In those first few weeks, babies will basically sleep anywhere and anytime – day or night. But then after around the 3-4 week point, they will need to be in the optimum sleep environment to ensure they are getting the quality Zzzs their little bodies need.
You can of course, still get them out and about for naps, but aim to have most of their sleeps in the same environment to help them create that association with sleep time.
Mothercraft Nurse Chris Minogue says to always think “calm, cool and quiet” when putting your baby to sleep.
Here are a few tips to help you set up a soothing sleep environment for your baby.
1. Darken the room – but don’t make it pitch black
Making a room pitch black can be scary for a small baby and make them more unsettled. Make sure the room is just bright enough so you can still see your baby and to move around the room and have a cuddle before putting them down.
2. Limit the white noise
You don’t need to bother with expensive white noise machines, says Chris who believes they’re often the cause of baby’s waking rather than the magic tool we’re led to believe. Instead, let the background noise of your home be enough. If you do have older kids or dogs or are worried about them being woken up, opt for a very gentle noise no louder than a fan to help drown out some of the noises outside.
3. Introduce a soother
A soother can be a lovely way to provide your baby with that added comfort during sleep and nap time. A soother can be an incredibly useful tool for sleep time if used correctly. As well as providing comfort it helps your baby learn to self settle as they get older.
4. Create a calming, sleep routine
You might like to do a nighttime routine that includes a bath, some gentle massage, a book and their final feed before you put them down for bed each night. This doesn’t need to be a strict schedule, but rather a nice little winddown to help get your baby in a calm, relaxed state and ready for sleep. You might like to do a mini version of this routine for your baby’s naps too.
5. Don’t place a mobile over their cot
Mobiles and other distracting toys or artworks are best placed over your baby’s change tables as they can become too distracting. As your baby grows and they become more aware of their surroundings, these distractions can interfere with their sleep.. they’re much more excited to look at the fascinating mobile above their head than sleep!
Sleep is a learned ability many of us adults still have trouble with! And sure, like anything to do with our little ones it won’t always go according to plan, but by setting your baby up in a soothing sleep environment you are giving them the best possible chance of getting quality sleep. Quality sleep gives their little bodies what they need to grow and develop into healthy and happy little humans.
This is a paid partnership between Kiindred x Medela.