When it comes to your baby’s sleep, it doesn’t always come naturally. However, as parents and caregivers, it’s important to understand that this is completely normal.
What we want to do is help you bring in the natural without waiting for it to come to you. Mother nature has a whole world of innovative solutions and remedies at her fingertips, that can be used to your advantage when it comes to improving your baby’s bedtimes.
First thing’s first, there’s one thing you need to understand about newborns: they’re notoriously bad sleepers. And, that’s okay! As their parent or caregiver, it’s your responsibility to ease them into the outside world, while trying to maintain your wellbeing and sanity along the way.
While the early days will almost certainly be a little turbulent and unpredictable, remember that every baby is different, and what works for some won’t work for others. So, be adaptable and open to trying out various natural solutions to find what helps your little one settle.
Give a flexible sleep and feeding routine a go during daylight hours by trying to read any cues your little one may be giving you. The cues and sleep signals your baby gives you can look like anything from snuggles, yawns, eye rubbing or general drowsiness. The more you become naturally aware of these signals, the more likely you are to avoid fussiness and resistance later on.
In the morning, consider aiming for a regular wakeup time where possible, gently exposing your little one to the morning light to help them adjust their sleep needs during the day. Even if the next naptime is only an hour or two away, it helps to try and set a routine in place. According to Babycentre, your little one will only start to recognise the difference between night and day at around two weeks, but there’s no harm in introducing the concept early by keeping things bright during the day, and dark at night.
Baby massage is a fantastic soothing technique to incorporate into your baby’s bedtime routine. Involving gentle touch and rhythmic stroking of your baby’s body using calming oils or creams, it’s a great way to relax and pamper your little one before bedtime. To learn more about the range of benefits that come with practicing baby massage, read our blog about it here.
White noise can be a great tool to promote sleep and restfulness in your little one. Characterised by consistent frequencies sounding at equal strength, white noise can be found in even the most mundane of household objects. Most commonly, television and radio static might come to mind, though objects such as hair dryers, vacuum cleaners, and fans also produce white noise sounds when in use.
More elegant solutions include specialised white noise sleep aids, machines, apps and CDs. All can be ideal to have on stand-by at bedtimes, however, be conscious of not playing it too loudly or close to your baby’s ear
Making sure your baby isn’t too hot or cold is also important. According to the NHS, babies can overheat due to excessive bedding or sleepwear, or when the room is too hot. Health professionals recommend maintaining a room temperature of between 16-20 C° (61-68 F).
Parents and caregivers are encouraged to check in on their little one regularly to ensure a comfortable temperature. This can be done by lightly placing a hand behind their neck to check for excessive warmth or dampness. If your baby’s neck does feel overly warm or damp, consider removing some layers to keep them cool and comfortable. You can also check your baby’s temperature by delicately placing a thermometer beneath their armpit, and gently yet firmly holding their arm down for a more accurate reading.
It’s also important to note which tog your baby should be wearing in certain temperatures. To learn more about sleep, temperature, and tog, read our blog on it here.
Consider also the placement of your baby’s crib and cot. For safety reasons, ensure they are placed well away from any radiators or heaters of any kind. To avoid cold drafts, avoid placing near a window, and ensure curtain or blind cords are kept well out of your little one’s reach.
Gentle rhythm and motion is still the most popular method to help lull little ones towards a restful sleep, according to a survey held by sleep brand Snuz.
Either rocking your baby in your arms, or in a safely positioned bouncer, swing or rocking stand can do the trick when it comes to natural soothing and settling.
Along with the NHS, sleepy safety experts recommend that in the first 6 months of your baby’s life, the safest place for your little one to sleep is in a Moses basket, cot, or crib in the same room as you. Night or day, ensuring your baby is nearby is the key to a safe night’s sleep, with less risk of SIDS. Sleeping close to your baby can also help regulate their sleeping patterns alongside your own, with the added convenience of easier night feeds.
A natural sleep space can provide an ideal environment for your little one to rest and thrive in. This is why we design our products to be made using only the finest natural materials, so your little one can experience safe, natural comfort from day one, at home and on the go.
By using materials such as wool, cotton and linen, alongside the coconut coir and latex found in our natural mattresses, we help create a supportive, breathable environment that you can feel comfortable putting your little one to bed in. And, one parents can now experience for themselves, thanks to our luxurious natural adult mattresses!
To learn more about the natural materials we use in our products, and why we recommend investing in a natural baby mattress, be sure to browse the rest of our blog.