Essentials for Healthy Sleep Habits
Updated: Jul 11
Want to know more about what we sleep consultants recommend for healthy sleep habits? Let’s chat about it!
The most important thing is having an optimal sleep environment; that includes a cool, dark room/cave like room with white noise. These three sleep props can be recreated in just about any location, especially if you have a portable white noise machine and a way to create a blackout environment.
There are plenty of sound machines marketed for infants to improve their sleep. A key factor in a high quality sound machine is one that does not loop or repeat. There are many variations of sounds and even different colors of sound (white, brown, pink and orange). According to Dr. Harvey Karp, founder of Happiest Baby on the Block and creator of the Snoo, “Sound doesn’t start boosting sleep until it gets to 60 to 65 dB.” Sound machines help mask the sudden, disruptive sounds that can happen through the night. Having white noise has been proven to help babies and toddlers fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer because it mimics the sound level of the womb.
Dark Room and sleep, they go hand in hand. Our bodies create a sleep hormone, melatonin, and with the help of a cool dark (cave like/pitch black) room our bodies will naturally produce this hormone allowing us to fall asleep.
Although, newborns who have yet to develop their circadian rhythms should take their daytime naps with some light. This will help to encourage their bodies to recognize the difference between day and night and allow night time sleep to become easier over time.
Read more about day and night confusion here.
Keep reading to find out our other essentials for sleep!
WE LOVE a good sleep routine!! The last few activities that we repeat each day signal our bodies that sleep is coming. And a solid bedtime routine can definitely help set your child up for success when it comes to having a great sleep.
Benefits of a calming bedtime routine:
Better sleep for baby
Relaxing for parents (if you do it right!)
Promotes development and wellbeing
Emotional and behavioral regulation
Promotes secure parent-child attachment
This means that you can set your baby up for success by introducing a bedtime (and nap time!) routine right from the start. And if it’s not something you’ve done yet, starting now will only help your baby sleep better! Read more here about the different types of bedtime routines that you can do!
Sleep sacks are GAME CHANGERS!
The three biggest impacts sleep sacks and have on sleep are:
positive sleep association (making sleep efficacy easier)
helps makes sleeping in unfamiliar environments easier
Read more about our take on sleep sacks here.
Do you remember the early days of newborn life? Waking every few hours to feed your baby. Many families choose to have a bassinet next to their bed to make night wakings easier. Others choose to use a crib from the beginning. Whether your baby is sleeping in their own room or room sharing with you, they still need their own safe sleep space (AAP recommendation).
Check our in depth guide to safe sleep. It covers the AAP recommendations, marketing terminology, preventing SIDS, bassinet/crib transition, and when/how to introduce loveys, pillows, and/or blankets.
Last but certainly not least, timing! Timing plays a VITAL role in healthy sleep. Wake windows are averages for how much time your baby is awake between sleeps.
We do not want an undertired or overtired child. Both of these scenarios can create an early morning wake cycle or short nap cycle that can feel never ending. Here are our blogs about helping correct short naps and early morning wake ups.
Remember, babies and children are not robots and their sleep needs will eb and flow just like everything else. What we can do as parents is make sleep come easier, more natural and more predictable by creating healthy routines and habits.