Sleep is probably the most talked about topic when it comes to babies. It’s such a crucial part of your baby’s development and fundamental to the well-being of parents too, so it’s no wonder that we focus on sleep so much. We’ve put together some top tips to help your baby sleep better.
At my mother’s group, sleep was always a hot topic. Do you have a good or bad sleeper, do they sleep through the night, are they a cat-napper? My eldest was always the worst sleeper out of the group – I was the one with the dark rings around my eyes and trying to keep my eyes open while the others were comparing how many hours their baby had slept. To be fair, I was a new mum and was basically just winging it. But when my subsequent kids came along, I was much more prepared and far more focused on helping my baby to get better sleep. The quality and quantity of baby sleep has a massive effect on your and your baby’s wellbeing so it’s crucial to help your baby sleep better.
Why Is Baby Sleep So Important?
Babies grow and develop rapidly, so it’s really important that babies get enough sleep for optimal brain development. Getting sufficient sleep will give your child the energy they need for active play and good health.
Did you know that growth hormone is predominantly secreted during deep sleep? So helping to improve your baby’s sleep can also help to facilitate their growth.
How Much Sleep Does A Baby Need?
Young babies usually need between 14 and 17 hours sleep over the day and night. As your baby gets older, they will tend to sleep longer in the night and less during the day.
Tips To Help Your Baby Sleep Better
Self-Soothing will encourage better sleeping
Encouraging your baby to self-soothe is the holy grail of better sleeping habits. But this is a tricky one to get right, especially if you’re not keen on letting your bub cry. With my eldest, we used every sleeping crutch we could – rocking, holding, sleeping in the pram, snoozing in the sling and this eventually caught up with us. We were all exhausted and we ultimately had to consult with a professional sleep expert to give us the sleep strategy we needed and to teach us the Red Nose Safety Sleep Guidelines.
Once we helped our baby on the path towards self-soothing, sleep improved dramatically.
Take my word for it, it’s much easier to start the process of self-soothing earlier on, as the older your bub gets, the more difficult it is to break bad sleeping habits.
The key is to try not to let your baby fall asleep while feeding and put them in their cot while they are awake. After 6 months, you can work towards comforting a fussing baby without taking them out of the cot and try and encourage them to get back to sleep on their own.
Ensure Your Baby Is Comfortable
One of the most important factors for better baby sleep is to ensure that your bub is comfortable. If they’re too hot or too cold, you’re guaranteed to have a disrupted night.
Make sure your baby is dressed appropriately for the best possible slumber. We absolutely love the new BONDS Wondercool baby range. This is an innovative range of babywear made with adaptive cooling fabric that keeps bub so comfy and it’s the only clothing approved by Red Nose for safer sleep.
Keep in mind that babies can’t adjust to temperature changes as well as adults and regular clothing interferes with the process of regulating their own temperature. Babies also sweat less, which makes them generate more heat than adults and reduces their ability to cool down.
Bonds Wondercool imitates the skin’s natural bodily process of evaporative cooling. As skin temperature heats up, the Wondercool technology activates to achieve cooling. When baby’s body heat lowers, the level of sweat is reduced, and the cooling effect of the fabric adapts and deactivates once cooling is complete. Genius!
Put a routine in place
I’m all about routine so I did my best to put a solid routine in place from the time my baby was around 12 weeks old. It didn’t always work but it certainly helped me to organise my day better and as my child grew, they enjoyed the structure our routine provided.
Create a bedtime ritual that includes a bath, massage, book, lullaby and bed around about the same time every night.
Create an environment conducive to sleep
Ensure that your child’s sleep environment helps to improve baby sleep. This includes maintaining a consistent temperature of the room. You may need to use a fan or air-conditioner to cool the air in summer. Also, if you dress your baby in a BONDS Wondercool suit, this also helps to keep bub cool and comfy. Also ensure that the room is dark, to signal to the body that it is sleep time. Some kids are intimidated by darkness so you can use a dim night light, which can remain on through the night.
One of my child’s favourite part of the sleep routine is book time. Reading is great for learning but it also helps prepare your child for sleep. Reading to your child is very relaxing and enjoyable and it’s a bonding ritual that can continue for many years.
The Bonds Wondercool range is available in all Bonds stores and online at www.bonds.com.au. Also available at selected retailers including Big W, Myer, Best & Less, Baby Bunting and Farmers (NZ).
This article was created in partnership with Bonds. We have tried out Bond’s new Wondercool range and we couldn’t wait to get the word out about this adaptive cooling fabric that keeps bub so comfy and helps baby to have a better sleep.