New Mom Survival Tips Edition #2: Bed Time

baby romperSleep is invaluable for children who are growing at a rapid pace, and even more so for exhausted mommies and daddies of babies who still wake several times a night. Establishing a consistent sleep routine for young children can be highly beneficial for both you and your baby. Here are some helpful tips to incorporate into a satisfying bedtime routine for everyone in the family.

Establish a Routine

Babies demand stability and are more relaxed when they have a familiar routine. According to the National Sleep Foundation, newborns require 10 to 18 hours of sleep that often comes in increments of 30 minutes to three hours at a time. Starting as young as six to eight weeks of age, create a pre-bedtime atmosphere that is quiet and comforting that begins a few hours before bedtime. Allow your baby time to release any pent-up energy by playing a game or allowing tummy-time. Follow up with a soothing activity, such as a warm bath, a gentle massage or a snuggle with a bedtime story. Soft music or sung lullabies are a tried-and-tested way to help baby drift off to sleep.

The Baby’s Environment

How your baby is dressed and the environment in which he/she sleeps can have an impact on their quality of sleep. Dress your baby in a breathable fabric such as 100% cotton so that your baby doesn’t get too warm. Garments should have enough “wiggle” room, like a newborn gown, so that the baby doesn’t feel confined. A cotton onesie or one piece romper are also suitable. Sleep sacs have become more popular, especially in cooler weather, to replace the use of a blanket.

The room should be kept dark, however; a nightlight is a good compromise so that your child feels safe and recognizes his/her environment should they be awakened in the night. According to, infants should always be placed on their backs to sleep and on a firm mattress, never on a pillow or other soft object. For safety, keep items at a minimum, or none at all, in baby’s crib. A musical mobile above the crib is a good way to lull a baby off to slumberland.

Set a Sleep Schedule

Children need consistency and should go to bed and wake up at the same time each day. As your baby grows and develops, the amount of awake time will lengthen along with a decrease in the number of daily naps. Having external cues, such as a regular bedtime, a solid routine and a dark environment can help your baby fall asleep more peacefully. Many parents prefer to use the independence approach to sleep. This involves putting your baby in the crib while drowsy, but still awake, to help him/her learn to fall asleep without help from mom and dad.

Recognize Problems

Be prepared that it will be quite a while before your baby will sleep through the night. Scheduled feedings and subsequent diaper changers are key interrupters of a good night’s sleep. Hope is around the corner that this will change as your baby gets older. The National Sleep Foundation recommends that parents should be aware if their child is having difficulty breathing while sleeping as children can develop some form of sleep apnea. A trip to the pediatrician can solve the problem and removing tonsils and adenoids is often the solution as they get a little older. Alert your doctor if baby cries consistently throughout the night as other medical conditions such as colic could be a factor.

A good night’s sleep is imperative for the health of your baby – and your sanity! Start them off with a good routine and you’ll be able to recapture some well-deserved down time so that you are calm and relaxed yourself.

Want to read more tips for new moms? Check out Edition #1 of the New Mom Survival Tips series here – Car Seats. Also be sure to check out some of the most popular shopping pages on our website like these ones: Take Me Home Outfits, Big Sister/Little Sister Outfits, Baby & Toddler Jewelry, or you can just start on the Homepage!

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