From their conception to the day they finally leave home, there's not one aspect of raising a child which doesn't prompt discussion and spawn theories.
ALSO READ: Five tips on how to sleep when pregnant
Perhaps it's no wonder then that one of the most hotly-debated topics is also, for many exhausted parents, one of the trickiest to master: getting your baby to sleep.
Both Gina Ford and, more recently, Kathryn Mewes (of 'Three Day Nanny' fame) advise parents to leave babies crying so they stop expecting to be picked up.
Other tips Gina has are to not make eye-contact with children while getting them ready for bed.
These approaches have polarised opinion, with as many parents claiming they work as there are those who disagree.
Blogger and mum, Emily-Jane Clark, has been on the front-line for a few years now, and understands how sleep-deprivation can play havoc with a recommended routine - and how not managing to master it can leave you feeling bad.
She has taken to her hilarious blog, How to Survive a Sleep Thief to pioneering a new approach, the 'G.O.T.O.S.L.E.E.P' method, which worked for her children, and she explains:
"I was inspired to write it because I believe parents need to know that it is totally normal for babies to wake up at night.
ALSO READ: Tips for potty training your little one
"They will sleep alone eventually - that is a fact!"
1. Get yourself ready for bed!
Babies can take anything up to take several hours to fall sleep, so you need to be comfortable and ready to slip straight into your own bed with your baby once you have given up trying to put her down in the cot.
It is also a good idea to empty your bladder.
This is key to a successful bedtime. Before you even begin your routine empty your bladder and ensure your smart phone is fully charged.
Trying to get your baby to sleep is a good opportunity to enjoy some quality screen time. You may be trapped in a dark room with a baby but you have the world at your fingertips.
3. Transfer ready!
Is your baby drowsy but awake?
Then she is NOT Transfer Ready. Wait until she is in a deep sleep. Then wait another ten minutes, just to be sure.
Recent studies have revealed that 98% of babies believe that self-soothing is bollocks.
Trust us, Emily-Jane has really done her research (Photo: Emily-Jane Clark)
4. Only you!
If your baby refuses to sleep anywhere other then ON you, then rest assured this is completely normal.
The solution is simple. You must drink lots of coffee until the phase passes.
5. Sleep crutch!
It is very useful to make a rod for your own back by creating a sleep crutch for your child. If your baby will only sleep in bed with you; let her (although, this is not advisable if you smoke, drink alcohol or sleep on a bed of nails etc etc).
If she will only settle after a feed; then feed her. If you need to rock or sing her into dreamland – do it. These popular sleep-crutches have been successfully getting babies to sleep for thousands of years.
6. Learn not to sleep!
Trying to get a baby to sleep when you have been awake for THREE long days is tough, but do not fear!
Babies are highly adept at training their parents NOT to sleep through the night. Eventually your body will become accustomed to the sleepless nights and despite what Google may tell you at 4am – you will NOT die of sleep-deprivation.
Soon you will be functioning on aut-pilot
7. Eye contact!
It is very important that you make eye contact with your baby when settling them at night.
That adoring look they give you at 2am is often the ONLY thing that will help you make it through the night.
The baby is finally asleep! Sleeping babies have the ability to sense when their parent is about to leave the room.
To avoid waking the baby you must exit with extreme caution. Do not breathe, do not rush and whatever happens do NOT look back.
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