New parents like to get all the help they can when establishing a sleep routine for their baby. That’s why we have rounded up some of the best baby sleep books and baby sleep apps for you.
This book helps get a baby to sleep without tears and is aimed at parents whose babies are over four months old. The book helps parents keep a diary of their child’s bedtime routine, how many times they wake during the night and how they wake – crying, yelling, making small noises. It also asks you to record how you got your child back to sleep again. Based on this, you can start to pinpoint what might be hampering your baby from getting to sleep and staying that way, from external things like light and noise to when they had their last feed. It helps you to notice sleep cues, ensure they are getting enough daytime naps and helps you to be able to put your child down to sleep when they are sleepy but not yet asleep – the holy grail in terms of your baby learning to be able to self-settle. It’s good for parents who want to introduce some sort of structure but not one’s that’s too rigid.
Suitable from birth, this booked based on the acronym EASY (Eat, Activity, Sleep, You), advocates a routine, sure but one that ultimately revolves around both you and your baby. It’s great for those whose lives need some element of spontaneity, as it doesn’t enforce a strict routine but it helps new parents understand what babies do and when. It also helps you to understand the different noises babies make, from ‘hungry’ to ‘uncomfortable,’ so as to be able to calm your baby back to sleep at night if they are not actually hungry.
Ferber helps parents to understand the principles of baby sleep and self-settling in order to help establish a good sleep routine. It can help parents who have previously established a good sleep pattern in their babies but whose child then suddenly bucks their pattern with a. sleep regression. This may be due to illness or teething – or an unknown factor. Advocating a wind-down routine and sleep cues for your baby, plus helpful ideas like getting your partner to settle them if they wake in the night but are not hungry, it shows you how to establish a good routine once more. It’s great for babies who are a few months old and the helpful ideas for getting your baby back to sleep during the night will soon have them sleeping through.
Sarah is the founder of a method of gentle sleep training and provides help and advice to new mums. This book puts all her years of experience and knowledge into one place. For parents who do not want to approach cry-it-out solutions, this book helps them address their baby’s sleep in a gentle way, helping both sleep-deprived parents and restless babies alike. She offers lots of good, practical advice, such as telling you how long you should expect your child to sleep at each age, why so much sleep advice is inaccurate and how to treat common problems such as bedtime refusal, nightmares and frequent waking. With consistent bedtimes and how to use both diet and sleep comforters effectively, this book is a best seller for a reason.
Some people rave about Gina Ford, others steer well clear of what is a very restrictive routine that is supposed to be followed from birth – though you can start later on. But if you’re the kind of person for whom structure, planning ahead and routine is music to your ears, this method may just save your sleep! From the time your baby is woken in the morning, to nap times, mealtime and bedtime routines, everything is planned out for you at specific times. It may take you a couple of tries before you can get it to work with your baby, as they may already have some established patterns but in a few days, they will be used to their new routine and so will you. The bedtime routine is very long – two hours – and you can’t abandon the routine if you fancy a day doing something different but it may help establish sleeping through the night if you get your baby into a pattern.
The Best Baby Tracker (free on Apple Store)
This app has lots of different functions, so whether you’re a laid back parent who just wants some tips, or are a tech addict who wants to know every move your little one makes, it has all you need. The app can track your baby’s feeds, when they feed and for how long, when their nappies were changed and of course your baby’s sleep too. It can also hold information like your little one’s weight and height so you can check their growth.
Baby Connect (£4.99 on App Store and Google Play)
With this you can track all the information you need (and a lot you probably don’t) about your baby’s sleep, mood, nappies, activities, feeds, photos and more. You can allow several adults to use the app so that both parents, the babysitter, grandparents and day care staff can all have access to it and you and other carers can exchange information on your baby via the app. This can help ensure all grown-ups are following the same sleep routines.
Sound Sleeper (free on App Store)
This app focuses on sleep and relaxation and can be used for daytime naps or night time sleep. It can also be used for people of any age and the couple who created it for their baby still use it to help them relax and focus. It has several sounds to soothe your baby including a hairdryer, vacuum cleaner and shushing plus lullabies and it can keep track of how well and how long your baby sleeps. You can share it with other users and (best of all) the app does not collect your data.
BabyBoon (free on App Store)
With 30 sounds including white noise and lullabies, this has more than you need to be able to find some noises your baby finds relaxing. It offers high quality sounds and they are louder than you might expect – the app creator explains that sounds within the womb are actually quite loud to a baby! By replicating the loud and rhythmic sounds inside their mum’s tummy, this helps your baby feel at home and therefore able to sleep. You can record your own voice to calm your baby when you’re not there and the app will react when your baby cries and automatically turn on.
White Noise Baby (free on Google Play)
Many parents know that white noise can be a great asset when you are trying to get your baby to sleep – and that’s for a couple of reasons. It mimics some of the sounds from inside the womb, which is comforting and it also blocks noises from outside such as traffic, dogs and the TV, so it can keep your baby from getting distracted when they are dropping off. There are other noises too, such as the sounds of a car ride, the inside a seashell and the sounds of the womb. In addition, tunes by Mozart, Beethoven and Chopin provide sleepy time lullabies.