A baby’s sleeping environment is a vital part to teaching your baby the vital skills of sleep.
Firstly, you want to ensure the room is pitch black from 4-6 weeks. By doing this you will increase melatonin (sleepy hormone) and decrease stimulation from any objects in the room.
White noise is important from birth right through to 12 months. By doing this you are not only mimicking the familiar noises they have heard in utero but also decreasing any environmental noises that may disturb their sleep through light sleep phases. This can be very handy in the early mornings with loud birds or parents leaving for work. I advise your white noise to sit at around 60-65Db as this is a safe zone for hearing.
2. Learning the skill to be able to settle and resettle
The ability to sleep is a learnt skill. From around 6 weeks babies will start to catnap throughout the day. This is extremely normal as their mother’s melatonin is leaving their body and they are now creating their own. They are no longer in a sleepy newborn slumber but going through a lot of drastic changes with their development. It is important to mention that it is normal for babies to wake through the night. All babies and adults do it. The difference is how each baby gets back to sleep which can affect this learnt skill. If a baby has an association that enables them to get to sleep it can block them from learning the skill themselves. For example, if a baby is rocked to sleep every sleep and upon waking is rocked back to sleep, it is likely your baby will learn this is the only way they can get to sleep, therefore rely on that way of getting to sleep. Your baby’s sleep cycle is around 45-50 minutes. If they have not learnt to link their sleep cycles, it is very normal for them to wake after this time and require resettling.
3. Routine and consistency
Routine and consistency are the backbone of teaching your baby the vital skill of self-settling and resettling. The more consistent you are with your routine the more your baby will learn the skill. Nap windows aren’t established in the newborn stage but working towards this will help with the development when it begins around 4-5 months. If your baby is overtired from not getting enough sleep through the day, it is likely they will wake frequently overnight or rise early in the morning.
You can find Bianca at www.planbsleepconsulting.com.au/or follow her on Instagram @planbsleepconsulting for more information.