Healthy Sleep Habits for Baby //

4 Ways to Create Healthy Sleep Habits for Baby

DenaOctober 24, 2017

Healthy Sleep Habits for Baby //

As I mentioned last week, now that Roman and Marina are basically out of the “baby stage” and well into childhood, I’ve been doing some reflecting on the early years. I am sharing a series of posts featuring things that I’ve learned along the way. This first post about sleep features four basic tips to create healthy sleep habits for baby. Later, I will do a post about sleep and high-needs babies (like Marina), because that is a whole different ballgame. For now let’s start with the basics that apply across the board.

It’s ironic that we use the phrase “sleep like a baby” to describe a wonderful, peaceful, and uninterrupted night of sleep, because if you have a baby at home, then you know that uninterrupted nights of sleep are a thing of the past.

Because it’s so important that we get the appropriate amount of sleep to be able to survive and function, here are four ways that you can create healthy sleep habits for your little one:

1. Establish a Routine
Adults need routines in their lives and babies are no different. You know how difficult it can be if you fly into another time zone. You feel completely off and are unable to feel truly comfortable. The same thing is true for babies who are new to this world. They have no idea what’s going on and are confused and stimulated by every single thing around them.

The best thing that you can do for an infant baby to help them learn a routine is to put them to bed at the same time each night, and under the same conditions. This includes checking the thermostat to make sure that it’s an ideal temperature for your infant to sleep, (between 65 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit, according to Parents magazine) making sure the noise level is standard each night, and possibly having a bath and a feeding right them before you lay them down.

2. Make Sure the Bedding Is Appropriate
Your baby should be sleeping in a crib, that has been checked for federal CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) safety regulations. These regulations govern how many slats your crib has, whether it’s a side-drop crib, how far the slats are spaced apart, and the materials the crib should be made out of, among other things.

The crib should also have a proper fitting mattress, and one crib sheet pulled tight. Nothing else should be in the crib except for your baby, and a swaddle blanket or crib sack if necessary. You should also make sure that you clear loose cords, strings, nails, toys, and anything else from around the crib that may be in reach of and a hazard to baby.

If you’re unsure about which crib mattresses are correct for baby, you can check out this handy guide of the best and most safe 2017 crib mattresses, from this Sleep Advisor website.

3. Find a Balance Between Gentle Parenting and Self-Preservation
I’ve heard many mothers say, “I would never let my baby cry it out.” I admire that sentiment and, in theory, gentle parenting is a lovely idea that works well for many families. I tried to find a balance when it came to this topic. I practiced gentle parenting and both of my babies co-slept with me for many months. Eventually, however, for my own sanity and health, I moved them into their cribs.

When babies are transitioned into their cribs, some crying is inevitable. In my case, I had to resist the urge to run to baby each time he or she cried because otherwise I’d be running all night, every night. As a mother, I had to guide my children into sleeping on their own, it took time–and yes, some crying it out –but with perseverance, you get there eventually.

4. Remember That It’s Only Temporary
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed, angry, and depressed when you’re sleep deprived, but ultimately this too shall pass. Remember that eventually your baby will sleep through the night (and so will you). Even though it can be so very hard to accept this when you’re trudging through the trenches.

If you need additional inspiration, you can scroll through some of my older posts about baby development and sleep habits right here.

I hope that these tips are helpful and put your baby on a solid sleep schedule; but if you’ve tried them all and still need more advice, keep an eye out for part two which will be dedicated to the “truly troubled” sleepers. *Cough* Marina Grace. *Cough.*

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