Sandpaper eyelids and chronic yawning are all par for the course when you’re a new parent, right? Actually, not necessarily, says South African midwife from Malaak, Cecile De Scally. Cecile’s compassion and expert advice has helped countless UAE parents through the haze of sleep deprivation into a whole new world of well-rested nights. Although every baby is unique, here are her top general tips for achieving a good night’s sleep sooner rather than later:

1 Persistence is key. What’s easier or more intuitive today may create a more difficult problem or habit to correct later. Put in the hard work and sleepless nights early so that you can lay the foundation for later.

2 Set realistic goals. During the first six weeks, or when baby is sick or teething, we can’t expect our little ones to be very cooperative, so we need to be patient and remember there is always a light at the end of the tunnel.

3 Daytime routines are also critical. Very often, night-time sleep issues are related to daytime sleep and feeding schedules; correcting or adjusting these can have a profound effect on night-time sleep.

4 Start to establish good habits early. Beginning from four weeks of age is the best way to ensure sleep works without resorting to any of the ‘cry it out’ methods. We encourage mums to start good habits as soon as possible – and not much later than six to eight weeks.

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