Whether you are a parent or guardian who has had issues settling your baby at night from the get-go, or a parent or guardian suddenly facing a sleep regression and unsure how to solve it, a good night's sleep may not be consistent for many children under one. Not only have many of us adjusted our over all lifestyle for our new, little baby, but also tend to loose (a lot) of sleep in the process. Parenthood brings a new type of tired; one that you'll surely never forget. Not only are you trying to take care of another human, but also trying to take care of yourself!
Sleep should be a human right. But, as parents, it's hard to manage a good sleeping schedule with little ones. To make this process easier for you, we have curated a list of 10 things to (at least) help in putting (and keeping) your baby asleep. Read ahead for some inspiration. Not only will this additional sleep help a tired parent, but will help your new baby, too!
10 WHITE NOISE
White noise machines are an essential nursery item to purchase. Whether it's listed on your baby registry or you find a hand-me-down, white noise machines can not only signal to the child when it's time to sleep, but keep that baby asleep longer than without the use of one.
White noise machines come in a variety of prices and styles. Some allow you to set alarms (so your baby knows when it's time to wake) and others glow to promote a calming visual for the infant. Hot tip: a dim yellow or blue light is scientifically proven to promote sleep.
9 SWADDLE TO BUNTING BAG
From infancy, most babies are used to being tightly wrapped in a swaddle. Because of their comfort from their mother's womb, being snug-tight in a warm and cozy wrap helps keep the baby's transition from mother to world seamless.
Once the baby reaches the age of one month, they can graduate into a bunting bag. A bunting bag is essentially a sleeper that zips around the body in lieu of a blanket. Not only are bunting bags cozy for the child, but it's a very safe alternative to layering with other items while the baby sleeps.
8 OVERNIGHT DIAPER
Many soon-to-be parents don't know the difference of sizing - let alone type - of diapers that they'll very quickly learn about. No only do diapers fluctuate in sizing (depending on brand) but, many also offer day-time and night-time absorbency levels.
Most day-time diapers offer more flexibility around the thighs so that the baby can move comfortably without any blow-outs. Night-time diapers tend to have more absorbency to save the parent and/or guardian from doing mid-night diaper changes.
Not only will this save you from waking up for a pee-heavy diaper change, it will also save you money in the long-run.
7 LAVENDER ESSENTIAL OIL
Lavender essential oil can create an incredibly soothing atmosphere for not only Mom and Dad, but baby as well.
According to this detailed article, lavender essential oil not only has a calming effect on the mind and body, but has anti-inflammatory properties which can treat anxiety and restlessness. With the use of this essential oil added to creams or sprays, lavender can aid in a good night's sleep for your new baby.
6 SIPPY CUP
Most parents tend to feed their baby right before bed to ensure they sleep through the night with a full stomach. Even if the baby wakes in the middle of the night, most parents assume they need and/or want milk. Once a baby turns 4-6 months, it's safe (health permitting) to introduce water into their diet.
Some babies will wake at night thirsty for just water and do not truly need breast milk or formula. Consider keeping a spill-proof sippy-cup in their bed and/or crib. When they wake, they may be able to drink from it themselves to save you a trip to their room.
5 NIGHTIME BATH
Routine, routine, routine! Everyone will tell you, but until they do it themselves, it can (at times) be difficult to stick to. Whether it's a partner arriving home late from work or the day's just simply caught up to you, sticking to the classic routine can be tricky. Children thrive on schedules, and without a routine, their little bodies and minds can feel the change.
Baths calm the mind and body before bed. That essential 10-30 minute bath pre-bed helps get some baby-energy out. Allow them to splash around and get all squeaky clean. This will have them feeling refreshed and ready for a good night's sleep.
There's nothing like a good book before bed. This includes infants and their books, as well. Though many colorful picture books may be stimulating, incorporating storybooks before bed-time is a great way to wind down the mind before calling it quits.
Combine a small collection of 2-6 books that are calming (or perhaps bed-time themed) for your baby before bed. Ensure this is part of your bed-time routine- right before lights out. Not only will this habit introduce literature at a very young age, but hearing your voice close to their bodies will also be incredibly comforting for them right before they fall asleep.
3 SINGING OR HUMMING
Within this article, it's explained how singing and/or humming to your baby signals a cue in their brain that it's bed-time; especially if you make a point to do it each night.
Not only will introducing music (whether you believe your talents to be "good" or "bad") help them learn and appreciate melody at a young age, it will too assist in developing early language skills. Music at a very young age helps in various ways. Calming them down before bed is just one.
Many homes, especially in the colder weather, develop dry air. Whether your child shows physical signs such as a bloody nose or dry cough, babies are not always able to show you their need for more moisture. Humidifiers come in two types: those that you can install in your furnace for the entire home or those that plug into the wall and help with one single room.
Consistently using a humidifier in your baby's room will help the child sleep better (and longer) than you think. You may even buy one for yourself.
1 SAME BEDTIME AND WAKEUP TIME
As said before, routine is incredible for young people- especially babies.
Introducing routine before they turn one is very crucial. Of course, there will be instances where routine will change: from sleep regressions, teething and time change. Many factors do play into when and how their schedules change. But, if you keep an emphasis on the importance of their routine, the baby will follow and bed-time will become easier on both parent and infant. They may just stay asleep for the entire night!