Hive Life | July 10, 2018
Keep your baby’s room warmer during the day and cooler at night. The optimal temperature for infant sleep is between 65 and 70°F. If you don’t have a thermostat you can control, leave the window slightly open or use a fan at night – just don’t position the baby directly in front of either one.
Avoid gazing into your baby’s eyes late at night. Eye contact boosts brain development and bonding, which stimulates baby keeping her awake. Instead, make plenty of eye contact during the day so she knows it’s time to be awake.
Help keep your baby on a schedule by teaching them that light time is awake time and vice versa. Plug your lamps into dimmer units and lower the lights when the sun goes down in the evening. This will help your baby learn that it’s time to start calming down before bedtime.
Babies love and need strong rhythmic noise. Some parents rely on a white-noise machine, a radio tuned to transmit static, or you can even let the baby sleep near a running dishwasher or washing machine.
Try using a swing for naps during the day. Fewer than 5 percent of babies need the swing technique and parents can gradually stop as the baby learns how to self-soothe.
Beginning in the early evening, decrease the time between baby’s feedings. If you usually feed her every three hours, do so every two hours as you approach bedtime. Some parents report that it will help your baby feel fuller, without relying on frequent nighttime feedings.
If you are breastfeeding your newborn and she wakes up often, offer pumped breast milk from a bottle at night. This allows you and your partner to switch feeding shifts so you can both benefit from more sleep.
Babies take cues from their parents, so if you want him to relax, you should too. Slow down your breathing to send signals to the baby that it’s time to calm down. To help pace your breathing, listen to music with a rhythm that’s slower than your heartbeat and set your breath to it. This would also be a great time to meditate since it’s a calming practice – both for you and your little one!
As soon as your baby wakes up for the day, open window shades and brighten lights as soon as possible. Exposure to the light will help both of you grow more alert and awake. Sit near a sunny window or take a brief walk outside to help your baby’s internal clock develop.
When you wake up with the baby in the middle of the night, try skipping the diaper change as this tends to stimulate baby. If baby’s diaper is not soaked through or soiled, you can skip the change. Use absorbent nighttime diapers and a thick diaper cream to protect the skin until morning.
Even if you have a large, comfortable crib, your baby might sleep better in a bassinet or co-sleeper at a younger age. Babies tend to feel safer in more enclosed, smaller spaces, so when in a swing, bassinet or co-sleeper they might sleep sounder and longer. You can transition baby to crib when baby has developed better sleep habits.
You may already have heavy curtains or blackout shades hanging in baby’s room, but if you co-sleep or if nighttime feedings have you sleeping late in the morning or napping throughout the day, you’ll be able to snooze more easily and longer.
Mamas have been running on minimal sleep for centuries. We’re a tough breed! But just because we are strong, doesn’t mean motherhood has to be hard. Finding little ways to help ease and minimize the sleep deprivation will make everyone’s lives a little bit sweeter.
More importantly, you do not need to go through this alone. SmartMom has plenty of resources for you and baby on our blog, but our most valuable asset is our mobile app community of 160,000 moms that is growing every day. With this many moms available to help, SmartMoms who post questions in the app get a response within 7 minutes from a real-life SmartMom that has either been where you are or is going through the same thing alongside you. Download the SmartMom app to join our community of moms like you today.
Download your full free Sleep Guide here.