Most parents these days need more sleep. Especially parents with infants. I know I did!
TLC for Kids now has a certified sleep consultant to help St. Louis families with those sleepless nights. Visit our website to learn more about TLC for Kids Newborn Services.
I’m excited to be share a wonderful blog post today from a Certified Gentle Sleep Coach, Jen Varela! Jen has been helping tired families get sleep since 2010, and wanted to share some of her sleep wisdom with you! Here are three things she recommends to all her families .
1. Sleep begets sleep
It is amazing how this works! What time does your baby go to sleep at night? Is it too late? Did you miss the “sweet spot” sleepy window? For babies six months or older consider a bedtime between 6:30-7:30 p.m. Helping your baby get the proper amount of sleep can reduce fussiness at bedtime, decrease the number of night awakenings and eliminate early rising. Also take a look at the “sweet spot” for the first nap of the day. If you wait too long then you may miss their first sleep window.
When they are infants consider keeping the window at 90 minutes between waking for the day to asleep again at the first nap. As your baby grows their ability to stay awake for longer periods of time will also grow. Between the ages of four and a half to six months your baby’s wakeful window will mature and stretch from 2 to 2 ½ hours.
Is your baby starting to crawl? Could they be in the middle of a developmental milestone? Did you know that when your baby is in a developmental burst that they will … yes, I said WILL have a sleep regression. Did the number of night awakening increase at the same time as they were working on something new? This is a good thing because they are doing what they are supposed to do. They are consolidating memories during REM sleep, integrating their experiences and making new connections in their brain.
Routine is defined by a nice flow to your day, not rigid scheduling. Doing the same thing in the same order or fashion. An example would be to eat upon waking or be social and active during alert times. The bedtime routine creates a positive association with going to sleep. You want to have a nice flow to your day and predictability can aid in better sleep. Don’t get caught up in a rigid routine, you might miss your baby’s sleep cues if you get to focused on the clock. Try doing things in the same order before sleep. A verbal sleep cue is very helpful with communicating it is time to go to sleep without it being stimulating and overly engaging. Everyone likes a little “sweet-talk” when they are tired.
Click here to read more tips from Sleep Lady consultant Joy Varela