When I found out that I was pregnant with my daughter I was told that “once the baby is here then I will never sleep again”. The thought of never sleeping again made me not able to sleep before she even arrived!
Can I let you in on a little secret? It isn’t true! Just like how people tell you to “nap when the baby naps”. Seriously, we have way too much to do when our little one is down for a nap. We usually end up staring at them while they sleep, making sure that they are still breathing and thinking wow, I can’t wait until you wake up so I can snuggle you again! But there is no way that a nap for mom is going to happen. That is how it was for me, at least.
Hi! I’m Tegan. I am a mama of two, a Pediatric Sleep Consultant, Owner/Founder of Bedtime Babble, AND I get on average 8-9 hours of sleep each night!
I am so lucky, right? Yes, lucky to be my little one’s mama but not because of their healthy sleep habits. That part took strategy and consistency. My little ones have mastered the skills of independent sleep which means that they can fall asleep and back to sleep on their own.
I am here to help with 5 simple tips for a good night’s sleep.
It is very important to establish a bedtime routine. We are all creatures of habit and find comfort in knowing what comes next. The same is for your little one. Having a bedtime routine will be their cue to let them know that it is time to go to sleep. Start your bedtime routine at the same age-appropriate time each evening. One thing to keep in mind, do not have the bottle as the last step before you place them in their crib. This will create a sleep association. Your little one will expect the bottle each time that they are to fall asleep. This also means in the middle of the night when they wake.
Fill their Tank. Think about how hard it is to fall asleep on an empty stomach. Almost impossible! Your little one is the same way. It is so important that they get the appropriate amount of food during the day to ensure that they can have successful sleep. For example, a 6-month-old should get 28-32 oz of formula or breastmilk during the day.
Sleep Environment. Sound, temperature, and light are important considerations that you should take when setting up a sleep environment for your little one. Use a sound machine to soothe your little one. The goal temperature that is best for their room is 68-72 degrees. Room darkening shades are great for daytime sleep when the sun is popping through. Don’t forget that healthy sleep habits start with safe sleep. It is so important to always follow safe sleep practices. A simple way to remember the foundation of safe sleep is with the ABC’s of Safe Sleep.
- There should be nothing (or no one) else in bed with your little one besides maybe a pacifier.
- Always put your little one down into bed on their back.
- The safe places for your baby to sleep are crib/cribette, Pack N Play or bassinet.
Ask for Help. Lack of sleep will impact your mental health and overall well-being. This is not good for you or your little one. Please do not be afraid to ask for help. You are not expected to do it all. Share “shifts” with your significant other or have a friend come over to spend time with your little one so that you can rest.
Sleep Train. It is so important to teach your little one how to independently fall asleep. This includes those pesky middle of night wakings. The truth is no one sleeps through the night due to sleep cycles and their different stages. The key is to have the skills to fall back asleep independently. Now, there are other reasons why your little one might wake during the night, but if they have mastered the skill of independent sleep then you will be able to go down the list of reasons why they are unable to fall back asleep; wet or soiled diaper, the temperature of the room, sickness, hitting a milestone, etc. Sleep coaching is not one size fits all. Every little one is different. Even my Irish twins are completely different when it comes to what works best for them.
If you are still reading, then you are ready to get some sleep! You might still need a little more assistance, and that is ok! I suggest that you consider hiring a Pediatric Sleep Consultant. Do not let yourself become overwhelmed with all of the information on the internet. Ask for help!
As a Sleep Consultant, I will work with families to create a plan tailored to THEIR little one. They just have to implement it! I am here for support, to troubleshoot and celebrate the victories along the way!
Once your little one has established the skill of independent sleep, then you can enjoy the benefits of sleep, too!