How to avoid sleep problems with baby number two

Kinderling News & Features

Parents need as much sleep as they can get, and this all comes down to children getting the sleep they need (and when they need it!), too. With the arrival of baby number two, the task of managing the z's becomes all the more difficult.

Our resident child expert and Mothercraft nurse, Chris Minogue shares her most effective method for dealing with sleep for the second child.

On Kinderling Helpline, listener Mel (who's pregnant with her second bub) shared her current worry about sleep patterns. She's keen to lay down some patterns to avoid past mistakes with her first.

Chris says it's crucial to learn from the mistakes you may have made with your first child.

Listen to Kinderling Helpline:

Chris gives three tips to help both kids settle into a good routine

  1. Chris says, “Always put the baby down for sleep.” Wrap them up, put them down, tuck in, then leave them alone. 

  2. Always put the younger child in a room out of the stimulation of your firstborn’s life. “If you’re having a sleep, you’re in a room, you’re in a bed, it’s cool, it’s calm, it’s quiet,” says Chris.

  3. Once the baby's starting to wake and be more active around six weeks, Chris says that's when you have to direct your attention into teaching them how to sleep. 

When you're bringing a second baby home and you have a toddler already, Chris advises that you start with the baby's sleep patterns. “Once that balance is right, both do well,” she says. 

Take it slowly, and remember Chris' principles of sleep: wrap me, cuddle me and put me down.

Check out Chris' book Bringing Baby Home on the Pan McMillan website

Got a question of your own? Get in touch with Kinderling Helpline, and tune in Mondays at midday.