As a Sleep Consultant I always ask parents where their little ones nap and sleep at night.
Creating a calm, familiar environment for your little one to sleep in is a great idea. Even thought in the first few months they will be sleeping in your bedroom, using their room for nappy changes, feeding and some playtime will mean when they move to their own bedroom, they are already familiar with their space.
Over 6 months the Lullaby Trust guidelines state that babies can safely sleep in their own room for naps and at night. I know this isn’t what all parents want and that’s fine, as a sleep coach though I find it really helps with reducing those night wakings.
As much as their little grunts and groans wake us, we disturb them. If breastfeeding and your wanting to cut down on the number of night feeds, little ones being in their own room can also help. Mum you are like a box of chocolates to them and they can smell your milk all night. I would turn over and want a caramel if there for the taking!
Having a simple routine, signalling to your little one that sleep is coming is of benefit. Using this for both naps and at bedtime creates consistency, which babies love.
Taking them to their room, or yours, closing the curtains or blinds, putting on their sleeping bag, feeding if due and reading a little story or singing a song are all positive sleep cues. At bedtime you can also proceed this routine with their bath time, research has shown that warming up in the bath and then cooling down can help with the falling asleep process.
I have put together some of my favourite and recommend products that will help with creating positive sleep patterns for your little one.
Sleeping in a dim or dark room can help babies not to wake early from naps or start the day in the summer months at 4.30am.
Use The Gro Company Gro Anywhere Portable Blackout Blind with Suction Cups behind their normal curtains or blind. It’s also great while visiting friends or relatives or on holiday as it has suckers so attaches to any window.
I am often asked about sleeping bags, I think they are great at keeping babies warm and come in different togs, just like a duvet for the different seasons of the year. Baby Mori Sleeping Bags come in various sizes and tog ratings. Your little one can stay snug all night long.
Often using white noise can help avoid babies being woken early from naps or in the night from outside of home noises, trains, early rounds of the bin collection, dogs barking and sirens. It’s also great for helping to block out noisy siblings. There are many apps available but if you don’t want to leave a phone or tablet in with them the Avantek White Noise Machine is great.
Having a reliable baby monitor with or without a video camera gives peace of mind that you can hear and even see your little one at all times. I have seen hundreds and there is no need to spend a fortune, the Motorola MBP8 Audio Baby Monitor is a great basic audio monitor plugs straight into the wall for simple plug and go. It has a good 50 m indoor range. for something more singing and dancing the Motorola MBP36XL 5-Inch Colour Screen Video Baby Monitor gives a great curved coloured display screen with infrared night vision and the ability to remotely pan, tilt and zoom.
Once rolling around their cot’s babies can get their little arms and legs through the bars, following the guidelines of not using cot bumpers Airwrap Mesh 2 Sided Breathable Cot Bumper Alternative, White have been tested for breathability, quality and hazardous elements in accordance with global standards. They provide a firm yet padded, slim line and non-pillow design which prevents against bumps and knocks, keeping arms, legs, dummies, and toys inside the cot.
Creating a positive sleeping environment and regular sleep cues will all help your little one sleep sounder and for longer.
Good Luck The Baby Guru x