Did you know today is Baby Sleep Day? If you have a baby who isn’t sleeping (ergo, neither are you), then you’re probably losing track of the days anyway! Don’t worry, sweet slumber is coming soon enough.
Observed annually every March 1st, this day emphasizes the importance of sleep for a baby as well as family members in general. In honor of this day, we’re here to bring you a few of our favorite tips for great sleep, courtesy of our friends at Moms on Call (plus one pro tip of our own). These hacks apply to both you and your baby—because sleep should be a family activity.
Keep a consistent wake time. Did you know your circadian rhythm, also known as your body clock, is guided by your wake-up time rather than your bedtime? Waking up at the same time every day, within a 15-minute window, will help you achieve ideal bedtime hormone (melatonin) levels.
Keep your baby’s naps consistent and under two hours. Napping consistency is important to developing good sleeping habits. And part of that consistency is ensuring that naps don’t last too long. For babies over 4 weeks of age, the pediatric nurses of Moms on Call advise keeping naps under two hours and at consistent times each day. As we mentioned above, your baby’s body tells time by doing the same thing, at the same time, every day so a consistent nap routine will set you up for nighttime success.
Follow the light. Daylight is for shorter stretches of sleep, and darkness is for longer stretches. It’s important to keep an ideal sleep environment that allows our body to know that it is nighttime. Our hormones respond to light—both the sun and artificial light. In fact, you should keep your room and your baby’s room as dark as possible. Studies show excess can disrupt the body's natural circadian rhythm, and light emitted from electronics cues the brain to wake up and suppresses melatonin. The SlumberPod is a portable blackout solution for peaceful sleep that creates the necessary darkness for napping, even in shared rooms.
Get moving. Is your newborn fussier as evening approaches? Join the club. The good news is that movement helps reduce the crankiness. And, research suggests encouraging more physical activity with your baby when they’re awake during the day will help them sleep more at night. Aim for around 30 minutes of movement (tummy time, play mat, wiggling with mom or dad, etc.) after dinner.
Use a sound machine. White noise, which is technically all the frequencies that an ear can hear played in no particular order, helps the body get into and stay in restorative sleep. Known as rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, this is the deepest stage of sleep and allows your baby’s body and brain to reset. White noise stops inconsistencies in sound that may wake your baby up. Introducing the soothing sounds of white noise into our schedule allows babies and adults to associate those sounds with sleep.
Help your baby breathe. Head colds are here with a vengeance. Because babies can't clear their own noses—and because babies can’t breathe through their mouth for the first 12 months of life—nasal aspirators like the NozeBot provide a way to clear a baby's nasal passages effectively and safely. Not only will your baby breathe better, but they'll sleep and eat better, too.
The bottom line—sleep is important. If you’re looking for more information and encouragement as you bring up baby, look to Moms on Call for insights, including their world-famous books and online course bundle for parenting newborns through toddlers.
Want more information or instructions on using the NozeBot? Don’t hesitate to contact us!