As a new mom, some things become especially precious.
Sleep will be at the top of your list.
The good news is that given the right conditions your baby will sleep, is in fact, wired to sleep.
Setting the mood at bedtime can make all the difference between a baby who settles easily and one who has trouble getting to sleep. We established bedtimes and wind down routines with our children right from the start and it makes a huge difference in how quickly they get to sleep.
Here are five simple tips to help you and baby get a good night’s sleep.
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1. Create a nightly sleep routine.
It’s no secret that babies thrive on routines. Try and establish your nightly bedroom early and stick to it. My baby’s bedtime routine involves a bath, pj’s and a sleep sack, nursing and then a story. When he was younger I would read the story first and then nurse him. He may not always get a bath and some nights we skip the story but routines are also designed to be flexible. My son now knows that once he’s in his after-dinner bath that bedtime is not far off.
2. Avoid stimulations for baby
Don’t try to do your bedtime wind down in your living room with the TV on. The best place is in the same room as your baby will go to sleep in. You’re trying to calm your child and prepare them for sleep. TV in nature is loud and stimulating.
3. Try white noise
I swear by our noise machine (we use this one). I personally like the ocean sounds but that’s just my personal preference. Having a preschooler as well as a baby means life can get noisy. And since we live in an apartment most of that noise tends to happen just outside of the baby’s room. Our noise machine lets us live our lives and lets our baby get a good night’s sleep.
4. Keep it dark
While you’re doing your nightly routine and feed keep the lights dimmed. Think of it as preparing your baby for sleep. If you’re waking up for night time feeds; try to keep the lights dimmed or off. I became an expert in doing diaper changes in the dark just to avoid fully waking up my babies at night.
5. Avoid eye contact
Babies are naturally stimulated by eye contact with their parents. When you’re reaching the end of your nightly routine avoid making eye contact (especially if you’re nursing). The same goes for those late nights or early morning feeds. Avoid eye contact and focus on getting your baby fed and back to bed.
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