Unlock Good Sleep for Your Little One
Sleep is absolutely crucial to your little one’s well-being and health and ideal sleep habits begin at a very young age. However, some babies do take a long time to fall asleep, which can become cumbersome for parents. can take a toll on a baby’s overall development and wellbeing. Routine and early bedtime is a vital part of having a well-rested child.
Read on to know more about some of the measures you can take to get your babies to sleep early.
- Make a plan: Prepare a bedtime ritual and follow it daily without fail. For infants, it could be as easy as singing or playing a sleep song. For toddlers and older children, find out what they find comforting. Give them the freedom to decide the number of books you will read and when they’ll get the cuddles.
- Make the room cooler: A drop in the body temperature after the sun sets is an indication to relax for the night. Earlier, when it wasn’t possible for homes to be insulated with settings that could be controlled, we would have felt the air cool down as the sun disappeared. This external cooling helps the body make the adjustment in temperature that occurs overnight. As the body’s temperature falls, you become more relaxed, and your metabolic rate also slows down, thereby lowering your hunger at night. Keep your baby warm by dressing them in breathable fabrics, with a sleep sack rather than a blanket.
- Stick to the routine: Following a set bedtime helps babies feel safe as it provides predictability. Children of all ages must ideally go to sleep and wake up at about the same times daily, including weekends. This would mean dissuading children from sleeping in on Saturday and Sunday mornings as it can disrupt their circadian rhythm and make waking up on other days much more difficult.
Dim the lights: The glowing shade of the setting sun gives an indication to your body to start producing the sleep hormone melatonin. Babies could even be more sensitive to light at night. When bedtimes are delayed, they bring with them more exposure to light, forcing the start of babies’ internal clock later. The trouble is daylight keeps your baby’s wake time locked. In other words, the light your baby is subjected to in the evening, especially if bedtime is late, could be impeding your child’s natural bedtime.
- Stable sleep environment: Babies must have a stable sleep environment that will restore their trust, ease their fear over bedtime, and increase their confidence. In the first year, the safest place for a baby to sleep is in the crib. When a baby can turn over on their own, there's no need to force them into any particular sleeping position and it is better to avoid using towel rolls to keep babies on their side.