Tel/Fax: 080-3207-6191

As any parent can tell you, all babies are different.. Some fall into predictable schedules of feeding and sleeping. These are self-soothers who fall asleep independently, crying less and sleeping more. Then there are the ‘other’ babies… babies who cannot self soothe. In the first few months of life, this may be so for any number of reasons. However, in the older baby, if sleep is a problem, we have to consider other causes.

The first key to improving your baby’s sleep habits is to identify “tired signs” in your baby. As simple as this may sound, babies cry when tired.

Babies also cry because of hunger, pain, and discomfort, but not usually because of boredom. It’s important to listen to that cry, and to watch your baby to learn his or her “tired signs.” Learn to anticipate tiredness by watching out for the following: clenched fists, yawning, pulling hair, arching back, and a lack of meaningful eye contact.

If we constantly miss this ‘window of opportunity’ and the baby becomes overtired, he will start to not show tired signs. In these cases, it is necessary to watch the clock to regulate sleep in the baby. An overtired baby will struggle to be put down to sleep.


Babies benefit from a routine, especially the overtired ones. A routine allows a caregiver to anticipate each need, and provides security for the baby. It regulates the baby’s body clock and sleep/wake cycles. The child who is in a consistent routine will become self regulating over time and more flexible in his/her routine.


Sleep associations are the conditions present that help initiate sleep. Sleeping in a pram or in a baby carrier allows flexibility and provides comfort to the baby. During the early days, rocking or taking baby for a walk may be the only thing that gets the baby off to sleep. However, be aware that sleep associations start to take shape from about 3 months on.

A baby or toddler who has become conditioned to a particular sleep association will usually awaken after only one brief sleep cycle unless the exact conditions are present which helped him/herinitiate sleep.

Quality sleep is vital to a child’s well being, growth and development.


Melissa Symons is a registered nurse and has 4 years pediatric experience in Australia. She is also an accredited immunization nurse, and has knowledge of sleep management for babies. Contact information:
Tel: 03-3499-1587 or 090-4170-1762 e-mail:

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