Today, Malou from Baby Loves Sleep is chatting with us about creating the best sleep environment for your baby. We all know how important this is… let’s find out more.
How exciting to find out you’re expecting! I still remember when I found out I was pregnant with my first, all I could think about was how I was going to decorate my baby’s nursery. I can tell you that while I was busy thinking about colour schemes and the style of cot I was going to get, not for one minute did I consider whether the beautiful nursery I was creating was going to be conducive for sleep.
What I didn’t know was that it didn’t matter how stunning the nursery was going to look, because when it comes to creating the perfect baby sleep environment there’s three key things that really matters.
Let me share these with you:
1. Lights: a dark room is best for sleep time
Babies sleep better in a dark room. The darker the better! Boom! That’s all! But okay, if you’re one of those people that need to know the science behind everything, then I can tell you that there is scientific evidence that all humans including babies sleep better in a dark room.
A dark room encourages the release of melatonin. Melatonin is the hormone that tells your brain that it’s time to slow down and go to sleep. If you need to use a light for night time feeds or changing, use red lighting (instead of white or blue light) as numerous studies have shown this to be less disruptive to the circadian rhythm. The Circadian rhythm is basically our 24-hour internal clock that is running in the background of your brain and cycles between sleepiness and alertness at regular intervals. It’s also known as your sleep/wake cycle.
If your baby’s room isn’t dark enough there are ways to make it darker. Blackout shades or coverings is the best way to get your baby’s room in that cave-like darkness state. So, this is one investment I didn’t think twice making.
2. Temperature: maintain an ideal room temperature
Just like yourself, your baby’s room temperature needs to be comfortable for sleeping in – not too warm, not too cool. The recommended temp for a baby’s room is between 19C to 22C. If the room is even the slightest too cold, this can be the cause for your baby to wake too early in the morning. The coldest part of the day is around the break of dawn. Young babies are not yet able to regulate their own body temperature, so if your baby is waking too early then it’s likely that they could be cold. This is why it’s important to maintain the recommended room temperature to ensure your baby sleeps comfortably.
Ways to maintain your baby’s room temperature can include a small thermostat oil heater that is set to the recommended room temp. If you will use a heater, make sure to place this at the farthest part of the room (away from your baby’s cot) so that your baby doesn’t get too hot.
It’s also a good idea to invest in a room thermometer to monitor the room temp.
3. Sound: adjusting sounds to suit your baby
First let me clear up the myth that babies can only sleep in absolute silence – this is so not true! If anything there is a higher chance that babies sleep better when they hear noises that are most familiar to them. When you think about it, in the 9 months while your baby was in utero, your baby would sleep hearing the sounds that came from your insides as well as external sounds. So, it makes sense to try and mimic the sounds that your baby is familiar with and actually helps them to fall asleep.
There are many devices that mimic the familiar sound of being in utero – these devices are known as white noise machines. White noise machines are reminiscent of the sounds your baby heard while they were in your womb. That noise is comforting. So go ahead and plug in a white noise machine to recreate the environment.
With all this said, the most important thing to remember is consistency. Whatever you do, keep it consistent because not only do babies thrive on consistency, it helps keep them secure and helps keep them sleeping better.
About Baby Loves Sleep
Baby Loves Sleep is the home of the uniquely designed baby sleep solutions created by Mum Malou Villarreal out of her own experiences with her second son. Malou created the Sleepy Hugs an innovative sleep sack designed for gentle swaddle transitioning for babies who can no longer be swaddled but are not ready to go without the security that a swaddle provides and safe for babies who have started to roll. Malou also created the Koala Hugs newborn wrap, an innovative take on the traditional swaddle wrap featuring hidden arm pockets that gently cocoon babies arms to help combat the startle reflex and guarantees an inescapable wrap. It removes the guesswork of swaddling for first time parents.
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