Parenting is the most rewarding job in the world – beautiful memories, a lifelong bond and hundreds of special moments. However, no one can glamorise the sleepless nights that usually come with it. Parenting requires alertness and patience, two things that are greatly enhanced by a good night’s sleep. Luckily, we have some quick tips for you that will help both you and your baby towards an improved quality of sleep.
- Swaddling is hailed by many parents of children under six months or that cannot yet roll over as the perfect solution. The tight wrap of the fabric is said to echo conditions in the womb and therefore make the baby feel safe and comfortable in a way that a regular blanket cannot. It also prevents the baby from being woken by jerking in their sleep.
- White Noise refers to the sound we would recognise as TV or radio static or even the noises made by a fan or vacuum cleaner. It seems bizarre to many adults that these sounds could ever be relaxing, let alone induce sleep. However, scientific research has indicated that the sound replicates that of the amniotic fluid in the womb and therefore makes the baby feel secure in a familiar environment.
- Smell is far more important to a baby than to an adult. One way that parents can use this to their advantage to encourage their baby to sleep is through using items with a familiar smell, such as a soft toy that smells of the parent being given to an older baby. The infant is then able to associate that item with the comfort brought from having the parent present. It has also recently been suggested that some essential oils and scents such as lavender can induce sleep. Many parents have found the use of a natural massage oil before sleep time relaxes their baby and induces sleep.
- Routine is just as vital for babies as it is for children. Having the same bedtime every night allows the baby to understand when it is time for sleep and contributes to establishing their internal body clock. Performing the same actions before bedtime every night also helps to construct this routine – having a bath every night or reading a story before bed will ensure that your baby understands that it is time for sleep, helping them settle.
- Naps can be incredibly useful for tired babies and parents alike – but it’s just as fundamental not to abuse them! If your baby sleeps too much during the day, they will be left with unused energy and will not feel tired at night. We recommend a sleeping schedule that does not allow your baby to oversleep during the day, especially not too close to bedtime. The peace that comes with nap time makes it very tempting to leave your baby asleep for longer but waking them up will be worth it later – we promise!
- Ambiance is key when it comes to inducing sleep. A dark and quiet room is essential to stop your baby from waking unnecessarily. Some sleep experts even recommend purchasing blackout blinds for your baby to minimise sleep disturbance. A baby will struggle in the same way as an adult sleeping in bright or loud conditions.
- Responding Differently to your baby at night is something that every parent can attempt in order to avoid disturbing a baby further. When parents go to feed or comfort their baby at night, they should avoid talking and turning on the lights. This will make it far easier for your baby to fall asleep again once they have whatever they need.
- Active Days play a role in the quality of sleep a baby can get. If your baby is less active all day, the likelihood is that they will not feel tired at night. Picking up your baby, taking them for walks or even simply talking or singing to them will contribute to the use of their energy, meaning they will tire more quickly and naturally want to fall asleep.
- And at last…sheepskin! One of our favourite pieces of feedback to receive is that our products have helped babies to sleep. The dense fibres in sheepskin are known to evenly distribute pressure and therefore allow more comfort. Its breathable nature allows for temperature regulation, reducing the risk of your baby waking in the night as a result of being too hot or cold. We recommend checking out the Lambskin Fleeces page on our website to see a full range of products that are perfect to help your baby sleep!