No matter what age we are, we like sleeping in an environment that feels safe, secure and comfortable. If you’ve ever slept under the stars, surrounded by all manner of ominous noises with stones digging into your back, you’ll know what I’m talking about!
Of course, as adults we often sacrifice a great sleep for the sake of adventure, or for a fun party, or even for work. But as babies we need as much sleep as we can. And to get a better sleep, we need to do so in a calm, soothing environment.
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How to Create Sleeping Sanctuary?
Not sure how to create this sleeping sanctuary? Don’t worry, it’s pretty easy…
1) Start with the accessories
Your baby will be used to you being around. To not being alone for long. And so if you’re planning on leaving them all by themselves through the night, you’re gonna want to soften the blow. Place a soft toy in with them, make sure they’ve got their pacifier if they’re used to one and tuck them safely into a baby blanket (around the feet, with their feet at the bottom of their crib so it can’t go over their heads). The smell of you on the blanket and the toy will help them feel closer to you, like they’re still in your presence even when you leave the room.
2) Add some audio
Whether it’s soothing lullabies, ambient nature sounds or white noise, audio additions can make a big difference to your baby’s sleep. Now, this doesn’t mean to go blasting your favourite rock ballads! No, you should be focusing on a fairly dull, monotonous sound, kept at just the right volume to induce and maintain slumber.
White noise in particular has been proven to be very effective for helping babies sleep. Because it’s basically a combination of all the sounds and frequencies, it works very well to block out singular noises that could prevent your baby from getting to sleep in the first place, or from waking them once they do nod off. So noises like a barking dog or voices in the next room or a honking car horn won’t do so much as arise a peep out of them. Phew!
If you’re using white noise, make sure it isn’t too loud; the maximum volume should be 60dB, or as if you were talking to someone in the bathroom while they were showering. Place the source of the white noise, for example, your iPad, across the room from the crib rather than next to it. And make sure you don’t put it on a timer, either… a sure-fire way to wake bubs up! Nope, white noise should play continuously, for the entire duration of your baby’s sleep at night and for any naps too. If it drains your battery, so be it.
3) Dim the lights
This is a very important one to remember. Because if you’ve spent ages soothing and cooing and rocking your baby in order to calm them down, that all goes out the window if you plan on flicking on the lights. How would you feel to be on the brink of sleep, only to have a torch shined in your eyes?!
You probably wouldn’t take to it very well, and babies are no different. So before beginning the wind-down process, take a moment to focus on the lighting in the nursery (or wherever your baby sleeps). Use a dimmer switch, or a night light if you have one. That way when it comes to putting them down, they’ll still be in a nice ‘n’ sleepy state.
4) Dial up the luxury
Just like you’d only want the softest fabrics to brush your baby’s skin, you’ll only want the most comfortable surface for them to sleep on, right? Right. So shop around, invest in something that’s luxurious enough for even the crankiest of tots to love…and both of you will get a better night’s sleep as a result!
5) Check the temperature
This step is often missed, when in fact it’s one of the most important measures to take in creating the right sleep environment for your baby. Not to mention the chilling fact that overheating is linked to Sudden Death Syndrome (SDS), on the most basic level your baby won’t sleep if he/she feels too hot or cold.
The ideal temperature for your baby’s room is 68–72°F, or 20–22.2°C. If it’s still hard to tell whether you’ve got the temperature right, look out for telltale signs. Cooler feet and hands are ok but a cold chest isn’t. If the chest feels cold to the touch, turn up the dial a little or dress them in another layer.
On the other hand, your baby is probably too hot if their hair is damp, if they’ve got a fast heart rate or if they appear to be sweating. In such cases, free them from the extra layers or turn the temperature down to a point at which they seem comfortable.
Create Safe Sleeping Environment for Your Baby
Hopefully these tips will help you to create the safe sleeping environment that your baby deserves. The main things to check before they sleep are: temperature, noise and light (or rather, whether the room is dark enough). If you’ve checked all of these, and if your baby’s sleeping on something comfy with soothing surroundings and some creature comforts too, you should be golden!
Of course, as with any baby-related advice, try whatever works for your situation. Always use your instincts and do what feels right for your little one. That way, you can look forward to you, and your baby, getting a sounder, deeper sleep.