Creating the Perfect Sleep Environment
These days parents are spending a lot of time creating the perfectly aesthetic nursery for their baby. I say go for it! Let those creative juices flow, create a beautiful space for your beautiful new baby. But, while we're working on aesthetics let's not forget that this is ultimately a sleep space. Keep reading for a few tips on how to keep your nursery pretty AND primed for sleep.
I think the number one thing that parents overlook and find themselves scrambling to solve a few months late is the darkness level of their nursery.
In the newborn phase, babies will sleep pretty much anywhere. They don't care about noise or light. But by 6-8 weeks they start 'waking up' I call it. Their brain is developing and their sleep needs are changing. All of a sudden, they aren't sleeping just anywhere.
Cue a dark room.
Light can be distracting for naps. It regulates our melatonin for night time sleep. It can trigger a toddler to think it's time to wake up for the day at 5am ( Get back to bed!!).
Hang garbage bags, invest in blackout blinds and curtains ( warning: this likely still won't be enough), purchase blackout film. There are many solutions to getting your kids room dark enough. Sorry, it MIGHT not be aesthetically pleasing, but once that baby arrives you'll do anything to help them sleep.
Check out my blog post on room darkness for more info!
Yay, this one will not affect your aesthetics! Keep the temperature around 18°C-21°C at night. Babies like to sleep in a cool environment ( me too, actually). Set your thermostat on a schedule if it has the capabilities to cool off for the night and begin warming up again around 4am.
If your house isn't that easy to control the temperature (we brought our newborn home to a house with no AC in a +40°C heat wave) then check out my dressing guide in the downloads section of my website. Dressing your baby appropriately for the temperature will help immensely with their sleep. Invest in a good sleep sack with a few different TOG ratings for different seasons.
Remember, this is primarily a sleep space. Baby's are very easily distracted, especially as their brain is developing and they're learning to spot different things in the room! A baby developing baby will be interested in the strangest things. Sometimes we don't even know what the heck they're looking at (do you see a ghost?!).
Purchased a beautiful mobile? You can leave it over the crib for the first few months (baby won't be sleeping in their anyway) and then move it to above the change table. Hot tip - It gets increasingly difficult to change their diapers! They become little wiggle worms wanting to see everything, so a mobile above the change station (not the bed for this same reason) can help keep them distracted.
Keep toys, pillows, blankets and any extra loose item out of the crib until baby is at least 12 months. Keep the crib clear of any toys, curtains, monitor wires so baby can't reach out of the crib to grab them.
The most important of all - make sure the space is safe! As I just mentioned, make sure nothing is within reach outside of the crib and don't put anything inside of the crib before 12 months.
Other important safety factors:
A firm mattress
Crib meets current safety guidelines
No bumper pads
No loose blankets, pillows, animals etc
Baby is placed on their back for all sleep
Not sure if your nursery is set up for sleep? Book a phone call! I can help you troubleshoot your space through a video call and give some tips on how to set your baby up for sleep success! Follow me @thatsleepmama for more sleep tips!