Having a hard time getting your child down for a good nights rest? These tips will help your little one fall asleep (and stay asleep) naturally.
Sleep Solution #1 - Develop a Bedtime Routine
Developing a bedtime routine is the most effective way to teach your baby about bedtime, the difference between daytime and nighttime, and how to sleep soundly.
Bedtime routines vary significantly by family and can be as individual as your baby. A popular routine includes the 3 B’s (bath, books, bed). If you go this route, skip the bath toys and opt for a calm time in the tub. Cuddle with your favorite story, and say goodnight to your little one.
Other additions to a bedtime routine may include baby massage (especially helpful for infants with GERD), playing soothing music, and singing a favorite song.
Whatever you choose to include in your bedtime routine, consistency is key. Doing each activity, in the same order, is a great way to teach baby what happens as bedtime approaches.
Sleep Solution #2 - Create the Perfect Sleep Environment
While it may seem impossible to create perfect sleeping conditions for your baby, there are several key pieces in a baby’s environment you’ll want to pay attention to.
- Room Temperature - While this may take some time to perfect, you’ll want to do your best to keep baby’s room between 65-70°F as this is optimal for baby’s quality sleep.
- Room Lighting - Light cues are a major factor in baby adjusting his days and nights. In the early days of parenting, you’ll want to use light sparingly during the evening and overnight hours as a way to help the baby recognize it's time for sleeping. Avoid night lights and invest in some light-blocking curtains as a way to provide darkness even throughout longer summer days.
- Room Noise - While you may be tempted to keep your baby’s room as quiet as possible, little ones often sleep best with white noise. A white noise machine, a fan, or even an app are easy ways to provide white noise so baby sleep soundly.
Sleep Solution #3 - Perfect Your Swaddling Technique
Before he was born, your newborn was used to being held tightly in utero. Swaddling can provide a similar sense of security, making it easier for baby to relax at bedtime. In fact, swaddling can be a quick addition to your bedtime routine and is a fantastic cue to the baby that nighttime has arrived.
Sleep Solution #4 - Embrace Nap Times
While it may seem counterintuitive to provide nap times in order to help baby sleep better at night, an overtired baby often has a harder time settling into solid sleep than a rested one. Settle into a consistent and predictable daily routine (including nap times) to make sure your little one doesn’t become fatigued.