When it comes to decorating baby’s nursery, we tend to pay a lot of attention to the visual appeal and not think so much about the practicality. Mobiles, night lights, star projectors, and faux aquariums may look nice to us, but they might be standing in the way of a good night’s sleep.
In today’s video, I’ve got some practical tips to help you create an ideal environment to help your baby get to sleep and stay asleep, and do it on a razor-thin budget!
It seems like every day almost there’s a new gadget or toy or sleep thingy that’s created. You can stick your baby in this thing and it’ll rock and shake and make noise or you can move ’em over here and this toy will help them sleep and there’s just more and more every year comes out and so I get asked the question a lot, what’s the best environment to create a great sleep space for your baby and here’s the good news. You can save your money. You don’t need all those gadgets. They don’t really work long term anyways.
The best and most optimal place for a baby to sleep is basically in a crib or a bassinet with nothing else, right? You don’t even need bumpers. You don’t need lots of blankets. You don’t need pillows. You don’t need a crib full of toys. You don’t need a mobile hanging down right in front of their face. You don’t need any of it and actually, the less that a baby’s exposed to, the better.
So when you put your baby into the crib or the bassinet and it’s clean and there’s no distractions and there’s no toys hanging off of the crib or down in front of their eyes, that is actually teaching them that this is the place you go when you are to sleep, right?
If you were having challenges sleeping as an adult, the first thing I would tell you or any sleep expert would tell you is that you really minimize any other activities you do in your bed. You don’t read in bed. You don’t watch TV in bed. You certainly do not work in bed and you start sending a message to your body and your brain that when you go to that specific place, you’re there to sleep, that’s your job and I think the same needs to be true for our babies that when I put you in this crib or bassinet, your job here is to sleep and that’s it. Not play with toys, not stare at anything, not watch start float across the ceiling, none of that stuff, just sleep.
Now, if your baby is age-appropriate and you need to make that decision on your own when you feel it’s okay for your baby to sleep with some sort of lovey, a little stuffed toy. Make sure it’s absolutely baby safe. Can be something you can incorporate into their strategies where you offer them one little sleep toy or maybe a light blankie of some kind and that can become like a little comfort object for them that they can play with or interact with as they fall asleep but you don’t even need that. Really all you need is a plain old crib or a very basic bassinet and your baby will learn the skills she needs to sleep well when she has enough exposure to it.
Also, darkness is really, really, really important. Keeping that sun out is crucial to stimulating melatonin which is the sleepy hormone that we all need to help us fall asleep and also stay asleep. So get your blackout blinds ready, tape the curtains to the window, whatever you have to do to keep that sunlight out.
It’s gonna be really important and the third thing to keep in mind is temperature. We all tend to sleep a little bit better in a slightly cooler environment than we would even think. So about somewhere between 69 to 72 degrees is considered sort of an optimal sleep temperature and I think as parents we tend to over bundle babies a little bit. We tend to err on the side of they’re gonna be too cold and so we wrap them up in all kinds of things to keep them warm and I would encourage you to just go a little bit cooler than that and see if it doesn’t help your baby to sleep more consolidated through the night.
All right, thanks for watching today. Sleep well.
If your baby, infant or toddler is having trouble sleeping through the night, help is just a click away! The Sleep Sense Program has helped over 57,00 parents to get their kids sleeping 11-12 hours through the night AND taking long, restful naps during the day. If you’re ready to get started today – I’m looking forward to helping you!