- Figure out a baby sleep routine for both daytime and night-time. Bright lights and activity in the day, and dim lights and baths in the evening. They should know what to expect over time.
- Consider incorporating a bedtime routine at around three months old, if one isn’t already established.
- Stick to the baby sleep routine as much as possible. For example, feed, bathe, book, and bed in the same order each night. For more ideas, read our top tips for a sound baby sleep routine.
- Keep loud, fun games for daytime.
- Try not to overstimulate in the evenings. Use soft voices and make less eye contact during night sleep times. Even if baby wakes up to play.
- Try not to tiptoe around a sleeping baby. While differentiating between day and night is helpful, silence in the house could turn them into a light sleeper when they go anywhere else for naps.
- Try to get baby used to napping out and about while young. They have a few years of napping ahead so it will be better if they get used to going with the flow a bit.
- Get a cool, breathable cover for your baby stroller to help with naps on the go.
- Try white noise for a short duration while baby is falling asleep. It’s said to remind them of the womb and help them relax. Look for an app or white noise machine apps that play at a low volume and that have a timer.
- Try gradually weaning them off cuddle/rocking time before a sleep association is established. Go from rocking to a rhythmic pat and "shhh" to sleep. Once that works, next time decrease the number of pats and "shhhs". Eventually you will be able to put baby down and walk away with this gradual approach. It’s a chance for baby to learn to self-soothe.
- Learn to recognize baby’s signs of sleepiness. If they’re yawning, stretching, or rubbing eyes and ears, it’s probably a good time to get ready for nap or bedtime.
- Understand that every baby is different. What works for some may not work for others.
- Talk to someone if things get too difficult. Remember you can only do so much.
- Talk to a doctor if sleep deprivation becomes an issue.
- Consider sharing nighttime feeding and soothing with your partner or ask a friend or relative for help during the day.
- Consider a night nurse or a nanny if you need some rest and don’t have other support.
- Remember, your baby will eventually sleep through the night—there is light at the end of the tunnel.
https://www.caringforkids.cps.ca/handouts/pregnancy-and-babies/safe_sleep_for_babies. Accessed August 2020.
Hugh S, et al. Infant Sleep Machines and Hazourdous Sound Pressure Levels. Pediatrics. 2014;133(4):1-5.
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