We are Ricky and Leah, two news reporters, passionate about travel, architecture and design, we love sharing our lives through journals, blogs and stories of places we have visited.

Baby sleep and how to survive without it

And how to cope when you're getting very little.

It's fair to say we were not prepared for the chaotic nature of newborn baby sleeping patterns. In the early days, for most parents, sleep is something you surrender knowing "it's just the way things are". But then as the months slipped away sleep was not getting any better and we realised we had to come up with a new game plan; a way of coping, and without family close by, we needed a routine and fast.

So how did we cope? And what did it teach us? Well, here are our top tips for coping the completely bonkers world of baby sleep.

1. Ignore the myths

The most important thing to do is to stop listening to what other people tell you, especially to those parents who say their four-week-old is sleeping through the night. It's a myth. Babies and very young babies (like Enzo below) need our hugs, security and most importantly feeding in those early days.


As earth shattering as it was, there was something delightful about the twilight night feeds, in deep December, soft Christmas music was playing, the Christmas tree was twinkling and I had no other place to be than with Enzo. This was a precious time, and although I ached for uninterrupted sleep, what I didn't realise was this time was fleeting.

2. Comfort

We're a family big on comfort, big on making all of our sleeping environments as cosy as possible. We used Camomile London, for our adult and baby bedding needs. A fresh take on cushions, blankets and throws, a beautiful brand that's inspiration it pulled from the simplicity of Scandinavian living, delicate touches of Japanese block prints and charm of vintage pieces.


We also made sure Enzo's cot was a place he found interesting, sounds silly but stick with me. We had light projector shining stars on his ceiling, baby lullaby music playing in the background and plenty of down time before sleep was on the agenda. It doesn't work for all families but it worked for us, it just took us 11 months to figure that one out.

3. Get outside

Even if it's for a ten minute walk around the block in the buggy or sling, fresh air will do you wonders, for the body, mind and soul. In the thick of our sleep deprivation we took a trip to Fattoria San Martino in Tuscany. It was one of the best trips but also one of the hardest too.


Enzo had just turned ten months but was still waking every hour plus he'd just discovered his own mobility. It was a handful, we coped on drinking quite a lot of coffee, eating a lot of pasta and going to bed very, very early. But looking back, we were outdoors all day, we were a sleep deprived tag team exploring Tuscany in the sunshine. An exciting, brilliant distraction from our no sleep state.


4. Eat well


This is another really important one. I remember there was an afternoon in the newborn days that I ate an entire packet of Viennese biscuits and a mug of coffee. At the time it felt wonderful but then followed a sugar crash, irritability and strangely more hunger. I've now swapped caffeine for herbal teas, I drink more water, fruit shakes and we cook together at home. Anything from hearty stews, fish dishes to hearty vegetable pasta. If you load up your body with good food it will replay you in energy. That I promise you. We also ditched our post Enzo bedtime snack from chocolate to grapes and when we are getting asleep it's more restful.

5. Things never stay the same

The bad news is there is no miracle cure to help your tiny bundle sleep through the night. But try not to obsess with how much sleep you are getting. We found co-sleeping, if Enzo woke really early, from about 10 months, as it gave us a few extra hours sleep.


So what have we learnt? Well baby sleep is always changing, and we accept that some nights we get good sleep and other nights we don't. The most important thing is we are there for our little guy right now because there will be a time when we'll have to wake him up from his slumber as a moody teenager

Written by Leah

Hi, I’m Leah. Right now I’m about to head back to work after 15 months on maternity leave. For over a decade I've worked as a TV and radio at the BBC. I love travel, self-help, cooking and poetry. You can find me on Twitter or Instagram.


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  • May

    I would say - read a good book on sleep training as well. There are some tricks to help your little creature sleep better, what follows - you sleep better yourself! I had this amazing guide by Susan Urban: http://parental-love.com/shop/baby-sleep-training and I can recommend to anyone. Even if your baby is too young for the training - the author has some magical advices for you!

    • Evelynne

      I am using those advices for newborns now and it is going pretty well. I've read the whole guide and I think I'm prepared for Susan's training soon!

    • Chloe

      Love this guide! It contains all the information I needed. I love that the book ends with step by step instructions which is so easy to follow and what is most important it works :) In our case the method from this guide worked wonders after 3 days :) Thank you May for sharing the link

  • Evelynne

    I am using those advices for newborns now and it is going pretty well. I've read the whole guide and I think I'm prepared for Susan's training soon!

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  • Sarah

    My 9-months-old used to wake up 4 to 5 times before midnight.

    I was so sleep deprived I could barely function properly.

    My husband noticed that, and we went to our pediatrician.

    He asked several question, and as it happens, I was doing several things wrong.

    It is my first child, so you know how the internet works these days, everyone can post anything, what to do what not to do, it is very hard to find correct answers.

    So he recommended me to contact a clinical psychologist, a collegue of his who actually made a guide for situations like mine.

    He gave me a source, I think it was http://calmbaby.online

    Of course I gave it a try, and guess what, it actually worked. So simple tips, but when you listen to the right people, who actually know what they are talking about.

    For example, I was rocking my baby to sleep constantly, for a long time, and apparently that is a no no.

    When you fix that and many many other things, everything will be ok. At least it was in my case.


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