While raising a newborn is an exciting experience, there is a big challenge during the early days when sleep deprivation becomes a common struggle. There are expert-approved tips to help parents improve their baby’s sleep routines and catch some much-needed rest. Recognizing a baby’s drowsy signs and putting them to bed when the melatonin levels are high is just the start.
Timing and Quality Come First
Delaying sleep for babies can lead to overtiredness and difficulty falling asleep. Using blackout shades and a white-noise machine can mimic a womb-like atmosphere, ensuring a peaceful sleep environment for most babies. Swaddling a baby can also prevent sudden movements that might startle them awake. It may take some practice, but it can be effective in helping a baby sleep comfortably.
The bedroom should be kept cool because babies like a room temperature between 68 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit. This is a comfortable sleep environment for them. What also adds to the comfort of a toddler is to keep the nighttime diaper changes quick. This minimizes disruptions during sleep. To make it simpler, double-layer crib sheets and essential items should be kept nearby.
Parents Should Be Patient and Calm
Couples can consider taking turns to manage nighttime awakenings. This way, both parents can get uninterrupted sleep. Another useful trick is to use a pacifier and teach the baby to find it on their own. Placing multiple pacifiers in one corner of the crib is very effective and can help prevent unnecessary wake-ups.
While consistency is essential, parents shouldn’t stress if the baby’s nap schedule varies during the first six months. Most babies don’t develop a solid nap routine until around 5 or 6 months old. Still, the bedtime routine should exist. Establishing a consistent bedtime routine, such as a soothing bath, storytime, and feeding, can work wonders in signaling a baby that it’s time to sleep.
Aimi Palmer, a sleep consultant and cofounder of AB Child Solutions, suggests that parents should avoid comparing their baby’s sleep patterns to that of adults, growing kids, or even other babies. Every baby is different, and it’s essential to observe, adapt, and be persistent in addressing a particular baby’s sleep issues.
Meanwhile, using pacifiers strategically and being flexible with nap schedules can help babies sleep more soundly. Finally, establishing a consistent bedtime routine and staying patient while observing a baby’s unique sleep patterns are key to promoting better sleep for both parents and newborns.