As a mum of five, I've been accustomed to all types of babies, both sleepers and non-sleeper - more so the latter if I'm honest.
However in those almost ten years, I have learned a thing or two, and some babies just need that extra security and closeness of their mother or father to sleep and it is just something you are going to have to get used to.
But in saying that, there are a few things you can do to help your baby get a better night's sleep. So if you're one of those many mums or dads up at silly o'clock trying to settle your infant or toddler, here are some simple and effective ways to help maximise their sleep.
Use white noise.
White noise machines sound positively perfect for any sleep-deprived parent because having one of these sounds on in the background can help your challenged sleeper drift off to the land of nod. The consistent sound helps to soothe your baby as they try to focus on the noise, which in turn helps them relax and hopefully sleep. Popular sounds include running water, pulsing waves and soft relaxing lullaby music.
Learn infant massage.
Did you know rubbing your hand the right way can promote deeper and longer sleep? According to a team of researchers who completed a study with 598 infants at the University of Warwick, a baby under six months of age who is regularly massaged are less stressed, cry less and sleep better. So, what are you waiting for? Sign up for your nearest class.
Get plenty of fresh air.
Everyone knows fresh air is good for us, but according to many studies, babies sleep better alfresco, and in most countries, it is a cultural norm. Look at Norway and other Scandinavian countries, for example, napping outside in appropriate clothing is a common practice even in temperatures below freezing.
Swaddling your baby to sleep helps restrict movement, preventing them from wiggling around and decreases a baby's arousal, making it harder for them to wake up. Swaddlings is a practice of wrapping your baby's body up gently in a breathable and light blanket to help them feel snug and secure just like they did in your womb. As your baby gets older, sleeping bags can be used to keep your baby feeling warm at night.
Introduce a dream feed.
A dream feed is a balance between lifting and feeding your baby without fully waking them with the aim of encouraging them to sleep longer. Best for babies between three and nine months old, dream feeds are usually given before the parent heads to bed around 10 pm either with breast or bottle.