How to Help Baby Sleep Better
Sleep is truly the foundation to everything in your family and especially when you have kids. When babies are waking up often or not sleeping well everything becomes unbalanced – your health, your marriage/relationship, your child’s ability to thrive and develop, your work, and truly every aspect of your life.
I’ve experienced severe sleep deprivation after having a baby and tried everything to help. I even resorted to co-sleeping which is VERY SCARY – an extremely tired mom sleeping with a baby is a HUGE NO-NO. I knew it was wrong and I felt so guilty, but at the time I thought it was the only way to get my baby to sleep.
Now after working with a certified child sleep consultant I know there is a better way. Here are the best tips to create an amazing sleeper which means you will have a harmonious household.
#1 Cradles and Cribs
Have a plan on where baby will sleep from birth to 4 months and then once they begin to roll transition them to a crib with a breathe-through crib mattress.
SafeSleep has partnered with a new company that is launching the world’s first smart cradle that uses breathe-through technology. Subscribe to our email list here “join” to be the first to learn more in January 2020.
This new cradle is a great bedside solution so baby can be near you for the first months.
Once baby becomes to large for a cradle, it’s important to transition to a breathe-through crib mattress. And before this transition baby should learn how to self-soothe so they know how to fall asleep on their own.
Around the age of 4 months, baby’s circadian rhythm is fully developed, but still immature. It’s the perfect time to ensure your baby learns self-soothing and healthy sleep habits.
A baby’s sleep cycle is about 40 minutes long when they are younger and then it goes up to about 60 minutes long as toddlers. This means babies wake up for a brief moment in between sleep cycles and self-soothe themselves back to sleep.
UNLESS, baby has learned a sleep crutch like mommy rocking them to sleep then babies will want the rocking to fall back asleep. This may seem like the easy way in the beginning – rock for a minute and baby is asleep again, but eventually this is not sustainable – rocking baby to sleep all night long means you waking up all night long – even after night feedings have ceased.
Babies use many ways to self-soothe themselves. One way is to use a “hands over heart” swaddle like the Woombie. This is the best swaddle on the market – my son wore his Woombie in the hospital and all the way until 18 months old. (Woombie has a swaddle where the arms come out – after baby begins to roll. it’s crucial to transition to arms-free sleep for safety reasons).
- This Woombie gently cocoons baby – a recognizable environment just like the womb.
- The 4-way stretch fabric allows baby to stretch naturally without feeling constricted – health for hip development too.
- Baby’s hands are together over their heart so baby can use their hands to self-soothe.
- The Woombie Soothie Sack option has a pacifier attached to it which helps baby self-soothe and always have their paci within reach.
Another important tip to teach baby how to self-soothe is to place them down to sleep while they are sleepy but NOT sleeping. It’s very important.
#3 Work with a Certified Child Sleep Consultant
This was the best decision we made and it changed our lives. Our son is now 3.5 and is still an amazing sleeper. Since day one working with a sleep consultant our then 9 month old baby has slept all night long. 11 to 12 hours a night and still now takes 3 hour naps!
They are a bit of an investment but not too expensive. It’s worth every penny to have your child sleep well – which means mom and dad sleep well too.
We recommend The Baby Sleep Whisperer or you can find a list of certified child sleep consultants all over the US here.
Schedule is another crucial and important part of creating an amazing sleeper – the sleep consultant will help with this.
Take a peek at our other article about baby waking up every hour all night long and how to help baby sleep all night.