You’ve read the books, gathered tips and tricks and your sleeping baby is snoozing like a champ! Now what? These 5 tips will keep your little one sleeping soundly.
- Learn to Swaddle
Though you likely wouldn’t be happy in a blanket burrito, your baby is. Swaddles are a wonderful way to help newborns feel safe and comforted, and can also aid greatly with getting your baby to fall and stay asleep. You can choose to purchase a specially made swaddle, making it easier to tuck your baby in, or use a receiving blanket to wrap your baby up.From a physiological perspective, swaddles help keep the Moro reflex — also known as the startle reflex, when babies react to bright light or noise by stretching and retracting their arms, often waking themselves up in the process — to a minimum. Jennifer Schindele, a certified pediatric sleep consultant and owner of Gift of Sleep Consulting, reminds parents to swaddle their baby safely, “keeping in mind that the hips should remain loose within the swaddle while keeping it tighter around the arms.” She recommends transitioning your infant away from the swaddle and into a sleep sack or wearable blanket when your baby is around 3 months old.
- Keep the Room Cool
Though it might be tempting to crank up the heat when you put your baby to bed, keep your baby’s room temperature between 65 and 72 degrees, recommends Teresa Stewart, the owner of Family Solutions and the director of parenting education for the International Maternity and Parenting Institute. She explains, “Basically, cooler is always better than warmer. Not only does [a cooler room] reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and suffocation, it also helps the baby sleep better.”Stewart suggests that parents add a fan to the nursery if they feel the room is too hot. To remind yourself to turn down the heat, remember the rhyme “cool and comfy, and not warm and stuffy,” as Schindele says. In addition, be mindful of what your baby is wearing to sleep in. Parents should use “cotton or muslin for swaddling,” says Stewart, “since those are light and breathable materials. We don’t want a baby to become too warm while swaddled.”