When your baby suddenly has trouble settling at night

Is your baby unable to settle himself at night, when he used to be fine? We look at what could have triggered the sleep problem, and how to help your baby settle again.

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If your baby used to settle himself to sleep, but is now suddenly having problems doing so, here’s what you can do to get bedtime back on track…

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“Start by taking a step back to look at what might be causing a problem, such as small changes in his environment like the heating rattling through the pipes in winter or getting back into a sleep routine after an illness or teething,” says Georgie Bateman, from babycare specialist organisation Night-Nannies, based in the south-east and south-west of England.

If your baby still won’t settle to sleep, babycare specialist Georgie suggests you try the following programme for five nights:

  • Lie your baby on his back in his cot, then hold his hands across his chest.
  • Use your other hand to bring your baby’s ankles together and stroke the soles of his feet – this touches all the reflexology points.
  • When your baby’s calm, let go of his hands, stroking his arms and hands as you do so.
  • Gradually stop stroking his feet.
  • Say good night, then leave the room.
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“If at any point he starts up again, go back to what you were doing before. Your aim is for him still to be awake, but to be calm enough to be left,” explains Georgie.

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