If you are one of those who collapse exhausted onto the sofa at the end of the day, you may feel you are only too ready for sleep - but preparing to get your baby to sleep well is another matter.

Whichever strategy you adopt, there are some key areas to be addressed beforehand that will give you a better chance of success.


Teaching your baby to sleep well won't happen instantly. If you have already been through a prolonged period of broken sleep, following a sleep plan that could make your nights deteriorate initially takes real resolve. Starting a new sleep plan only to abandon it a couple of days later will do neither you nor your baby any good. What's more, it is likely to be even harder next time you try, because your baby knows that within a couple of nights you'll give in.

Strategy - Make sure both you and your partner are committed to your strategy before you begin.


You may reach the end of your tether and decide that tonight's the night to take action, but if you've got an early start ahead you may find your resolve waning in the small hours. Similarly, you may also be aware that you are going to lose some of your evenings as your try to settle you baby.

Strategy - Try to introduce your new sleep strategy at a time when you have few other commitments (or, at least, fewer than normal). Stock up your freezer with instant meals, or eat your main meal at midday.


If your baby has an established pattern of poor sleeping at night, the initial days of sleep training can be hard for both you and her. This may leave you both groggy the next day. To help in this situation, you will need as much back-up as possible through this crucial time.

Strategy - Ask friends, relatives or neighbours to babysit for a couple of hours during the day, so that you can catch up on some sleep.

Safety precautions

All successful sleep strategies involve leaving your baby alone eventually. You cannot do this if you worry that she might harm herself. Strategy Make sure her bed is safe by following the essential safety guidelines, and that there are no toys in it on which she might choke or hurt herself. If your child is in a bed she can climb out of, make sure that her room is safe. If she can readily reach the stairs, make sure these are blocked with a secure safety gate.