Getting Real With Shadra Bruce
The second you started telling people you were pregnant you probably heard something like, “Say goodbye to sleep!” Or “You better get your sleep in now!” It’s true that babies are notorious for waking up frequently throughout the night, and there is some truth to what these experienced parents are telling you.
The first few weeks after a baby arrives are going to be rough: Just succumb to that fact now. Newborn babies need to eat every few hours to thrive and there is nothing you can do about it. However, once they head into their first or second month, they start to get used to day and night and you have a chance to finally get more than three hours of sleep at a time. You can increase these odds by creating a sleep-inducing environment for your new baby.
Make it Dark
If you want your baby to sleep through the night, he needs to understand when night is. Just like you, his circadian rhythm will begin to associate light with day and dark with night. That being said, most babies need the room to be completely black to really sleep. If he can see even a little bit of light creeping in the room, then there is too much to distract him and keep him awake. Blackout drapes and shades are a must in a baby’s room. They block out any streetlights and will keep your baby sleeping past the crack of dawn. The Shade Store sells many choices of blackout roller shades to coordinate with your nursery decor. Plus, this style of shade does not have loose strings so it is safe to install in your nursery because there is no strangulation risk.
Keep it Warm
Sometimes babies just wake up frequently because they are too cold. To help prevent this, make sure your baby is bundled up nice and cozy for bedtime. Since you can’t exactly put a loose blanket in your baby’s crib due to suffocation risks, you will want to get a wearable blanket. The Halo brand sells SleepSacks that you zip on your child to keep him warm. If your baby is still swaddling age (which is okay until he can roll over), Halo even sells some SleepSacks with Velcro swaddle wings.
Appease the Senses
You’ve already covered sight and touch, but what about smell and sound? Yep, both senses play a big role in your baby’s slumber abilities. Lavender essential oil is a handy little tool that can help your little one sleep more soundly. It uses the concept of aromatherapy to help him relax. All you need to do is get a little bottle of the oil (sold at the Vitamin Shoppe) and put a single drop on one corner of your baby’s sheets when you put him down. One bottle will last you a long time.
As far as sound is concerned, the first rule of thumb is to always have noise on when your little one is sleeping. That way he won’t wake up easily to the regular sounds that occur in your home. Some babies sleep well with the help of a sound machine; Marpac is a great choice. Its sound machine is not the cheapest option, but it is well built and will last for many years. That’s a good thing because when you see how well it makes your baby sleep, you will never want to give it up.
Photo by Documentally via Flickr
Photo by fraew via Flickr
Photo by luispabon via Flickr