Sleep Tips For Parents: Expert Gives Advice On Bedtime Routines, Sleep Techniques And Co-Sleeping

'Consistency is definitely the magic word.'

Sleep is one of the biggest issues parents face when having children, whether they're newborn babies or tiresome toddlers.

We were joined by Maryanne Taylor, a sleep consultant for babies and children at The Sleep Works and asked her some of your burning questions.

The 30-minute Facebook video addressed everything from co-sleeping issues to children who won't sleep in their cot.

"Consistency is definitely the magic word when it comes to parents helping children with their sleep," Taylor initially advised.

"If you give different responses or are inconsistent with how you deal with them, this is going to be confusing and frustrating for the child."

Sleep consultant Maryanne Taylor (L) and HuffPost UK Parents writer Amy Packham (R)
Sleep consultant Maryanne Taylor (L) and HuffPost UK Parents writer Amy Packham (R)

Watch the above video to hear Taylor's advice on the most popular sleep-related problems with kids.

We've rounded up a few snippets below.

On bedtime routines:

"There should be a consistent bedtime routine really from an early age, it's really helpful for a child to know what's expected of them.

"They always do better when they know what is coming next."

On a baby not wanting to sleep in their cot:

"Try to encourage good sleep habits such as introducing a 'comforter' with your smell on it, whether it's a soft toy or blanket like a muslin.

"Also make sure the baby isn't over tired which makes it difficult for them to settle."

On co-sleeping:

"Firstly, it's important parents are aware of the safety guidelines, available online.

"If co-sleeping is working for everybody - so if the baby and parents are sleeping well, there's nothing wrong with that.

"It only doesn't work when somebody is not sleeping well."

On siblings keeping each other awake:

"Sharing a room does make it more difficult, but staggering bed times could work.

"An incentive scheme works well by buying them into the process - talk about the lead up to bedtime and make a list with her on what she would like to do on the steps before bedtime."

On children waking in the night:

"If it has become a habit, try and introduce a technique called 'wake to sleep'. It can be very effective for children stuck with a wake-up time.

"Go to your child half an hour or 40 minutes before she is due to wake up and jiggle the child slightly, not so they fully wake up, but so they stir and soothe them back into their next sleep cycle."

Watch the full video above to hear all of Taylor's advice.

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