Everything you need to help baby get their best sleep!
One of the first steps to making sure your baby gets the rest they need is setting up the perfect sleep environment. If you read my post on The 5 Common Mistakes New Parents Make, you know that many parents don’t create an environment conducive to sleep. Some parents think they are providing this environment, but are actually missing one or more key ingredients. Other parents believe that because baby slept through anything and everything at one point, that baby will always be able to sleep in the living room or in a room without blackout curtains. Still other parents may provide one or more items that are actually unsafe for baby’s sleep.
Baby should always be placed on his/her back for sleep. It is ok to use a swaddle as long as baby is not rolling over onto their belly. If baby is rolling over, make sure you discontinue use of the swaddle and use a sleep sac instead.
A crib or bassinet with a firm mattress and with tight fitting sheets. A firm surface for baby to sleep is best, with sheets that fit tightly, without any loose material that could block airflow if baby were to roll over onto his/her belly.
A crib free of bumpers, blankets, pillows, toys, and mobiles (Nothing but the baby in a swaddle with a pacifier.) Having extra items such as blankets and stuffed animals increases the risk of S.I.D.S. (See resource below for more info on the A.A.P’s guidelines for safe sleep.)
A white noise machine with no automatic shut-off and a continuous white noise or static sound. The white noise machine should be on a table near the crib or bassinet, as close to the level of the baby’s head as possible. The level of noise should be loud enough so that you can hear the white noise outside of the room with the door shut.
A fan- This can be a ceiling fan as long as it doesn’t make any additional noise (i.e. chain clanking.) Box fans on the floor are even better! Adequate airflow in your baby’s room is essential and can actually reduce the risk of S.I.D.S. See resource below for more info on the A.A.P’s guidelines for safe sleep.)
Temperature- 68-72 degrees Fahrenheit. The temperature reading in different homes can vary greatly. It is important to make sure that your baby isn’t too hot or too cold.
Clothing- One layer (onesie) plus a swaddle is plenty. Again, you don’t want your baby to get too hot.
Dark Room- Black-out curtains are a must. Many parents I work with use blackout shades in the window and blackout curtains to make sure no light is flooding into the room. A nightlight is not necessary and can be distracting for baby. If you need a nightlight (to get baby up for night time feedings) a very dim red light is best.