Every parent puts their baby down at night hoping against hope for the luck of a relatively undisturbed night’s sleep!
Encourage a Good Night’s Sleep for your Baby
Yet there are some things you can do to encourage a good night’s sleep for your baby and to reduce the role luck plays in things.
Babies love routine. It makes them feel safe and secure because things around them are familiar and so are the processes surrounding their “nighty night!” time.
Try to put them down in the same location and follow a similar routine as much as possible. That’s particularly important with things like feeding, bath routines and so on.
Also, babies past a certain age can recognise faces and may get concerned if someone they’re not familiar with tries to put them to bed.
In keeping all this very much ‘business as usual’, you’re signalling to them that everything is fine.
Keep their room calm
By and large, babies sleep best in rooms that are just off being dark and that are quiet, though not necessarily silent.
Controlling light levels in the summer months can be an issue, so try heavy-duty curtains or curtain liners to block out the sun and use a baby light to keep a very gentle and low-level light in the room.
Sound can be a major problem for a baby’s sleep. If they can hear their older siblings or others rampaging around the house, there’s a fair chance they’ll be awake in an instant. Loud music, TVs, games, noises and passing traffic might all be other examples of issues.
Do what you can to reduce or eliminate those sounds.
Paradoxically though, babies may also have some problems with bedrooms that are ultra-quiet. A little background very quiet music or perhaps background noise generators (e.g., raindrops) can be reassuring.
Heat and humidity
Babies are highly adaptable but they often don’t like being too hot and humid. If they are, they’ll fidget all night.
Make sure your baby is dressed for sleep appropriately given the background temperatures and do not over-dress them. If you have a temperature-controlled room, that would be ideal.
The most natural thing in the world for parents to do, particularly with younger babies, is to regularly check on them.
That’s a good thing but remember to control it. An endless stream of parents, siblings, aunts, uncles and neighbours going into their room to coo over them is a nice thought but the more people that go in and the more regularly, the greater the chance of your baby being accidentally disturbed.
Modern practice is to avoid heavy and restricting night-time clothes for children. They should be dressed sensitively and above all comfortably, in night-time safety-approved clothes.
Do make sure they’re checked and are thoroughly dry and ‘poo free’ before putting them down too. It won’t guarantee they’ll stay that way but it will get them off to a good start!