Sometimes helping your baby sleep better can come from a simple trick you’ve heard from a friend or family member and I hope to be that guiding light for you! Below are a couple of my go-to tips to help baby fall into a peaceful, longer lasting slumber!
Dark, Dark, Dark
Your baby’s sleep environment should be an 8-10 on a scale of darkness for both naps and bedtime. If you hold your hand out in front of your face it should be difficult to see it. I found these blinds made a HUGE difference for my little guy and stopped his early morning wake ups completely! http://www.blackoutez.com
White noise is essential!
It should be boring and continuous and stay away from anything that turns off after a certain amount of time and requires you to continually turn it back on. This will help drown out the sounds of everyday life during naps or bedtime. A white noise machine is also easy to pack for road trips or vacations and will help bring familiarity to any sleep environment.
No toys, mobiles, projections etc.
Any type of stimulant will prevent your baby from falling asleep. They are curious and want to know what everything is, so instead of sleeping they will be more keen to investigate!
Sizing up to an overnight diaper
If your baby doesn't feel wet it will eliminate some nighttime wakings because they will no longer need to call out to you for a change. Of course, if they have soiled or soaked through their diaper try to change them without turning on the lights. Use a small nightlight instead to maintain the idea of sleep.
Nail your bedtime routine
Your little one is a creature of habit and with a solid nap and bedtime routine it will help them realize that they will be sleeping soon and will also cue them to begin to relax and wind themselves down for sleep. Your bedtime routine should last about half an hour and can look something like this: nurse/bottle, bath, bedtime story, quick lullaby and into their crib or bassinet. The same routine should be repeated exactly so each night. Your nap time routine will be a shortened version of bedtime, around 5-10 minutes, likely eliminating the bath.
Swaddle or Sleep Sack
Depending on the age of your little one you will want to swaddle them or use a sleep sack. Typically for newborns a swaddle is essential to help keep them from startling themselves awake while their Moro reflexes are developing. Once your baby can roll himself over you will then want to switch to a proper fitting sleep sack. I recommend a sleep sack for as long as you can get away with it after that! This will then become another bedtime cue for your little cutie.
A few of these tips may sound like a no-brainer, but often it’s the smallest thing inside your baby’s lair that is keeping them from either falling asleep or staying asleep and it may take some time and practice before you learn what exactly it is preventing a long restful sleep, every baby is different after all! Little ones can very easily become over-stimulated and that’s why nailing the baby cave can make such a big difference to their little bodies.