Getting your baby into a good sleep routine may seem impossible when they’re waking throughout the night, but healthy sleep habits are closer than you think.
While brand new babies need to feed frequently, by the third month most healthy infants are able to settle for longer stretches. For parents, this period is the ideal time to start establishing a set bedtime routine.
Create a wind-down period
Repeating the exact same actions every night is powerful tool. It doesn’t matter what you do – any low-key routine will send a signal to your child’s brain and body that it’s nearly time to sleep.
Here’s a popular pre-bedtime ritual that works for other parents:
- Slow down your movements and speak softly
- Give baby a warm bath
- Dim the lights
- Massage baby or gently stroke their skin with infant-safe oil
- Move to the bedroom for the final feed, rather than sitting in the living room
- Read the same story every night
- Play or sing the same song
If you have a colicky baby, it can take longer for them to respond to this wind-down period. However, the structure will help you both feel calmer and will pay off in the long run.
Get as much daylight as possible
According to the Journal of Sleep Research, exposing young babies to plenty of natural light during the day can help make their nighttime sleep better and longer. Daylight helps babies to set their biological clocks and develop their sleep-wake cycles.
For older babies and children, natural light can prevent them from becoming drowsy during the day. This makes their nighttime sleep deeper and more restful.
During the summer months, remember to protect them from harmful UV-rays by sticking to shady spots. Can’t get outside? Throw open the curtains and play or feed in the sunlight instead. Every little helps!
Avoid natural light at bedtime
While natural daylight aids good sleep, it can have the opposite effect at bedtime. Sunlight streaming in through windows in the evening and early morning gives our bodies the message that it’s time to wake up. Not what you want at 4am!
Blackout blinds are a godsend when it comes to establishing a good sleep routine. You can opt for a permanent fixture or buy a travel blackout blind that can be used in multiple bedrooms.
Easyblinds™ offer a range of high quality blackout blinds that help little ones to stay asleep, whether at home or on the move. Their award-winning easynight™ portable blackout blind is held to the window with sturdy suction cups and can fold up neatly to fit in your bag or suitcase.
Coping with routine changes
Occasionally, issues arise which throw your child’s bedtime routine off course. These include:
- clocks changes
- development changes (such as separation anxiety or a fear of the dark)
- sleeping away from home
It’s frustrating, but once the problem is resolved you’ll be able to take back control and re-establish your child’s usual routine. This can take a few days, so don’t lose heart if they seem to have taken a backwards step. It will get easier!
Written in conjunction with easyblinds™, the easy to use blackout blinds that come in a range of sizes, including blackout blind kits, portable blackout and blackout materials.