Sleep is easily the most valuable currency for new parents. A baby’s sleeping patterns are erratic at best, leaving parents exhausted and doing their best to cope (usually with a lot of coffee!) To best navigate this difficult period, here are some helpful tips:
- Have a consistent routine. This is by far the most helpful action you can take. A bedtime routine may look like: take a bath, get on pajamas, and read a book together. By following the same pattern every night, your baby starts to understand this is the process before bed and associates it with sleep.
- Bath time. Along the same lines, a bath before bed is a great way to get your baby tired. Some baby soaps also feature scents designed to help them relax. Regardless, the warmness of the bath affects a baby much like it gets adults sleepy too!
- No screens. This applies to babies just as it does to adults. If your baby does watch any screens during the day, be sure to turn them off an hour before bedtime.
- Full belly. If you are breastfeeding or going with formula, it’s a good idea to give your baby a good amount before bed. This gets their belly full, and makes them naturally sleepy. Breast milk has the added benefit of containing some melatonin at night.
- Dark room. For sure, you’ll want to get dark curtains in your baby’s room so that it’s comfortable for nighttime. This is especially helpful during the summer, when your baby may be ready for bed before nightfall.