Meeting Andrea Grace: Unveiling the Gentle Sleep Expert
In our latest ‘getting to know you’ we met Andrea Grace, The Gentle Sleep Expert. Andrea is the author of “Andrea Grace’s Gentle Sleep Solutions” and “ Andrea Grace’s Gentle Sleep Solutions for Toddlers” . She is also a mother of 4, a nurse, a health visitor, mental health nurse, and one of the UK’s longest-established child and baby sleep specialists.
One of the things that I’m asked about most often is how to establish a good bedtime routine.
Here’s my recommendation below:
- Begin your routine about half an hour before you know your baby is ready for sleep.
- If you’ve had the TV on, turn it off now and put your phone away for a bit.
- The sequence of the routine is more important than the timing and it’s a mistake to start the routine too early. It needs to culminate in them getting into the cot, rather than coming back into the living room to play.
- Take everything that you need for the night with you, to avoid having to come back into the living area.
- Follow a similar bedtime “script” by using familiar phrases and actions during the routine.
- Bath every night if you can, but if this isn’t possible, still try to have a washing "ritual" each night. Little Butterfly London top to toe wash is perfect for bath time.
- Go directly to the room that your baby sleeps in from the bathroom.
- Put on a clean nappy, and get them dressed for bed. They are likely to be wriggly and cross but stay calm and just press on.
- It's usually best to give the final feed in the bedroom, and whether this is breast or bottle, don’t let them fall asleep on it.
- Keep the bedroom light on or the curtains open to help prevent this
- Don’t give them their bottle in their cot.
- After the milk, look at a simple book together, with them sitting on your knee rather than in their cot.
- If you look at more than one book, the final one should be the same each night, so that it becomes a sleep trigger.
- Put them into their cot whilst they are still fully awake.
- If they have a dummy, you can give it now or earlier as they looked at the book.
- Kiss them goodnight and then teach them how to fall asleep - knowing that now they are safe and their body is ready for sleep.