One of the most popular posts we’ve written for this blog has been our Sleep for Overnight Shift Workers article. Today we’re going to cover another important group of people whose sleep is difficult to attain and worth an enormous amount: babies!
When a baby sleeps a new parent finally, mercifully gets to sleep as well. Sometimes, no matter what you do, your newborn baby just won’t sleep.
Right, so how do you get your baby to sleep? Let’s cover a few tips for getting your newborn to catch a few more ZZZs (and hopefully you, too.)
1 – Put Your Baby to Bed Drowsy, Not Asleep
This is by far the most common mistake new parents make in setting sleep patterns. They rock a baby until he or she is asleep then try to lay them gently into a crib. The change in height, movement and lack of body to body contact will all help wake the baby. NOT what you want at that moment. Put your baby down when she’s very drowsy, yawning and starting to nod off. Wrap her up well and soothe her. When sleep comes, it’s more likely to be a longer rest giving you more time to relax and sleep as well.
2 – Try this Jedi Mind Trick
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MwswPblrfv8 Not sure why but it seems to work very, very well with many people reporting that this is the best & easiest way to put your new baby to sleep.
3 – Darken the Room to Trigger Melatonin
Darkness triggers the brain to release melatonin, making you more drowsy. This is why our own adult sleep cycle is so hard to change if you work overnights. The best way to use this brain biochemistry on your baby is to make sure you are getting lots of sun and Vitamin D during the day. Then, start to dim the lights as evening comes and when you turn them off your baby should be sleeping through the night. Just kidding. Babies never really sleep through the night. 😉
Want your baby to nap better during the day? That’s where we come in. Use a roller shutter to drastically reduce the light in your baby’s room and nap time will be much, much easier.
4 – Control the Noise
Most people try and make it whisper quiet for their babies to rest. This is actually counterproductive. We won’t say “install a shutter and bam, the outside noise is gone and your baby will sleep peacefully.” If you believe that’s true, buy a shutter, sure! But in reality, it’s not about limiting the sound your nappy baby hears. It’s about controlling them to be familiar, safe sounds. Play white noise, a soft soundtrack or just allow the natural home sounds into the baby’s room. However, blocking outside sound with your new Ultimate Shutter is a great way to keep the sounds under your control. Noisy neighbours keeping the baby awake with a whipper snipper on an early Saturday morning? Block them out!
5 – If Breastfeeding, Avoid Caffeine!
Ah, the nasty newborn cycle. Baby wakes you up, you get a cup of coffee to keep going, breastfeed, put the baby back down and bam, up again in 2 hours. Well no kidding! Babies are not conditioned to caffeine and their bodies take much longer to eliminate it from their body. Avoid that nightly cuppa and you’ll have a more settled, relaxed baby to swaddle back to sleep.
6 – Take It When You Can Get It
Some parents want to consider their own nightly schedule as the ideal one to work toward. It’s 9 pm and your baby is awake. If only he stays awake for another hour, you think. We’ll get to sleep at 10 pm and bang, I’ll wake up tomorrow rested.
Studies show that overtired babies sleep lighter, wake up more frequently and toss & turn more than babies who rest when they’re tired. Staying awake longer is also likely to make your baby more irritable and more like Baby Emma in the video above.
Maybe you’ve made it this far because your baby is screaming and you Googled “how to make my baby stop crying” and poof, there we were. Maybe you’re JUST THAT BORED because your baby hasn’t sleep in 3 weeks and you’re wondering what sort of alien came out of you and if it’ll ever power down.
Either way, consider installing a roller shutter on your baby nursery. You can keep the light & sound out while protecting your baby at the same time. It’s really easy and you’ll have much more peace of mind when you have to walk away from the room to catch your own 15 minutes of rest.
(If you’re reading this after 2 am you have our condolences and wry smiles as most of us here have had newborn babies in the past and we’re both sympathetic and glad it’s not us again!)