Here are my top 5 tips for a good sleeper!
#1 Independent sleep
Start healthy sleep habits from the beginning by putting your baby down awake but drowsy instead of getting them fully to sleep in your arms. The more a baby practices going to sleep on their own the better at it they will become. As long as you don't create any sleep associations (nursing, feeding, rocking to sleep) you will not need to sleep train later on!
#2 Sleep Environment
When creating your baby’s sleep environment safety should always come first. Always follow the AAP's recommendations for safe sleep.
Must haves for your baby's nursery:
Black out curtains
A white noise machine kept at a continuous sound and a low decibel
Night lights are not necessary and can actually prevent a baby from falling asleep!
Naps and nighttime sleep should be taken in the same place (if your baby is not in daycare). This will help your baby associate their sleeping space, with going to sleep.
A schedule will play a big part in your baby's sleep. It's important to follow a similar routine everyday so your baby knows what to expect and will also help set their internal clock. In the beginning it's more important to follow age appropriate wake times vs a set schedule. A nap schedule will start to emerge around 3 months. The bedtime routine should be simple and consistent every night so your baby knows it is a cue it is time to go to sleep. For babies 3+ months bedtime should never be later than 8:30 pm.
Don’t rush in every time your baby wakes up. Give them a few minutes to see if they go back to sleep on their own. This will encourage them to learn to self soothe. Often times they are just transitioning through sleep cycles.
We want to limit daytime sleep so that it doesn't take away from nighttime sleep. No nap should be longer than 2 hours for babies under a year.
*Email me if you would like a free wake time chart for ages newborn-3 years old! Following age appropriate wake times will help prevent your baby from being overtired or not tired enough which can cause them to fight sleep. This guide includes how long a baby should be awake between sleep, how many naps they should be taking and how much daytime and nighttime sleep they need based on their age.