First Time Parents Guide: Getting your Baby to Sleep
Developing the right sleep patterns is essential for your baby’s health - and yours. As a new parent, you may be frustrated with the process of sleep-training your baby. While sleep-training will always come with challenges, there are several steps you can take to make things easier - and more importantly to set the most peaceful and natural environment for your baby’s healthy development - sleep! To learn more and read about my best recommendations, keep reading!
Being a new parent is synonymous with sleepless nights! Sleep disruptions and fatigue from those sleepless nights is expected. Some parents prefer to apply a sleep-training (cry it out) method and some choose nighttime parenting. I, myself, found out the hard way that sleep-training wasn’t going to work for me because hearing my baby cry was tortuous. What I did was the opposite of the cry it out method, instead of training her to self soothe while she cries at night, I responded to her when she cries so that she develops security that her caregivers will always be there when she needs them. I would comfort and encourage her to go back to sleep by nursing or even occasionally co-sleeping with her. Though this method can be tiring it also allows for precious moments to embrace your baby. Remember though, there is no right or wrong in choosing one sleep method over the other. Every baby is different. Do what works for you and your baby. Furthermore whatever method you choose it is commonly agreed that applying these basic methods significantly help:
Set the Scene for a Good Night’s Sleep
No one exists in a vacuum, and the first step to helping your baby learn to sleep through the night comes with establishing a calm and comfortable environment (immediate surroundings) in which easy, restful sleep can take place.
Make sure the room is dark - if you live in an area with bright lights outside, installing blackout shades may help. Likewise, you should mimizine disruptive sounds from inside or outside. Feel free to experiment with a sound machine if needed. Set the thermostat at a temperature of 67-72 degrees Fahrenheit. Special pajamas/clothing that’s breathable, comfortable, and soft. Try some calming scents if you like (Lavender worked amazing for me). I even did calming baths before bedtime to establish a routine that trained my baby's mind that sleep time was near.
As your baby starts to sleep better, the best and most important tip - do whatever you can to keep to your routine and stay consistent.
Establish a routine
Likewise, another way to help your baby get better sleep and develop consistent sleep patterns is to offer the same soothing behaviors and routine, night after night, to provide comfort, consistency, and structure - like the bath, storytime, pajama time - (like our super soft vegan onesies!), etc.
Keep yours and your baby’s schedules as consistent as possible around bedtimes and wake-up times. It may include reading or singing to your baby, or other soothing rituals, performed on a predictable schedule.
Trust your instincts and experience to know what works for your bundle of joy and what doesn’t. Whatever you do, try to stick to a routine, especially as you begin to determine what works best. Did I say - keep a routine?
Comfortable and functional sleepwear
Changing diapers at night can be very tricky for some parents. This is why comfortable and functional sleepwear plays an important role in keeping your baby sleeping. Choose sleepwear that lets you change his or her diaper easily with very minimal movement such as our multi function swaddle, sleep gown and romper.
Track your baby’s sleep progress
As a new parent, you have a natural ability to spot patterns in your child’s development, which will help you understand when your child begins to self-soothe. To supplement this process, try using a spreadsheet, whiteboard or chalkboard grid, or any mobile tracking apps. This will also be important information to share with doctors and other professionals as needed.
I hope these tips help you! Sleep-training your baby can be a challenging process, but the end results are well worth it! Sleep well my Ruby & Poe family.