People often associate the stresses of having a child with him or her not sleeping through the night and keeping tired and weary parents up along with them. Many will tell you that is definitely the case, however, most of the time that is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Getting your baby to sleep through the night is only half the battle. The real battle is getting a holistic sleep pattern established that is a set pattern which includes both day and night. As a parent of a newborn, your shift doesn’t end, you just get to clock out for a few hours in between. In today’s article we’re going to cover some best practices to help you and your infant establish and keep a great day/night sleep routine. If you have any questions or personal experiences you’d like to share, please sound off in the comments! We’d love to hear from you.
Develop A Positive Sleeping Environment
First thing’s first. To get baby to sleep, you need to create an ideal environment for them to sleep in. It’s no coincidence that rocking chairs are commonly associated with newborn babies and are often purchased before a baby comes. They really help! If you don’t already have a comfortable rocking chair, now is the time to invest in one. Here are some other things that you can do to help foster an excellent sleeping environment for your baby:
- Darkness in the nursery should be fairly dark for sleep. Level 8 out of 10, 10 being pitch black. Use an orange or red night light for tending to baby in the middle of the night.
- Drown out the louder house sounds with a fan (no air flow directly on baby) or air purifier or white noise machine
- Provide a light blanket to cover your baby and yourself (only if they are napping in your arms) otherwise, get them in a dry diaper and in comfy sleeping outfits like sweats or pajamas. For independent sleep, swaddle baby snuggly.
- Feel free to sing a few lullabies to your baby! Studies have shown that they actually help in getting your little one to go down faster and for longer.
Plan Out Your Schedule
You’re going to have to make best friends with your calendar! Your newborn should be napping within 1 to 1.5 hours of waking up in the morning. They should nap for at least 45 minutes and up to 90 minutes. If your child is 5 or 6 month to 7 to 9 months old, they will usually need 3 naps each day, spaced out by about 2-3 hours or so. After 8 months, then they should ditch the 3rd nap and just go down to 2. You can block out these nap times in your calendar and then plan your day around those nap periods. It will be tough at first, but it will pay dividends later on if you are able to stick to that routine consistently.
In general we recommend following a pattern that looks like this: feed, awake sleep. Full feeds, proper amount of awake time (each cycle will vary), then followed by sufficient daytime naps. The only time this varies is right before bedtime when we try to feed baby milk within 45 minutes of going to sleep for the night.
Consult An Expert
If you’re still not sure what the best path is for you and your infant, then please feel free to reach out to an expert, like us! We would be happy to consult with you and put together a custom sleep schedule for you and your child. For more information and pricing quotes, please contact our pediatric sleep consultant by clicking here.
Getting the perfect sleeping routine for your child can be difficult, but it’s not impossible! We hope these tips have helped you along your journey. If you have any questions about helping your baby to sleep better, developing a conducive routine for your baby that works with your life, or about your baby in general, please reach out to us HERE. We are experts in all things baby and sleep and would love to help!
If you have questions about your child, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We would love to help. Please reach out to us here! We always look forward to hearing from you.