Baby Sleep 101: Tips and Tricks for Better Sleep
Helpful sleep training techniques, tools, and tips for establishing healthy sleep habits in newborns and babies so both parent and child can get their much-needed rest.
Getting your baby to sleep through the night is one of the major challenges of new parenthood. While every baby's sleep needs are different, there are some general best practices you can follow to help your little one (and you!) get some much needed rest. In this blog, we'll share some of our favorite sleep training techniques to help your baby develop healthy sleep habits.
Establish a Consistent Bedtime Routine
Creating a predictable bedtime routine helps signal to your baby that it's time to wind down for sleep. Try to follow the same sequence of activities like bath, massage, pajamas, story and song each night. Keep the lights dim and speak in soft, soothing voices as bedtime nears. Having a predictable routine will help cue your baby that sleep is coming.
Pay Attention to Wake Windows
The amount of time your baby can stay happily awake between naps is called a "wake window." Understanding wake windows based on your baby's age will help you recognize signs of tiredness so you can put them down before they become overtired and struggle to sleep. Newborns have short wake windows of 45 mins to 1.5 hours. As babies get older, wake windows extend to 2-3 hours.
Create a Restful Sleep Environment
Make sure baby's sleep area is dark, cool and free of noise and distractions. Invest in room darkening shades and a white noise machine to mimic noises from the womb. Keep the crib simple without bumpers, toys or loose blankets. Your calm presence helps soothe your little one to sleep.
Try Different Sleep Training Techniques
If your baby is older than 4 months, you can try letting them "cry it out" for short periods to learn self-soothing before offering comfort. For a more gradual approach, try the "camping out" method where you sit by the crib offering gentle reassurances as your little one falls asleep. Do what feels right for you and your family.
Develop a Flexible Bedtime Schedule
While following a routine is key, staying flexible is also important. Look for signs of sleepiness and adjust bedtime or naps earlier or later if needed. Sleep needs change as your baby grows. Keep adjusting your schedule every few weeks.
Establishing healthy sleep habits early on will benefit your baby in the long run. Have patience with the process - there will be regressions and wakeful periods. Support your baby's sleep and get rest when you can. Sleepless nights won't last forever! Let us know if you have any other favorite sleep training tips.