Too many parents are paying too much attention to their infant’s nursery making it picture-perfect while it should be sleep-perfect instead. The surroundings a baby needs to get quality sleep have nothing to do with fancy cribs and expensive nursery furniture.
Light (or lack thereof) – your baby will become a better sleeper if it’s dark in their nursery. Quite shocking, isn’t it? Sarcasm aside, the darker it is in your baby’s sleeping area, the easier it will be for them (and you) to enjoy longer stretches of blissful sleep. You have many options to make the place dark – blackout curtains, shutters, functional blinds, heck, even an old sheet might do the trick! Oh, and don’t forget to use them for daytime naps as well.
Noise – some parents wrongly get the idea behind the lack of distractions when their child is sleeping. They mute the whole house and try to keep it as quiet as possible for as long as they can. But then, inevitably, the unthinkable happens (like the DHL guy rings the doorbell or your neighbor’s kids get back from school and start yelling at the dog) and you’re doomed. Why do this to yourself? Get a noisemaker (a non-self-turning-off one at that) and don’t be afraid to use it. Then collapse on the couch with a glass of wine and turn the TV on. You are welcome.
Humidity – I know this slightly started to resemble the perfect conditions for growing parsley on Mars (what, with the levels of light, noise, and now… humidity) but hear me out. I am not suggesting you keep a diary of the humidity levels on a national scale, but a high-quality humidifier for your baby’s nursery may turn out to be one of your best purchases. Why? Because it guarantees the best breathing conditions for your infant, it helps with many skin problems, and most models emit white noise helping you keep those annoying distractions away from your sleeping baby.
The sleep window
The sleep window is this time interval when your little one is ready to get to sleep and if you catch it, your bundle of joy will effortlessly fall asleep with no fuss, no crying, or no tantrums whatsoever. It is a period in which your baby’s brain produces the sleep hormone, melatonin. Although it is found, in small quantities, in some foods (meats, grains, fruits, and vegetables), melatonin production is mainly boosted by darkness and social cues that nighttime is approaching. We are looking at you, nighttime routine.
The catch? This is such a teeny tiny time interval that you almost need to have superpowers to see it, let alone put it to use. As if it can get any worse, once the sleep window is closed, the overtired-sleep-fighting window is pushed wide open, testing the limits of your patience. Again. There are, however, some clues that your tot shows during the magical sleep window (should I call it the sleep wicket?) so you’d better be on the look for those:
- The frowns – your baby is making strange faces as if he is frowning or wrinkling his forehead.
- The eyes rubbing – this is a typical sign that your baby wants to sleep. The sooner you get this cue (and act accordingly), the better.
- The ears pulling – some babies (especially younger ones) seem to express their readiness to be put to sleep by pulling their ears. It’s strange, I know!
- The yawns. Obviously.
- The blank look – when your child turns his face away and stares at one point, seeing nothing (pretty much like the look you have after an epic 40-minute tantrum).
Read Books and E-Books
There are tones of books and e-books out there. Why not read some of these, you might be surprised. There are really 1000’s of different ways to help your baby sleep. You could start with Baby Sleep Miracle e-book. Many parents are vouching for this book as you can read from Baby Sleep Miracle program reviews online.
Some final words
There are no two babies who respond in the same way to sleep coaching. Or any coaching for that matter. Whatever method or technique you use to get to the dreamland of uninterrupted night’s sleep, remember that your baby is like nobody else. Stick to whatever routine, book, or schedule you have chosen, but don’t overlook the individuality of your child and the changing conditions around them.