You know the keys to getting amazing sleep thanks to years of experience — and months of the exact opposite. Your kid, speak of the devil, has no such knowledge. Besides forcing them to attend that horribly scheduled post-lunch meeting, the best thing you can do to teach them the beauty of a good night’s beauty rest is make sure your nursery is optimized for sleep. Then you can give all that baby sleep training a shot.
The first consideration for a top-notch snooze zone will be darkness, your old friend (followed, you can only hope, by the sounds of silence). The sun is the enemy of daytime naps; keep it at bay with anything that makes the room too dark to read a book. Fancy window treatments with blackout drapes are fabulous, but never let form be the enemy of function. Feel free to MacGyver that business with some thick towels and thumbtacks. Fabric will help absorb sound, so that’s actually a brilliant idea. Of course it is, you thought of it.
While the sun goes down for the night, there are still plenty of light sources screwing with your kid’s precious little circadian rhythm. The primary culprit: your electronic devices. (So if you’re in your kid’s room right now, turn your phone off. But finish reading this first.) Experts suggest a minimum of 30 minutes of screen-free time before bed will make falling asleep easier for your kid. Any night lights should be indirect and amber, not glowing green or blue like your other best friend there.
Quiet might seem pretty obvious, but there are things you can do to help make the nursery ultra-hushed. If you have any kind of hard flooring, consider a large, soft rug to soften sounds, including your feet as you stumble in to change diapers at 2:00 AM. If you can’t control sound because you live in a city, or a particularly loud forest, get your white noise on. Think one unmodulated, staticy sound. And when you’re about to pass out after 5 straight minutes of going, “Ssshhhh,” snag an app or product like White Noise Baby, Baby Snooze, Baby Shusher, or the Skip Hop Soother.
Your final consideration should be the temperature of the room. Room temps need to be lower than you might think — mid-60s to low 70s. Just make sure you baby is dressed for it with most extremities covered. Swaddling would help here. Don’t get concerned if their fingers and nose feel a bit chilly; it’s totally normal. Just make sure the kid is warm and dry at the core … and the core, and the core.
If you need more pointers on getting your kid down right you can always seek advice from the experts at Baby Sleep Science. They’ll make sure you have everything you need to get your baby down, so you can enjoy your sleep as much as you did with when you ate that whole meatball sub right before the quarterly earnings report.