We’ve all seen the adverts, for everything from nappies to moisturisers: baby sleeping peacefully in an adorable cot/basket/buggy with the only noise coming from the wonderfully light and calming sound of the occasional baby breaths. But while some parents are blessed with such a spectre, most parents know from experience that those tranquil moments are often few and far between.
Here at Baby Bloons UK, we feel your pain! So we wanted to share a few tips contributed by our team and many other parents who have managed to get through those tiring times and even get the occasional full night’s sleep!
NUMBER 1 – CONSISTENCY IS KING
No matter how old your little one is, aiming for a consistent bedtime or at least a consistent bedtime routine can be a life-saver for sleep-deprived parents. Remember that our brains are programmed to recognise signals indicating an upcoming bedtime, so what we need to do is give it those signals. Children are often particularly sensitive to schedule changes and a seemingly small change in time can really affect the quality of their sleep. Maintain structure to your evenings as much as possible, allowing enough playtime for your child to feel tired. Being consistent and taking control of the schedule sometimes isn’t easy but for sleep-deprived parents, it can truly be a lifesaver!
NUMBER 2 – Get the Environment Right
The production of the sleep hormone melatonin is strongly impacted by light levels, so it comes as no surprise that many parents have a much better night’s sleep when they make sure all bedrooms are as dark as possible. Blackout curtains are highly recommended. Some parents even cover any small gaps that light is likely to come through with tin foil or sacks. In summer try to make sure the bedrooms are cool, and in winter avoid the urge to ratchet up the heating at night to sauna levels, we sleep best at 18 – 21°C the whole year-round. Gadgets and screens are particularly disruptive for melatonin production (blue light from screens is the enemy of sleep hormone production!) so try and remove as many gadgets from the room as possible.
NUMBER 3 – THINK POSITIVE!
If you’re constantly thinking negatively about the baby not sleeping or yourself not getting enough sleep, you might make the problem worse than it needs to be. Remember that it is natural for babies to wake up at night and don’t think of it as a personal failure if your little one is slightly more active at night than others. Take each night as it comes, and eventually, you can be sure that you will be back to a good night’s sleep. Try and make sure that you as parents get some ‘me’ time, even if it is only a few minutes each day for reading a book, listening to your favourite song or having a relaxing bath.