Hello, guys. Erica Hargaden here. Certified child sleep consultant at my private practice, Babogue. I am the creator of the sleep series and I’m also a mom of three.
So, the first is to take a look at your sleep environment. Firstly, make sure that it is safe, following the guidelines in your own jurisdiction. Secondly, that your room is nice and dark so you can support melatonin production, which is the sleepy hormone that helps you initiate and maintain sleep. Next, that your baby’s sleep environment is in a quiet location in your home, and that the room temperature is just right. Somewhere between 18 and 21 degrees [Celsius] would be my recommendation.
Next, number two, look at timings. Make sure that the sleep patterns that you’re trying to achieve are in line with what your baby’s biological capabilities are. So, do a little bit of research about that. Make sure that you understand that the sleep of a three-month-old is extremely different to the sleep of a six-month-old. Follow their sleepy queues, get to know your baby. Babies are not robots, they won’t all do exactly the same thing, even if they’re born in the same hospital, on the same day and in the same hour. Just watch their wait periods and try to make sure that they don’t get overtired or under tired. But be consistent with the morning times, so start their days at 7 o’clock every day with a feed outside their sleep environment. That way you’ll anchor their little routine.
Next is the milks/solids balance. So, take a look at the milk and solids if they’re on them, and make sure that you’re creating a balanced routine around them, so that you’re meeting their daytime nutritional needs. Make sure that you’re getting protein into them once they reach this consistent six-months of age, and practice a feed place sleep cycle, so that you’re avoiding any feeding-to-sleep associations.
Next is to try to establish a bedtime routine. This is very important in the overall context of sleep. I usually like to start it somewhere around 5 o’clock with that last final solid meal of the day, followed by a milk-feed outside of their bedroom, and getting them to bed about 7 o’clock. A bath is not necessary for your baby to sleep well, but it is a nice addition to his sleep routine. So, what you’re looking to create is consistent queues that show your baby that bedtime is coming, and I do like to include reading as part of any bedtime routines.
Next is the importance of napping. Routine is key for all babies, and napping supports the overall growth and development of your child. So, balancing it is key. A rested baby is a restored baby and a baby that will sleep so much better.
Next, look at the promotion of self-soothing. So, knowing your baby, how they would fall asleep themselves. Not necessarily with aids or dependencies, and this doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to look at crying techniques or anything like that. This is just allowing your child to get a hold of their skill around sleep themselves. If that’s what you want to do.
Lastly, but not least, it’s consistency. In order to get anywhere with your child’s sleep, you need to be consistent, and you need to give it time. If you’re working on sleep for the first time, you need to give it about two to four weeks before you will really start to see consistent change. This is your journey, so you do not need to do what anybody else does around sleep. What makes sleep a priority in your home.
If you want to learn more about me, check out babogue.com. Thanks a mil.