Sleep is divided into five cycles that occur every 50 to 60 minutes for infants, more frequently than for adults. This means your baby has more times during the night when they may awaken. Babies sleep as much as their bodies need regardless of whether it is day or night. Your newborn may sleep as many as 20 hours a day for the first several weeks after you bring them home.
To create a good sleep environment for your baby, you need to consider your little ones basic needs. Your infant spends most of the day sleeping, so comfort for sleeping is very important. The most important factors in understanding how to make your baby sleep is the temperature of the room, the lighting, and the noise level. The following tips will help you create the perfect sleep environment for your baby.
You do not wish to keep your baby’s room either too hot or too cold. The ideal temperature for your baby’s room is between 16 degrees and 20 degrees centigrade, cooler than for an adult sleeper. Keep a thermometer in the nursery to verify room temperature.
Place the baby’s bed away from lamps, fans, or portable air conditioners and out of direct sunlight. If you are afraid your baby is too hot, check your baby’s skin to see if they are too warm. Remember that their hands and feet may be cool even if their body temperature is fine.
Babies sleep best in the dark, so keep the room as dark as possible. Consider blackout curtains if city lights are bright. Make sure you do not keep the room very dark during the day, so your baby knows the difference between day and night.
If you need to use a nightlight, make sure it is very dim. Babies need darkness for sleep to produce the hormones necessary for growth and development. Too much light inhibits the production of melatonin and disturbs baby’s sleep.
Surprisingly, babies are used to a noisy time in the womb and sleep best when it is not completely silent. Soothing music, white noise, or the whir of a fan helps your little one sleep.
Tips for understanding how to make your baby sleep include:
• Use a firm mattress that is flat, clean, and in good condition.
• Have the sides of the cot up and locked for your sleeping baby.
• Avoid highly scented detergents and fabric softeners for bedding as they may irritate your baby.
• Light blue or green evoke calm and peace, so are good colours for your baby’s room.
• Avoid busy prints and bright colours, which may overstimulate your baby.
• Keep the nursery organised to avoid unnecessary noise and movement that may disturb your baby.
• Do not use pillows in the crib or bassinet; wait until your baby is at least two years old.
• Remove extra blankets, toys, and stuffed animals from the crib before your baby sleeps.
Since an infant spends so much time sleeping, it is important to make sure your baby has an excellent sleep environment. Making sure the temperature, lighting, and noise level is conducive to sleeping will help you have a happy baby and get a good night’s rest for yourself as well.