If only there was a one-size-fits-all solution for better baby sleep. Since everyone is different, it's more about trial and error than any hard and fast rules. But if your little one is having a hard time falling and staying asleep, we're sure it's taking its toll on both of you.
Thankfully, there may be some routines you can tweak to help your baby get more restful sleep. Here are our top five tips for better baby sleep:
Activity During the Day
We know how difficult it can be to have structure during the day, especially in those early months. But just like you're restless when you don't get enough activity, so is your baby. Make sure to take regular walks, go on plenty of playdates (when it's safe to do so!), and give your little one opportunities for exercise and exploration during the day.
You might be wondering "How does a baby exercise?" Don't worry, this doesn't mean setting up a gym in the living room! Activities like tummy time and playing with toys can help your baby build strength and dexterity while also giving them sensory input.
A Consistent Nighttime Routine
Depending on how much you like routine, this might be a hard one. Some people thrive on structure, while others like to be more "go with the flow." If you're up for it, try to establish a calming nighttime routine.
This might include giving them a warm bath, reading a bedtime story, and singing a lullaby. Whatever activities you decide to include in your routine should be done consistently each night so that your baby knows it's time to wind down and prepare for sleep.
If you have a less predictable nighttime schedule, try to establish things that aren't tied to a specific place or product. This could mean having a special song or book that you read each night.
Limited Blue Light Before Bed
We all love taking advantage of technology, but you may want to limit your baby's exposure to blue light before bed. This type of light is found in electronics like smartphones and tablets, and it can interfere with your baby's circadian rhythms and therefore, your baby's sleep. That's why you should try to avoid screens at least an hour before bedtime.
The Right Sleepwear
Our pajamas can be a bit of a Goldilocks situation: not too hot, but not too cold; not too tight, but not too loose. Your baby might benefit from some better sleepwear too, as long as it always follows the guidelines for safe sleep (as in no blankets, pillows, or toys in their sleep area).
Products like swaddles, sleepsuits, and sleepsacks give your baby the warmth and comfort they need while keeping them safe. If your baby has been sleeping well with a swaddle but they're breaking out of it or they're able to roll over on their tummy, it's time to transition to something like a sleepsuit.
Naps at the Right Time: Knowing Their Cues and Wake Windows
Knowing your baby's cues and wake windows is one of the most important tips for better baby sleep. This means learning when they're tired, so you can put them down before they become overtired and fussy. Signs that your baby is getting sleepy include rubbing their eyes, yawning, and turning away from stimulation.
Keeping track of wake windows will help you know when it's time for them to rest so that everyone can get some shut-eye. While every baby might be a little different, here are the established wake windows from Sleep.com:
- 0 to 8 weeks—45 to 60 minutes
- 2 to 4 months—1.25 to 1.5 hours
- 4 months—1.5 to 2 hours
- 5 months—2 to 2.25 hours
- 6 months—2 to 2.5 hours
- 7 to 8 months—2.5 to 2.75 hours
- 9 to 10 months—2.75 to 3.5 hours
- 11 to 18 months—3 to 4 hours
- 1.5 to 2 years—4 to 6 hours
- 2+ years—6+ hours
Better Baby Sleep with Baby Merlin’s Magic Sleep System
Better baby sleep=better parent sleep. And when you're sleeping well, everyone is happier! As a pediatric physical therapist and mother of four, Maureen wanted to create beautiful sleepwear that would help babies and parents, so she designed the Baby Merlin sleepsuits and sleepsacks.
Built to keep your baby warm and safe, the products are used by parents across the country to encourage better baby sleep. Baby Merlin’s Magic Sleepsuits are designed with double zippers, two sizes for your baby’s growing body, and cozy fabric to keep your little one comfortable all night long.For better sleep for you and your baby, try Baby Merlin.