Sleep Questions with Expert Jay Walji
Certified sleep consultant Jay Walji has kindly shared her expert advice, answering some common sleep questions asked by parents. Finding herself scrolling endlessly through Google looking for tips to help get her new arrival to sleep, Jay booked herself onto a course and soon began her journey to sleep consultant. Now, Jay has 3 beautiful daughters and has launched her very own sleep business ‘Sleep Like a Baby’.
How Can You Tell When Baby is Ready for Sleep?
We can look for early tired signs such as one eye rub, staring with minimal blinking, pinkish/reddish eyebrows for younger babies, disinterested in their favourite toy or a loss in appetite.
How Can I Help My Little One Settle Before Nap Times?
Try to avoid stimulating activities and avoid screen time at least 60 minutes before sleep as this can release ‘awake’ hormones which we would like to avoid. Nap routine can be very similar to the bedtime routine as this helps release sleepy cues for little ones.
Is There Anything I Should Keep in Mind When Designing the Nursery?
As a mum myself I could not wait to decorate the nursery with lots of colour, toys and mobiles in the room, until I realised this can really stimulate them which is not ideal for a space designed for sleeping. Neutral colours with minimal toys and calming designs can help.
How Can I Help My Child Transition from Cot to Toddler Bed?
This will of course depend on your child; however I recommend transitioning a little one from cot to bed from around 2 and a half years, the reason for this is that before this age, the majority of children cognitively do not understand the concept of “staying in bed” all night. So, giving them the freedom to leave their room could lead to lots of visits to your bedroom at night. If your toddler is content in their cot, then my advice is to avoid moving them till after 3 years old as they will have a much better understanding.
If your little one is jumping out of the cot then you could introduce a toddler sleeping bag with feet, keep the floor safe with cushions and padding just in case, and keep placing your child back in the cot, or lowering the mattress all the way to the floor if it is safe to do so.
We All Know Just How Important Sleep is, But How Much Sleep Does my Baby Need?
This can vary depending on age and looking at sleep in a 24 hour period. Generally speaking after 6 months it would be great to see baby sleeping around 13 to 14 hours of sleep in 24 hours, but every baby is different and some need more and some need less.
Are There Any Helpful Sleep Aids Available?
There are 3 sleep aids that I recommend for children's sleep environment:
- Sleep bags/sacs
- Super dark room
- White noise
How Should I Factor Daytime Sleep into My Baby’s Routine?
You can work off wakeful windows which means keeping your baby awake for a certain period of time then introducing the next sleep. I can offer you general guidelines for age related children and their wakeful windows.
Where Should My Baby Sleep?
That is entirely up to you as a family, some prefer to co-sleep and that's great if done safely and everyone is getting the sleep they need. Some prefer their child to sleep separately in a cot or next to me crib. There is no right or wrong to parenthood.