At Little Moy Community, we understand the challenges parents face during postpartum in figuring out optimal sleep for themselves and their little ones. Through series of articles like this one, we share learnings and tips from experts on various aspects of bringing up young children. In this article, our partner Meg Driscoll, a certified sleep consultant, is sharing her proven tips to settle your little one better.
As basic as some of these tips may sound, they can make a huge difference when getting your little one to settle.
Blackout their room:
When I say blackout all light from their room, I literally mean make it so dark that you can’t see in there. There are a few reasons why this is so important and they include;
Helps promote our sleep hormone ‘melatonin’ which we want to create come sleep time. Light interfering can hinder this process.
Having the room pitch black is also very helpful with calming your baby down and eliminating any distractions in their room. If your little one can see things in their room, it can distract them from settling, and linking up their sleep cycles.
White noise is a continuous sound that plays for the full duration of your little one's sleep. White noise also helps promote continuous sleep and should be played from a machine instead of an iPhone as high pitched frequency can irritate a little one's ears. White noise is also great to block out any noise in the home or environment that may disturb their sleep. If there are distracting noises happening, it can make settling difficult.
Dressing your little one appropriately can make a big difference. If your little one is cold, it's quite likely they will have trouble settling. Dressing them in the appropriate layers depending on the weather, and the correct thermal overall grading (TOG) sleeping bag, can help greatly. A comfortable room temperature for your little one to sleep in ranges from 19-22 degrees.
A wind-down routine can be crucial to getting your little one to sleep. If they have just come from a highly stimulating environment, straight into the cot, this can be quite unsettling for them. Winding down 15 minutes before each nap, dimming the lights, turning off the television or turning down the music, and reading some book or having some quiet play instead, can help get them into a calm state, ready for sleep.
Ensuring your little one has had a good feed prior to their nap can eliminate them waking hungry and settling easier. For little ones on solids, it’s good to give them their meals roughly 1+ hours before nap time, to allow it to settle in their bellies. Including a range of healthy fats, proteins and carbohydrates will ensure they are nice and full for a long time.
For babies on just milk, feeding when they wake from a nap is a good habit to get into and if you feel they need a little extra, giving them a top-up 20 minutes prior to their nap in a bright room can be helpful. If you’re hungry, it's likely settling will be difficult.
About the author
Meg Driscoll is a mum of one beautiful girl and founder of Lullaby Lola Sleep Consultancy. She founded the company following her own experience with post-natal depression and sleep deprivation. Meg is a passionate sleep consultant who helps families not to experience the same lows. She educates parents on the importance of sleep and how to best set their little one up with healthy sleep habits.