In the magical world of parenthood, the joy of bringing a new life into the world is often accompanied by the mysterious realm of baby sleep. As any parent will tell you, understanding the foundations of baby sleep is a journey filled with both wonder and exhaustion. From soothing lullabies to sleepless nights, finding the right balance for your little one can be both an art and a science.
In this blog, we will go through 3 essentials that you can work on during the day to help your baby sleep at night. To learn about all 5 areas that are proven to affect your baby's sleep, please check out my SETUP to Sleep class for only $11!
1. Providing full feeds instead of snacks will your baby sleep at night. Full feeds contribute to the baby's overall well-being by ensuring they receive adequate nutrition, which is essential for growth and development. Here are several reasons why full feeds are recommended over snacks for baby sleep:
Nutritional Adequacy: Full feeds offer the baby the opportunity to consume a sufficient quantity of milk or formula, providing the necessary nutrients for their age and developmental stage. Babies have small stomachs, and full feeds help meet their nutritional requirements, supporting proper growth and overall health.
Sustained Sleep Periods: A full feeding session helps ensure that the baby's hunger is satisfied, allowing for more extended periods of sleep. Babies who receive adequate nutrition are less likely to wake up due to hunger during the night, promoting more restful sleep for both the baby and the parents.
Reducing Night Wakings: Babies often wake during the night for various reasons, including hunger. Providing full feeds before bedtime and during nighttime awakenings helps minimize the likelihood of the baby waking solely due to hunger, contributing to more consolidated sleep.
Day-Night Sleep Cycle Regulation: Full feeds during the day help regulate the baby's day-night sleep cycle. Ensuring that the baby receives adequate nutrition during waking hours contributes to the establishment of a more predictable sleep pattern, with longer periods of sleep occurring at night.
While individual feeding patterns can vary, aiming for full feeds and incorporating them into a consistent bedtime routine supports healthy sleep development in babies. It's essential for parents to be responsive to their baby's hunger cues, provide full feeds, and gradually encourage the development of independent sleep habits to foster a positive sleep environment. To learn more about feeding and sleep, check out my SETUP to Sleep class for only $11!
2. Creating an optimal sleep environment is crucial for promoting a healthy and restful space to help your baby sleep at night. Here are key considerations to ensure your baby's room is conducive to quality sleep:
Keep the room comfortably cool, typically between 68°F and 72°F (20°C to 22°C).
Dress your baby in breathable sleepwear appropriate for the room temperature.
Use blackout curtains or shades to minimize external light during naps and nighttime sleep.
Consider a dim nightlight for subtle illumination during nighttime check-ins or feedings.
3. Noise Level:
Maintain a quiet environment during sleep times. Use white noise machines or fans to drown out ambient sounds that may disturb your baby.
If possible, place the crib away from noisy areas such as doorways and windows.
4. Crib Safety:
Ensure the crib meets safety standards and guidelines.
Avoid soft bedding, such as pillows and plush toys, in the crib to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
Use a firm and well-fitting mattress with a fitted crib sheet.
3. Play is a crucial aspect of a baby's development, and it can greatly help your baby sleep at night. Here's a breakdown of how play impacts baby sleep:
1. Physical Activity:
Positive Impact: Engaging in active play during the day helps babies expend energy, promoting physical tiredness. Physical activity can contribute to a smoother transition into sleep when bedtime arrives.
2. Mental Stimulation:
Positive Impact: Playtime provides mental stimulation, helping babies develop cognitive and sensory skills. A well-stimulated baby is more likely to sleep soundly, as mental fatigue contributes to a better sleep quality.
3. Quality of Sleep:
Positive Impact: Babies who are engaged in age-appropriate play during the day are more likely to experience deeper and more restorative sleep. This, in turn, contributes to better overall health and development.
4. Self-Soothing Skills:
Positive Impact: Playtime allows babies to develop self-soothing skills as they learn to explore and navigate their surroundings. These skills can be beneficial when the baby wakes up during the night.
By following these suggestions, you will be establishing great sleep hygrine that will help your baby sleep no matter what age they are (newborn to toddler years). To learn more about all 5 areas that are proven to affect sleep, check our my SETUP to sleep class for only $11!