Are you wondering how you can get your baby to sleep through the night? Regardless of their age or your parenting philosophies, this is where you need to start!
When sleep isn't going well it can feel daunting, you can be searching for any reason to make your child sleep better. Are they hungry? Are they cold? are they hot? Are they overtired? Sometimes it feels like no matter what you do nothing gets better!
If this sounds like you and you're just looking for answers keep reading!!
The first step to helping your child better is to understand and listen to your child’s biology. This basically means that we're making sure that we're working with their body to promote sleep rather than working against it and trying to force sleep.
We all know what it's like laying there counting back the hours" if I only fell asleep right now, I wouldn't get 6 hours, now I would get 5 hours" trying to force even ourselves to sleep is a losing battle let alone trying to force our children to sleep!
So here are the three fundamentals to promote sleep: Environment, Timing, and Routine.
1. The Environment. The environment is important for sleep because it helps us get an estate where we're comfortable and feeling safe enough to be able to fall asleep and stay asleep. The environment is so important that it's a biological necessity for our core temperature to drop by about 2°F in order for us to fall asleep!! Ensuring that the space is pitch black (with a nightlight if they ask for one), quiet, and cool, between 16-20.5◦C with appropriate clothing is an ideal temperature for sleeping.
2. The Routine. A routine helps prime our brains and our body for sleep. We are creatures of habit, we love predictability and knowing what comes next. This predictability is very comforting to us as humans of any age and helps us feel secure enough to fall asleep.
The bedtime routine shouldn't be too complicated, it should include things that are going to help promote sleep, be the same every night (or as close to the same as possible) and shouldn't be too long. If the routine is too long our children don't see the connection between all of the pieces, it just becomes a long list of tasks that need to be done without adding much benefit. When done consistently, a bedtime routine sends a strong signal to our brains that it's time for sleep, making falling asleep easier!
3. Timing. Timing can sometimes be the most difficult to figure out as it can be pretty variable depending on the child. One 4-month-old may be able to handle 1h30 of awake time while another one is just fine with 2h. Double check that your little one is in overtired, that they are getting the amount of sleep that they need, that they're getting their nap (if they still need one), or do they need to have an early bedtime? Download my Month-to-Month Sleep Guide here to help you figure out your little one's timing!
Following the fundamentals is the first step that you need to take to improve your child's sleep but if it's not enough, you're still struggling with their sleep and you're needing some help, feel free to reach out to me to work 1:1 here.
To help you get all of the fundamentals in check for your little one’s room, below are a few products that I personally use and think are absolutely amazing and worth investing in. Click the photo below to find more details on each product!
*Full disclosure: I am an affiliate for all of these products and clicking on the links helps support me. Thank you!
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Your Sleep Coach