neither my husband or I have any family in Australia, and we don’t have a huge support system around us of people that we trust to ask for help.

We tried looking online, but there was so much conflicting information. We just felt lost, and desperate for answers.

I met a trusted friend I met in pre-natal Pilates classes (we actually formed a mother’s group with some of the other mums). She recommended the new Love To Dream Sleep Series as a resource with advice from qualified professionals, and it seemed like exactly what I needed to work out if I was doing the right thing.

Mum, Thilini says her daughter would sleep for around 30 minutes, and then would wake up again crying for ages.

The Sleep Series has been such a lifesaver for us. It gave us some insight into how babies sleep, tips for settling a baby including swaddling and self-soothing, and practical information on laying foundations for healthy sleep patterns as she continues to grow. Most importantly, it gave us that confidence and reassurance that we were doing the right thing.

We implemented a really solid routine for bedtime, and some other strategies like blackout curtains which have been so helpful for her to feel settled. We are also working on her being able to self-soothe, and now she’s started sleeping over six hours at night! Not every night, but most nights!

We’re now actually able spend some time with each other as a couple without feeling exasperated and exhausted. Most importantly, Celeste is feeling so much more settled and well rested. For now at least, we’ve got our sanity back!

No longer a cat-napper, Celeste is feeling so much more settled and well rested.

Celeste’s bedtime routine

  • We try to make sure Celeste is awake by 4:30pm.
  • At 5:30pm we prepare for a bath. While preparing the bath we leave her on her play mat to let her have one last play for the day. Lighting is quite low/ dim around her after we start the sleep routine.
  • By 6:00 – 6:15pm the bath is done, then I feed her. When she’s showing the cues which usually happens quite soon after the bath, we put her in to a Love To Dream Transition Swaddle and put her in her cot.
  • We installed blackout curtains so the room would be very dark and we turn the white noise on do she does not hear us after we close the door. She’s usually asleep by 7:00pm – 7:30pm is the latest.
  • If she’s feeling fussy, we do sometimes need to rock her to sleep.
  • Most of the time her next feed is after about 6-7 hours. With some of the techniques we learned from The Sleep Series, she’s now starting to self-soothe, so after the night feed we do not always need to rock her to sleep, she will often fall asleep by herself!

Celeste has now started “sleeping over six hours at night! Not every night, but most nights!”

Expert advice from the Love To Dream Sleep Series

How babies sleep

  • Sleep issues are common day and night, not just during the night
  • “Sleeping through the night” doesn’t mean that a baby goes to sleep at bedtime and wakes up in the morning. It means that when babies wake up for a night feed, they are able to self-settle themselves and fall back to sleep naturally.
  • A newborn’s sleep cycle lasts around 30-50 minutes – then there is a short arousal period, and the cycle begins again until they wake up in another 30-50 minutes. The Sleep Series has guides for children of different ages and how much sleep they need.
  • Crying doesn’t mean babies are ready to wake up, it may mean that they are resettling themselves back to sleep

Tips for self-soothing

  • When it’s time for bed, swaddle your baby and put them in their bassinet, cot or crib while drowsy, but still awake
  • Practice makes perfect! The earlier you start this, the earlier your baby will pick up on these healthy sleep patterns
  • Comfort your baby if you feel you need to during the self-soothing process, but remember that they need to learn to do it independently

Tips for swaddling

  • Newborns have a strong startle reflex, so swaddling helps minimise distraction
  • Swaddles babies sleep and soothe themselves better
  • Setting up a routine of swaddling lets babies know that they are ready for bed, and take the swaddle off while they are awake or feeding
  • The Love To Dream swaddle range give bubs a good range of motion compared to traditional swaddling methods, while still protecting them and giving them comfort

Practical information on laying foundations for healthy sleep pattern

  • Newborns have a strong startle reflex, so swaddling helps minimise distraction
  • Swaddles babies sleep and soothe themselves better
  • Setting up a routine of swaddling lets babies know that they are ready for bed, and take the swaddle off while they are awake or feeding
  • The Love To Dream swaddle range give bubs a good range of motion compared to traditional swaddling methods, while still protecting them and giving them comfort