It’s a common problem especially for new moms. So we asked our Baby Sleep Expert Laura Swartz for advice.
1. A dark, quiet environment is ideal for healthy sleep! Room darkening shades and white noise machines help immensely to filter out unwanted distractions and interruptions. It’s worth it to protect our kids’ sleep in this way!
2. A consistent, predictable bedtime/naptime routine is so important! When kids know what’s coming next, they are able to prepare themselves for what’s to come. The length of the routine doesn’t matter as much as making sure the order of events remain the same for every sleep period.
3. Get outside and encourage gross motor activity as much as possible in between sleep periods. Fresh air is an often neglected sleep enhancer. It’s truly amazing how it filters into sleep!
4. Car and stroller naps should be avoided at all costs! Naps “on the go” are not considered true naps and don’t offer the kind of restorative sleep children need. The only exceptions here are while traveling or for the third catnap of the day (for babies under 9 months).
5. Helping our children learn to self-soothe (the ability to put themselves to sleep) is what healthy sleep hinges on. To encourage and teach this skill, always put your baby down while he/she is fully awake. It takes practice, but once this is mastered your entire family’s sleep will improve!