Yes! You read that right. There is an ideal sleep environment for your baby. I know it might be hard to believe, especially in the first few weeks where it might have felt like they will fall asleep anywhere, and they do, but the fact is our bodies grow to become more and more affected by our environment.
In the first few weeks, you may have even heard some comments from friends and family that will commend your child for being “such a good sleeper” through “so much noise.” “That’s good!” they will tell you. But, unfortunately, for most newborns, their sensitivity to sound and light is likely to change. Especially as their sleep cycles mature, sleep starts to look more like an adults’ sleep cycle, which is much lighter.
So what is the ideal sleep environment for a baby? Think about where they first started to sleep. The womb. Recreating what they had before making an appearance in this world actually induces comfort and promotes melatonin production, a.k.a, the ‘sleepy hormone.’ My name is Mica. I am a certified sleep consultant and founder of Rested Mama, Happy Baby. I help families on their journey to establish healthy sleep habits and get the whole family sleeping again!
Here are the must-dos for the ideal sleepy room:
1. Very dark room:
The room should be so dark that you are unable to see your hand in front of you.
2. White Noise Machine:
Your baby was used to hearing a low frequency, constant sound of whooshing and heartbeat at about 90 decibels in the womb. Finding a sound that best mimics that sound will be the most effective. Ditch the lullabies or even the sounds of the rain.
3. Comfortable Temperature:
While many people will tell you that 68-72 degrees are the ‘best temperature,’ use your judgment and make sure your child is appropriately dressed. Use their core to ensure that they are not too hot and not too cold.
4. Remove All Distractions:
Yes, I say this with a cringed heart when I tell you you should ditch that super cute mobile that happens to go perfectly in the nursery. Likewise, all things that are related to “play” should be left out of the crib. The only thing it does is cause distraction, especially as your child grows and develops, disrupting continuous sleep.
5. Safe Sleep:
And remember, the safest setup is to have an empty crib with no loose bedding, "extra" toys, or pillows that can cause SIDs. Follow all the guidelines set by the AAP, including alone, in the crib, on their back. It may be tempting to want to provide extra padding or soft fluffy blankets to create a cozy little nest for your snuggle bug, but those things are unfortunately very unsafe and also unnecessary. As your child grows physically, they actually require firm mattresses and surfaces for proper development.
Rested Mama, Happy Baby Founder
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