Creating a sleep environment that is encouraging to sleep is essential for your baby.
Perfecting your little one's sleep environment can seem like a daunting task - but it really is quite simple. You baby's room doesn't need fancy furniture or wallpaper, all it needs are 4 key components!
Many people underestimate the importance of the proper level of darkness. Darkness plays a huge role in your little one's nighttime sleep, but it can negatively naps majorly. Darkness signals your brain to start producing the melatonin hormone - which is one of the most important hormone's to provide our bodies with the sleep we need.
During the day, your baby's sleep pressure is pretty low which can reflect in short naps. When you add light shining in the windows on top of that low sleep pressure - it can cause a disastrous day in terms of napping.
So just how dark should your baby's room be?
On a level of 1-10 darkness your baby's room should be a level 11. Yes, I know that seems a bit like overkill but trust me on this one. You shouldn't be able to see anything in that room when the lights are off.
The best way to achieve this level of darkness is;
- Invest in blackout curtains. Since you want it beyond dark, blackout curtains alone typically aren't enough. I often recommend putting something flush on the window in behind the the curtains - tinfoil or a garbage bag will do. If you want to get really fancy, you can order a real blackout blind on amazon here: Dream Art Portable Blackout Blind
- Be sure to cover any electronics that may have lights on them. This includes sound machines, video monitors, humidifiers, etc. A piece of black tape works wonders!
True white noise is more important than people realize, but there are things to look for when choosing white noise. This noise should be a constant whirling noise without a time limit - this noise should be running for the duration of the night and all of naps. White noise helps infants decrease their heart and respiratory rates, which lessens crying and gross motor activity.
My personal recommendations for white noise machines:
A safe crib/bed should be used for your child. This means if under 12 months, your child should be completely alone in their bed. After 12 months of age, it is parent's discretion to add lovey's or blankets. Your child's bed should be completely free of distractions and toys.
Think back to a night where your room was too cold or too hot; chances are you got up and adjusted the heat to best suite your needs. Unforuntately (maybe fortunately?) your baby isn't able to adjust the temperature to where they'd like it to be. The AAP suggests staying within the guidelines of 19-22 degrees Celsius.
Setting up your child's room can be fun for many parents - but the main focus should be creating a room that is encouraging to sleep for your child. Be sure you are following these 4 simple times and you will be setting your little one up for a successful sleep every time.
Interested in sleep training? Reach out for a chat, I would be happy to answer any questions you may have!