In this previous post, we shared tips from Melissa of Sleep Sisters about surviving the daylight savings time change. As no surprise, it was a very popular post! Parents are always eager to learn more about sleep and what they can do to help the sleep quality of their little ones and as a result, improve the sleep quality of the entire family! If you have a question about sleep that you would like answered, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can answer it in a post.
All babies are different, and all families are different. What works for some, may not work for others. Fortunately, there are lots of choices out there, whether it’s a tool or an approach. If something you tried didn’t work, don’t give up! You may just need to try something else.
What things should I look for in a baby monitor?
An OFF button!! Seriously. Many of us are so quick to rush to the side of our little ones the minute we hear a peep or see a movement. However, babies are very noisy and move around quite a bit when they sleep. Not every sound or shift needs an intervention. At a certain point, it can be more helpful to turn off the monitor so that the adults can get some uninterrupted sleep, without being awoken by every whimper. If your baby is really crying out, chances are you will hear him without the monitor. While baby monitors are a valuable and useful tool, enabling us to keep an ear or eye on our precious little ones without entering their room, we find they are often overused. We don’t want parents sitting by their video monitors and watching them like TV!
I’m ready to make the transition from co-sleeping to having our little one in her own crib. What are your top three tips?
- Begin to work on self-soothing by practicing putting your baby down drowsy, but awake. Once baby is in her own crib, she’ll need to be able to soothe herself back to sleep in between sleep cycles (approximately every 45 mins). The best way to learn this skill is practicing when she first falls asleep.
- Start having your baby nap in her crib during the day. Even if you want to co-sleep at night, you can begin letting your baby get used to her crib during the day. If all the naps are in the crib, then when you are ready to have her do her nights in her crib, it will feel very familiar and comfortable to her.
- Create an ideal sleep environment. Have the crib in a location that is dark (or able to get dark, especially during the day), remove any distractions from the baby’s line of sight, follow all safety guidelines (no bumpers, pillows, loose bedding), include white noise, and keep the room cool.
Our baby is such a light sleeper and any noise will wake him up. What should we do?
We are big fans of white noise! White noise can help buffer out household noises or outside noises like a dog barking, car horn, or other street noise. Consistently using white noise for the duration of each period of rest has another benefit – it creates a very strong association for your baby that can help her lengthen her sleep. If she hears the white noise as she drifts off, and she continues to hear that noise as she comes almost awake in between cycles, she will associate that sound with sleeping and it will signal to her body that it’s still time to sleep.
What is the best white noise for babies?
There are a few factors that are important for white noise. While I don’t have a favorite machine or app, I like to recommend something that is easy to take with you (if you are on the go or travel at all). I use a free app on my iPhone so that I can always have it with me. I also suggest parents don’t place anything that is plugged in near the baby’s head. But what generates the noise is less important than the following three points:
- The noise needs to stay on the entire duration of the sleep period (whole nap, or entire night). Any machine that automatically turns off is not a good choice! Babies tend to wake up as soon as the noise stops.
- The noise needs to be patternless. Things like classical music, waves lapping at the shore, bird chirping are not white noise. They have a pattern that our brains will be processing when we sleep. Those sounds are great for soothing and calming before sleep, but should not continue to play during sleep. Sounds like a fan, air purifier or humidifier, or tracks called “white noise” or “pink noise” or similar all work well. Find something that sounds soothing to you.
- The noise needs to be loud enough to buffer out household or street noise, but not so loud that it’s uncomfortable. We find that most people don’t have the noise loud enough. It should be at a conversational level.
What is the ideal temperature for a babies room? I am so worried about overheating them!
68-72 degrees Fahrenheit. We all sleep better when temperatures are on the cooler side.