Sleep: for little ones....and mums too!

Oct 23, 2014



Jo Tantum is the UK’s best loved Baby Sleep Expert and the author of the bestselling ‘Baby Secrets’ (Penguin, Michael Joseph £12.99). Jo has over twenty five year’s experience working with babies and parents, including 10 years as a Maternity Nurse, helping thousands of sleep deprived families to help them get their babies to sleep better.

Jo is a popular media figure in the parenting industry and is often asked to contribute to TV, radio and print features. She has appeared on Daybreak, ITN News, Richard And Judy, GMTV and Sky Baby Channel. She was also C5’s Live with Gabby resident Baby Expert and also writes regularly for parenting magazines and is a Baby Sleep Expert for Boots Parenting Magazine, with videos online.


When you become a mum you don’t really think about lack of sleep and the horrors of sleep deprivation. You’re caught up in the wonderful world of your newborn baby or babies. And that’s just as it should be.

After the first few weeks when your baby wakes up you start to think about how you can get more sleep.  After the first few months you start getting a little more desperate for sleep and can’t stand it when someone talks about their little one sleeping through!

Get to between 6 months and beyond with very little sleep, and your cherub waking constantly through teething or other issues, you start scanning parenting magazines, reading books, buying anything that suggests you may get more sleep. And you are probably getting so desperate for more sleep you would do anything and everything to get it.

Well it’s your lucky day! I’m here to share some of my secrets to getting your little one to sleep better, even if they are teething!

Some babies start sleeping well and continue, some start well and then because of teething, being unwell or for other reasons they stop sleeping well, and some babies are never good sleepers.

I will let you into my first secret:  all babies want to sleep, they are just confused and don’t have the confidence to try. So as their parents you need to teach them.

The secret of getting your baby to sleep through the nights are their naps. If you baby doesn’t have good naps, they go to sleep overtired at night and wake often. If they are teething, then every time they wake or sleep lightly – means pain.

So, watch for your baby’s tired signs: yawning, rubbing eyes and staring into space. Then get them into their cot, in total darkness with blackout blind/curtains, a soothing sound (I always use waves) their sleeping bag and comforter and cuddles.

Using my spaced soothing method will also help:

  • LISTEN for noises, quiet gaps, leave them to settle themselves if they are making any rhythmic sound “Mmm, arrr, bbbaabba”, as this is them trying to settle themselves.
  • RESPOND if they are getting upset.
  • SOOTHE them by stroking / patting/ rubbing saying ssshh, or a few minutes until calm. Cuddle if needed then leave the room again.
  • Do exactly the same in the night.

When your baby starts to teeth it’s pretty evident in the daytime. They will be clingy and grumpy, (although if they are overtired they may be like this anyway) they may have one or two hot red cheeks. And they will be dribbling for England and wanting everything in their mouth! You may also find they have more dirty nappies and a sore bottom; this is because of the surge of hormones pushing the teeth up. So your poor baby is uncomfortable and in pain.

Once you know when your baby is tired, and you take them to the nursery, then give them Ashton and Parsons Powders, before a nap for their teething pain.

You can also do this at night, leave your baby around 5 minutes before you go in, as often babies will cry out or make noises in their sleep and if you jump in, you will wake them fully, and then the fun begins! Teething only tends to last around 72 hours, so stick to my plan and they will soon be sleeping like babies!

Jo Tantum- Leading Baby Expert specialising in Sleep and Twins. Jo’s experienced Sleep Angels are available to help through the night with your LO sleep and feeding issues.  


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AL/1809/10.14/0.001. Date of preparation October 2014.

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