It’s World Sleep Day, March 16th, now is the perfect time to talk about sleep for babies!
Disturbed sleep for adults is bad enough, in terms of our health and wellbeing, but we can caffeinate to get through the days when we don’t get enough rest. Babies, however, can be seriously affected by a lack of rest.
So much of their growth occurs during sleep, when their bodies can focus on building up brain cells and muscles, bones and more. A sleep deprived baby will have less appetite, might not be digesting food properly and, in general, not feel well. Setting up a solid bedtime routine, even with a baby, is a good habit to start as early as two months old.
That’s up to parents, of course, but here are some ideas that might help you get started:
• A bath for baby – followed by a massage with lotion to make sure that your baby is relaxed and ready for sleep.
• A last feed – a little snack of breastmilk or formula before bed will help make sure that a rumbling tummy doesn’t wake them up right away.
• A good book – reading a story to your baby is soothing and comforting to them. They will be able to relax while you cuddle up and read a good story. Listening to your voice will be like music, to baby.
• A comfy sleep outfit – make sure that your baby is dressed right for sleep, depending on the season. Tip: dress them in one more layer than you would wear, in the same room. These comfy pajamas from Finn + Emma are PERFECT for babies. Eco-friendly, organic cotton with non-toxic dyes? You can’t go wrong!
Over time, your routine with baby will change, but the point is that there needs to be a transition from day to night that the baby, and later toddler, will come to expect. To ensure that baby has a good sleep, they need a good crib, a solid mattress, no pillows or blankets (risk of suffocation) and a room setup for sleep.
A Dark Room with a Little Light
A dark room, with light eliminating window shades, is ideal for baby, but including some sort of night light, is fine too. It’s also helpful for you, when those midnight changes are required, as you can see enough NOT to trip over anything and wake everyone up in the house! Keeping baby in ‘sleep mode’, even during a change, is your goal, so a small light that you can see by but that doesn’t disturb baby will help you get baby cleaned up and back to sleep.
Cielö $32.99 USD
Musical Nightlight with Projection — this night light not only comforts baby with images projected on the ceiling but you can turn on soft, soothing lullabies to help baby fall asleep.
The Right Room Temperature
Since babies shouldn’t sleep with blankets, you need to ensure that the room is just the right temperature to keep them comfortable. Too hot or too cold and they’ll wake up fussy. Small bodies cannot take extremes in temperature the way adults can, so make sure that the room is just right for baby.
Igrö $11.99 USD
2-in-1 Digital Thermometer/Hygrometer for baby’s room — Keep a check on the ambient room temperature and humidity levels in baby’s room with this handy tool. The large easy to read LCD screen ensures you can check in any time of the day, or night!
Clean Air for Good Breathing
Another important factor for sleep is having clean air, free from pollen, bacteria and dander from pets. All of these things can cause an allergic reaction in many babies, inhibiting their sleep. Children who sleep in environments with a more limited air quality are at risk of developing asthma and other breathing related allergies and issues.
Püre $84.99 USD
Püre – 3 in 1 HEPA Air Purifier — This unit with a HEPA + filter and active carbons removes 99.7 of irritating dust, allergens and mold particles from the air. Clean air helps to ensure good breathing for baby. In addition, a little white noise can be helpful to keep baby sleeping for as long as they can manage!
Humidity is also important as dry air can also be very irritating, particularly if baby has a cold or congestion. Many homes are so well insulated and protected from outside air that they lack humidity, which we humans need, what with being 85% water ourselves!
Ümi $84.99 USD
Ümi – 2-in-1 Ultrasonic Humidifier & Air Purifier — this no filter system is a humidifier, anion air purifier, and night light, all in one small, functional package. With the built in timer for shut off as well as 16 hour capacity water tank, you can adjust easily for your baby’s sleep needs.
Peace of Mind for Parents
Being able to check on a baby is as natural to a parent as breathing, but babies who aren’t deep sleepers are easily disturbed by the motion or sounds of someone coming in to the room. After all, who hasn’t gone in and made sure that baby was breathing correctly and hadn’t flipper over onto their stomach? Peace of mind for parents is just as important for baby to get good sleep!
Viziö $149.99 USD
All-in-One Digital Video Baby Monitor — this is the cream of the monitor crop! With motion and sound activated display that works beautifully during the day, and at night with infrared technology, you can rest easy knowing your baby is resting easy too. It even has a temperature monitor and lullabies you can play, as well as an integrated night light. The only thing it doesn’t do is make coffee for you, but everything else is covered!
Once you’ve got the nursery in order and well equipped, it’s a matter of getting down to a routine that works for your family. You’ll find the way, in time, and you’ll all sleep better for it.
Geneuviève Thibault is the co-founder of bblüv baby essentials. Geneuviève and her husband launched bblüv to provide thoughtfully created, well-designed, safe and durable baby products that will make life simpler for the modern parent.