How To Create A Sleep-Friendly Environment For Your Baby

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Sufficient sleep plays a vital role in an infant’s physical and mental development and is essential for their overall health and well-being. As parents, it’s important we pay close attention to our baby’s sleep quality and ensure they’re getting the restful and restorative sleep they need to thrive. One of the first steps in helping your little one sleep is setting up a great sleep-friendly environment. 

Infant Safe Sleep Space

It’s essential to create a safe sleeping space for your baby. The American Academy of Pediatrics, recommends babies should always be placed to sleep on their backs. That they sleep in a crib that meets mandatory safety standards, and the crib mattress is firm and fits snugly in the crib without any gaps. Use a sleeping bag rather than a blanket, as this may become loose and pose a hazard. Remove any soft objects or toys from the crib, including bumpers and pillows, which can cause suffocation and overheating.

Block Out Blinds

It’s important a baby sees plenty of sunlight during waking hours to help set the circadian sleep-wake cycle. But you don’t want any light in the room at bedtime, as sunlight will block the production of melatonin. Melatonin is this great sleepy hormone that helps babies to fall asleep and stay asleep. Seeing the rising sun can also start to cause an early morning wake habit. 

Consistent Comfortable Room Temperature

Keeping your baby’s room at a consistent temperature can also help promote better sleep. The ideal room temperature for a baby is between 68–72 degrees Fahrenheit. Use a room thermometer to monitor the temperature and adjust it accordingly. 

Cot Position

The placement of their cot can greatly impact their temperature overnight. To ensure a more consistent temperature, it’s better to position their cot against an internal wall rather than an external one, which can get significantly colder overnight. Keep it away from any windows, and check for cold drafts coming from under any doorways. If necessary, block these drafts with a rolled-up towel for added insulation. 

Comfy Breathable Fabrics

Choosing comfortable and breathable fabrics for your baby’s sleepwear can help prevent overheating and promote better sleep. Opt for natural fibers like cotton or bamboo, which are soft and gentle on your baby’s skin. Synthetic fibers can make a baby sweat and feel clammy or uncomfortable.

TOG-Rated Sleeping Bag

A TOG-rated sleeping bag can also help regulate your baby’s body temperature while sleeping. TOG is a measure of the insulation of a sleeping bag, the lower the TOG rating, the cooler it will be, and the higher the TOG rating, the warmer it will be. For most climates overnight, we recommend a 2.5 TOG or higher sleeping bag. While 1 TOG is great for hot climates. 

White Noise

Introducing white noise can help block out any potential noise that might wake your baby. Studies show that white noise can help a baby soothe and fall asleep faster. It also helps act as a sound bridge between sleep cycles. Any consistent noise will work. You can use a white noise machine, a fan, or even a mobile app to play white, pink, brown, or even rain noise in your baby’s room.

Next Steps

Now that you’ve set up a tremendous sleep-promoting environment for your little one the next step is establishing a consistent nap routine to help improve your baby’s sleep patterns. The ideal nap schedule for your baby will be based on their age, development, and sleep needs. Having consistent sleep rituals, like reading a book, or singing a song, can also help a baby understand what’s coming next and allow them to settle easier for naps and bedtime.

In conclusion, creating a sleep-friendly environment for your baby is essential for their growth and development. By following these tips and incorporating them into your baby’s sleep routine, you can help your little one get the restful sleep they need to thrive.

Author Bio: 

Written by Melissa, an internationally certified infant sleep consultant and founder of Baby Sleep Code. Baby Sleep Code offers virtual one-on-one sleep consulting packages and downloadable educational resources like their Newborn Sleep Guide. Their services are 5-star reviewed and have often been described as “Life Changing”.

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