Are you struggling to find a rhythm with your baby’s sleep?
Are bedtimes inconsistent?
Are you having a hard time implementing solid routines?
Do you know which signs to look for that tell you your baby is ready for sleep, so you can get him/her in bed BEFORE the meltdown?
Do you know if your baby’s sleep environment is set up correctly for successful naps or nighttime sleep?
Implementing these 3 things below are the first steps to get on your way to healthy sleep for both you and baby! I hope you find these tips helpful and if you have more question or want additional support, come join us over inside our Baby Sleep Journey Tribe FB Group!!
watch and learn your baby’s sleep cues.
If you want your baby to get to sleep with the most amount of EASE(and who doesn’t right?) then it is VERY important that you start to pay attention closely to your baby’s “sleep cues”. A sleep cue can be anything from eye rubbing, yawning, and a glazed expression, to extremely jerky movements or fussiness, etc. Every baby will express these signs a bit differently…so it’s really important to learn how your unique baby is telling you he/she is tired! Usually around 20-30 minutes of wakefulness is a great time to start closely watching to see if you can catch their cue. If you do, and if you get them swaddled and down for their nap quickly, you have the best chance at getting baby to fall asleep with ease.
get used to swaddling.
Short and simple…JUST DO IT! Trust me…even if you think your baby hates it, I can almost guarantee you they don’t! They may just be a little unsure of what is happening and need a bit of time to get familiar with it. For multiple reasons, doing this is a HUGE help for getting your baby to sleep well for both naps and nighttime. Newborns are so used to being in a compact and tight space that they rarely do well sleeping unswaddled. There are many resources available for types of swaddles and how-to-videos on swaddling techniques, etc. Just find your fave, and stick to it! My favorite swaddle is this Swaddle Strap. It is super easy to use and it ensures that the swaddle is put on snug and safely every time. If you think your baby is close to rolling, then you can try something like the Magic Merlin Sleep Suit instead starting around 3 months old. I personally love the Magic Merlin and have seen it work WONDERS! You can safely swaddle or use the Magic Merlin until your baby starts learning to roll over on their own, and using the sleep suit will actually help delay their ability to do this in the crib because of the way it keeps the arms stretched out from the body. Once they are able to roll over in the suit, then I would highly recommend using a transitional piece such as this Sleep Sack instead of ditching everything all together.
Setup a healthy sleep environment.
Newborns are really good at sleeping anywhere during their first couple months of life. And while this is okay, it is very important to start getting them used to sleeping in a healthy environment as soon as possible. Maybe start out with just one nap a day in their own space/environment and then gradually work up from there. There are only a few things you need to start off on the right foot.
1.) I always suggest installing a Baby Monitor(preferably a video one). It just helps ease your mind as a parent when you do give them their own space and you are still able to see what is going on.
2.) Put them to sleep in their crib or bassinet. It’s not necessary to do this for every nap, but at least 1-2 times a day would be ideal. And don’t forget the swaddle!
3.) Put them to sleep in a VERY dark room. And I mean VERY dark. Get black out shades(these are my favorite kind!), tape black construction paper on the windows, seriously…whatever you have to do. As your baby becomes more and more aware this becomes EXTREMELY important
4.) Use a LOUD white noise machine. It’s recommended to use true white noise, and not other “soothing” sounds such as rain, ocean, wind, thunderstorms, etc.
If you continue to follow these guidelines, with a little patience and consistency you and baby will both be on your way to healthy sleep! For a more comprehensive step-by-step plan regarding your newborn’s sleep….I’ve got you covered!
It’s a week-by-week guide covering all things sleep during the first 16 weeks of your baby’s life. It includes sample schedules, routines, and you can join our Baby Sleep Journey Tribe private FB Group for support along the way. Sleep isn’t a luxury…it is a necessity!