Happy New Year! The Cradle Coach team thinks good sleep should be on your list of New Year’s resolutions! Here are 8 ways to make sure your baby or toddler gets the sleep they need in 2017.
8. Create the Ideal Sleep Space
Good sleep starts with the right environment. Have you ever tried to fall asleep on scratchy sheets or in a noisy room? It’s not easy! The same goes for your kids. Make sure their rooms are equipped for sleep with black out curtains or shades, comfortable and safe bedding, and possibly a white noise machine like the Marpac Dohm-DS All Natural Sound Machine. For more tips on creating a nursery designed for good sleep, check out this blog post!
7. Commit to a Solid Routine
When it comes to sleep, one of the most important things you can do is design an age appropriate routine focusing on naps and bedtimes. For at least two weeks, commit to putting your baby or toddler down for their naps and at night at the same time and using the same pre-nap and bedtime rituals. Sometimes, this simple change can make a huge difference in sleep quality! Check out the “Routines” section of our blog for more tips!
6. Ditch the Sleep Crutches
We love newborn snuggles! Don’t you? There is nothing sweeter. But after around two-three months of age, those snuggles can turn into sleep crutches that prevent your baby from falling asleep (and staying asleep!) If you find you’re constantly nursing, rocking, walking, or holding your baby to sleep and you’d like to stop, now is the time to sleep train! And you don’t have to use cry it out methods. Check out our sleep training methods section to find the perfect method for you and your baby.
5. Make Naps a Priority
Naps can make or break a good night’s sleep. If a baby or toddler is overtired, it can make for a restless night. If you have a young infant, make sure at least one of her naps is at home in her crib and make an effort, as we mentioned before, to put her down around the same time every day. If you’ve got a short napper (or a no-napper!) check out these tips on naps.
4. Create A Bedtime Routine
A good bedtime routine can go a long way when it comes to a restful night’s sleep. The trick is to be consistent and to make it enjoyable. By doing the same things each night around the same time (think bath, massage, story time, feeding–if age appropriate–and snuggles), you’re kids will start to associate those things with falling asleep. After a few weeks, you might find your little ones yawning during their routines – a sure sign they’re ready for bed!
3. Overhaul Your Pantry?
Did you know that what your kids eat affects their sleep? It’s true! Aside from the obvious foods that are high in sugar, certain vegetables, such as broccoli, as well as fried foods can really impact how your kids sleep. For a complete list of anti-sleep foods, click here!
2. Cut Out the Early Rising!
Does your baby or toddler wake up well before the crack of dawn? First things first, don’t put him to bed later; it will not help them sleep later, and in most cases the opposite occurs.
To help with early rising, make sure your baby’s room is as dark as possible. Even a little bit of morning light can trigger an early wake up. Also, try increasing his sun exposure during the day.
Lastly, try keeping him in bed as long as possible, even if he’s awake. Realistically, most babies/toddlers need around 10-11 hours at night. Anything more is a gift! If you know your child can typically sleep until 7a.m., don't continue the habit of waking early by getting them out of their beds before that time. If you have a toddler or older baby, we suggest using a toddler clock such as the OK to Wake! Alarm Clock to help your little one know when it’s time to get up and out of bed!
1. Get Help!
What’s our #1 piece of advice for the New Year? Call us! We know having an infant or toddler who doesn’t sleep can be very stressful on everyone in the family. Sometimes, all it takes is a little outside support and guidance. Let us help you by creating a plan that’s customized for your family. Contact us today to learn more about our sleep packages!