There are four essential parts to creating the perfect ‘sleep bubble’ for your baby.
Lighting is important in setting up your baby’s sleep environment. If it’s nap time, set up a little nap time routine where you dim the light on going into the room before prepping your little one for nap time. Dimming the lights helps to show your little one what comes next (sleep time) and helps act as a sleep association (baby begins to associate dimmer lights with time to sleep).
Turn off the main light and use a lamp/ night light ( red light is the best when used for sleep), helping baby take it down a notch and prepare for sleep.
Take some time to sit and just listen. When your little one sleeps, what sounds could he/she be hearing? Are there any noises which could be waking your baby up prematurely?
It sounds obvious but sometimes in the depth of sleep deprivation or the busyness that is mummy life, what may seem like common noise to you, may be waking your baby.
The next time you put your little one down for a nap or the next time you go to him/her during the night, be mindful of what you hear. Put yourself in his/her shoes. My neighbours are incredibly noisy; it often sounds as though they are banging around and slamming doors. To think noise doesn’t or should affect your child’s sleep is unrealistic.
Daytime sleep is a much lighter sleep than night time sleep and children can quickly wake; it’s paramount to help them stay asleep as best we can and to understand they are human just like us. Noise affects them just like it does us.
Here are a few things which may be waking your baby which you may not have noticed. By taking note, you can pay attention and figure out how to create the perfect sleep environment for your baby.
Outside noise such as dogs and children playing if you live very close to a park or school. Cars, planes, trains, especially if you live on a busy road, near a train station or over a flight path.
Appliances in your home such as the dishwasher, washing machine and tumble dryer especially if your baby’s room falls directly next to or above any one of these appliances. If you find any of these affects your baby’s sleep, avoid using while he sleeps and find other times during the day where you can put the washing on.
To help your little one stay in his/her sleep bubble, I strongly recommend using white noise. There are some great apps such as ‘Sound Soother’. Try to place the device where the main sound is coming from, such as near the window which backs onto the busy road.
For, e.g., my daughter’s room backs out onto railway lines; we have a train stain right behind our house as well as a little park, so I place an iPad playing fan white noise near the window to help dull out the noise. My husband works from home and loves to run up the stairs three at a time; his bathroom is also right next door to her bedroom. So I have another iPad playing the same white noise at the entrance to her room blocking out our everyday house noise. Below her room is the washing machine, tumble dryer and dishwasher, all three which wake her from a nap, so I have to use them at a time when she’s not napping.
Your little one’s room should be between 16’C and 20’C and ideally be at 18’C. Just like us as adults it’s difficult to sleep in a room which is too hot equally one which is too cold. You know your baby best, but often I find little ones would rather their room be a bit cooler and dressed a little warmer than having a too hot room.
One word. Declutter
Look at your baby’s nursery and be ruthless. Ask a family member or your partner to take your little one for a walk one afternoon and get stuck in. Tidy your baby’s room, not only what you can see on the outside but in the cupboards and under the cot too. Pack away anything that he/she no longer fits into and organise all closet space so that when you walk into your baby’s room not only does it look and feel good but it looks just as good when you open the cupboards and drawers. If you don’t need it, pack it away, bin it, give it to charity or find another place put it but get that energy feeling light and comfy.
Your baby’s room shouldn’t be used as a storage room; it shouldn’t be used as a spare room or look like a guest bedroom with a cot stuck in it. It should be his room and his room alone. His special place. His place of rest and rejuvenation, his sleep sanctuary. Just like your bedroom is valued as a place of rest to you, so should it be for your baby. Respect that.
Get rid of anything that is not of use to your baby. I recently visited a mum, and her baby was staying in what still looked like a guest bedroom. There were dusty photo frames everywhere, you could hardly see the counter tops through all the photo frames, and although the sentiment is lovely, it does nothing for the feel of the room. Save the pictures and excess ornaments for a more appropriate place in the house. There is nothing wrong with a well-positioned frame here or there but if while setting it up, you think the room begins to feel cluttered, ask yourself if the object really has to be in the room.
Your baby’s room should feel energising, refreshing, calm and comfortable. It shouldn’t feel cluttered and busy. It should look neat and tidy and give you a lovely peaceful, light feeling when you walk in. To all intent purposes, It should give you a good feeling.
Find out more about Feng Shui for baby’s nursey’s here from my dear friend, author and Feng Shui specialist Denise O’ Dwyer http://www.fengshuielement.co.uk/
To find out how I can help get your little one sleeping well, book a free call with me here