How to create a healthy sleep routine for your baby
From newborn babies to fussy elementary school kids, trying to put your baby to sleep is every parent’s worst nightmare. We’ve rounded up the brains of some of the top children’s sleep experts for their tips on creating healthy sleep habits for your little one.
Why adopt a sleep routine?
Advanced comprehensive pediatric and pediatric sleep specialist Amanda Bude from Groovy Babies explains that a habit is important for children because “it directly impacts mental and physical development. These rhythms affect sleep patterns, wakefulness, rest, activity, hunger, eating, and fluctuations in body temperature and hormones. These cycles need to be in harmony if we want to feel healthy and our ability to fall asleep and stay asleep is closely related to the timing of these cycles. That’s why children thrive if they have a regular and consistent routine as this helps regulate their body clocks and helps with sleep.”
Find out more about Amanda on her Facebook and Instagram.
Remember the 5 elements of healthy sleep
Take into account these five factors to keep your child sleeping through the night:
- Sleep duration: Understand that their required amount of sleep will vary during the day and night due to their immature circadian rhythms.
- Consolidate sleep: Follow your baby’s natural sleep rhythm.
- Sleep schedule: Eliminate distracting environmental factors that will throw your child’s sleep schedule off track
- Regular sleep: Stick to a regular bedtime and remember that there is no such thing as a ‘standard’ bedtime for children.
Keep them comfortable
The comfort of your baby or child is the absolute key to how well they can sleep. Co-Founder of Owlet Baby Care Jacob Colvin offers a few easy ways to make sure your child is completely comfortable before bed:
- “Encourage your baby to breastfeed well. Sleeping after a short feed can make them unsteady or wake up too early and feeding becomes a habit.
- Hold your baby upright on your shoulder for a few minutes. This position helps the infant relax and brings in any wind and will provide reassurance for the baby to settle down.
- Wrap the baby tightly with your hands away from the face. If they don’t wear a towel, they will keep themselves awake by clapping their hands around.
- Play some music in your baby’s room, this helps turn him off from other stimuli and also keeps him from feeling alone and vulnerable.”
For more information on Owlet Baby Care’s Smart Sock baby monitor, visit their website, Instagram or Facebook.
Also, be sure to invest in the right baby bed or nursery furniture to help your child fall asleep comfortably and safely.
Manage the situation if they wake up
Many parents have a bad habit of running to their child’s bed as soon as they hear their baby wake up and cry. Instead of, Liliana Amaro from Zzleepmybaby recommends waiting a few minutes before intervening:
“If a baby has been nursed or rocked to bed by their mother since birth, it is not surprising that they do not know how to fall asleep independently. The good news is that many babies can figure out how to get back to sleep within minutes of waking up in the night! If your baby continues to fuss or fuss for more than a few minutes, you’ll want to come in and comfort them, but it’s important that you let your child do the chores to fall asleep again. You can talk softly to your baby and rub or pat him, but you should avoid picking him up and rocking him or putting him back to sleep.”
Visit Zzleepmybaby’s Facebook page for more great tips.
By teaching your child to go back to sleep on his own, you can better establish a healthy and consistent sleep schedule.