I only offer sleep consultations to babies over six months, as I feel that implementing any kind of ‘sleep training’ before this can be detrimental to their emotional well being.
However, I do believe that that we can gently support children under six months to self soothe, and doing this during the day is easier than during the night.
I use a technique where I help parents to use words to comfort their children when they are struggling to sleep, rather than to rock them or cuddle them to sleep, because you always have to put them down, which can sometimes prove very difficult!
A single phrase, such as, “Its sleep time, Mummy loves you” can be enough to form a sleep association, and make babies feel safe and secure and allow themselves to self settle to sleep.
When you have very little babies, around four months, you can say this, over and over again when you are sitting directly next to them and you can rock the Moses basket or pram at the same time, so that they also have some movement, without actually being held.
You can also rest a hand on their tummy while you are saying the phrase, as then they will know you are there.
Only persevere for very short periods of time, and make sure that you let your baby see you at regular intervals, so that they know you are still there, as otherwise they will panic.
If your baby is still unsettled after a few minutes of doing this, please stop, and pick them up. You can always try again half an hour or so later.
When you have established the phrase as a ‘Sleep association’ you can use it wherever you are, and anytime your little one is upset or struggling to drift off to sleep!