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Top Tips from Sam Saunders aka The Baby Guru

Expert Insights: Top Tips from Sam Saunders, The Baby Guru

Over the years I have spent many nights working 1-2-1 with families, night after night. I learnt how little ones respond differently to the art of falling asleep independently and from this, developed my own Responsive Sleep Training Programme. I use many methods that are all based on responding to your little one’s reaction when sleep coaching. My two key methods are available on The Baby Guru App for parents to have their own Baby Guru on hand day or night.

Top Tips

For little ones to settle easily and sleep well, it’s like fitting all the parts of a puzzle together. The key elements to take into consideration are:

  • Being able to settle themselves to sleep, without being rocked, fed or using a dummy that they cannot pop back in themselves.

  • The environment they nap and sleep in overnight plays an important role. If we fall asleep on the sofa, we usually wake groggy and disoriented. We sleep more soundly in our beds and it is exactly the same for little ones. Creating a calm, dim or dark room for naps and nights is essential, giving little ones consistent surroundings.

  • If they are sensitive to sound, you live on a busy road or noises around the house seem to disturb them, then white noise is great. The key is to keep it on in the background throughout the whole of the nap and throughout the night.

  • Giving them enough space to sleep. Little ones from as early as 4 months old sleep so much sounder in a large cot, rather than a crib or moses basket. Make sure they have a firm and flat mattress too that they can practice their rolling skills on.

  • Having the appropriate naps and gaps for their development stage and age.

  • A regular pre nap and bedtime routine helps them know that sleep is coming, enabling them to settle quicker and sleep for longer.

  • A consistent bedtime is another important factor to a settled night and helps avoid early wake ups. It’s true that sleep breeds sleep, so putting them to bed later in the hope theysleep for longer is a myth. I always recommend a bedtime of around 6.30-7pm.

  • Little one’s naturally respond well to a 12 hour day and 12 hour night.

  • If you are still feeding during the night, then feeding to full, not just feeding back to sleep, helps avoid frequent wake ups with short feeds.

  • Being consistent is essential for them to respond well so if you are making any changes,

    stick with it. Sleep coaching can take anything from 1-2 nights to 2 weeks. The method of sleep coaching you use will depend on a number of factors...

  • Little ones who have been co sleeping respond well to a more gradual retreat method.

  • Some need lots of cuddles and reassurance, while others don’t need as much support.

  • Your approach to parenting - what is right for you and your little one.

  • The home environment - you may be in a 1 bedroom flat or perhaps they have to share with a sibling.

    My plans don't just focus on sleep, I always look at the whole 24 hrs and often a tweak here and there with routine & feeding is needed. Sleep coaching isn’t for everyone and can have a huge stigma that goes along with it but the methods I use are gentle and responsive. For many families struggling with little to no sleep can affect their mental health, relationships and work. Sometimes it’s the only option and after a few days everyone is getting more restorative, peaceful sleep!

    Sam Saunders aka The Baby Guru

    Sam can help you and your little one with sleep, routine, feeding & weaning.

    Instagram & Facebook @thebabyguruofficia

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