For many first-time parents, bringing a new baby home is both the most magical time of their lives – and the most sleep-deprived.
If this sounds like the situation you’re in, we got you. Our sleep experts (who are parents too) are here to share our top eight tips for helping your baby snooze more soundly, and for longer periods of time.
Tip 1: Blackout curtains are your best friends
Blackout curtains are fantastic for helping newborns and toddlers to sleep. If the room that your baby’s cot is in, doesn’t currently have blackout curtains, these may be a worthwhile upgrade for more restful nights – for both your baby and you.
Tip 2: Learn to read your baby’s eyelids
Do you have trouble placing your sleeping baby in their crib without waking them? You can start by looking at your baby’s eyelids.
If your baby’s eyes seem to be moving rapidly under their eyelids, they’re likely in either REM (rapid eye movement) sleep or deep sleep. Try lifting your baby’s hand or arm and if they stay asleep, this is a great time to place them on their comfy cot mattress (before going back to your own bed).
Tip 3: Soothing massage
Parents who massage their infants to sleep often sing praises about how effective baby massages can be in helping little ones to get their much-needed shuteye. While doing so, you can also try wiping your baby’s face with a piece of tissue to relax them and set them up for a long and restful night’s sleep.
Tip 4: Fresh diapers before bedtime
Be sure to give your baby a fresh pair of diapers before bedtime. This will save you the trouble of possibly changing their diapers in the middle of the night.
This recommendation isn’t simply to save you time in the wee hours, it’s also essential for helping baby to stay sleepy after a late-night feed – as the process of changing their diapers usually also wakes babies up and makes it more difficult for them to fall back to sleep.
Tip 5: Become a ninja… or play white noise to disguise movement
Ninjas are reputed for having the ability to sneak up on their enemies in total silence, never being noticed – a skill that would be great for modern day parents whose babies seem to stir with every light footstep.
If you’re not a master ninja though, don’t worry – white noise that’s played through a speaker (placed near your placed near your baby’s pillow, but outside their cot) can help to disguise sounds and noise that would otherwise affect their sleep. Not sure what type of white noise works best? Experiment with sounds of nature, ocean waves or even classical music, and see what best helps baby to snooze.
Tip 6: Set up a bedtime routine
Babies and toddlers benefit greatly from routine. So, help your baby to get ready for bedtime by sticking to a set routine that they can look forward to every night. This can start from their bathime to feeding time, having their diapers changed, being swaddled and finally, falling asleep to a bedtime story.
Tip 7: Nurture independence
When your baby is able to sleep well (with your help), the next step is ensuring they’re equipped with the skills to sleep soundly – without you around. You can start by occasionally letting your baby go to sleep on their own (and in their own room). Also, relax knowing that you don’t have to jump into action every time your baby cries.
Sometimes, it’s ok to let your baby cry a little, while you take your time to respond. Over time, these actions will help to nurture independence in your baby. And the result of this independence? When your baby wakes up in the middle of the night, they’ll find it easier to go back to sleep on their own. (Which is great news for you!)
Tip 8: Get them comfy in bed with Sofzsleep
Much like adults, babies appreciate a comfortable bed and accessories. You’ll be surprised at how much better your baby’s nights are when they’re sleeping on a plush, antibacterial and hypoallergenic cot mattress from Sofzsleep.
We hope these tips help your baby – and you – enjoy many nights of blissful, rejuvenating sleep!