Last night Alexa slept a full 14 hours – insane! But it didn’t happen by accident, it’s taken lots of love, patience and above all, understanding. Since Alexa was born (she’s 2 years old now), I’ve had to continually grow with her and change her routine accordingly to suit her needs as she became older.
I had a quick think of what the secret to this success was, and I’ve summed them up in 7 steps for you here:
1. Positive sleep associations
Such as setting the ambience throughout your whole house before bath time, a warm bath, books (when age appropriate) using a lullaby before sleep, a comforter and White Noise to name a few.
We all love sleeping in a spacious, comfortable bed with high-quality bedding, our little ones are no different. Investing in a high-quality mattress and 100% organic cotton pyjamas and bedding is one of the best investments you can make. What is more important than sleep, yours and your baby’s?
3. Sleep sanctuary
This one is huge and its the one most commonly overlooked. The space in which your baby sleeps will affect his/her sleep. I can’t stress enough the effect light, noise, and temperature have on a baby’s room. Not only that but the ‘feel’ of your baby’s room. If you don’t walk into your little one’s room and think to yourself,’ I really do love this room’, or if you yourself don’t get a lovely, relaxing feeling in the room, then you should look at it again and make some changes. If your baby’s sleep environment is not conducive to sleep, they’re not going to sleep well.
4. Respect baby’s awake times
In the first 6 months, it’s important to tune into your baby’s awake time and get your baby to sleep before he becomes cranky and overtired.
After 6 months it’s important to make sure you are not putting him down to sleep too soon and that you are giving your little one enough awake time. Both an overtired baby and an under tired baby will have trouble falling asleep. A baby’s awake time gets longer the older he is.
5. Restful naps
Daytime sleep works hand in hand with nighttime sleep, so it’s essential that you create the space and time for your baby to have restorative naps.
6. Stimulate baby appropriately
Children grow and learn quickly. The world is a new and fascinating place to them. They want to explore and so they should. By creating age-appropriate stimulation, you help them do this as well as encourage them to use different parts of their brains. Imagine keeping an 18-month old toddler home all day, day after day.
A) You’d both go a little crazy and
B) It definitely wouldn’t help sleep very much.
7. Bedtime routine
Having a bedtime routine is vital in setting up a good nights sleep ahead. A bedtime routine helps to set the scene for sleep, show your baby what’s coming next (sleep) as well as round up and end off the day beautifully. A warm bath is also proven to encourage Melatonin (the sleepy hormone).