Creating a Peaceful Environment for Your Baby to Sleep

Creating a Peaceful Environment for Your Baby to Sleep

Perhaps the best approach to the challenge of getting your baby to sleep is to approach it like you would any other large project; and make no mistake, getting your baby to go to sleep and stay asleep can be a serious undertaking. What this means to you as a parent is that you should start by laying the groundwork for success and when it comes to helping your baby go to sleep, you’re going to have to start by taking a long look at where it is that your baby does most of their sleeping.

If you’re like many parents, you may have prepared a separate room as a nursery. Generally this room will be right next to your own bedroom so that you’ll be able to hear your baby when they awake. However, many other parents feel that it’s better to put the baby’s crib right in their own bedroom so that they can be there with their baby at all times.

A lot of parents find it reassuring to be able to glance over and know that their baby is fine and hopefully, sleeping peacefully as well as being able to respond at a moment’s notice if and when the baby wakes up. Just as a note here, having your baby sleep in your bedroom does not mean that you should have them sleep in the same bed, which can be incredibly dangerous to your baby, all debates over infant parenting philosophies aside. Your baby should sleep in his or her own crib or bassinet for their own safety as well as comfort.

Regardless of whether your baby will be taking its naps and spending the night in a crib or bassinet in your room or in an adjoining room that you’ve set up as a nursery before their arrival, you’ll need to evaluate the room honestly in order to ensure that it’s an environment which is conducive to your baby sleeping soundly and peacefully.

What does this mean, you ask? It’s not all that different from what anyone needs to get to sleep easily, whether they’re a child or an adult. The elements are pretty basic: a comfortable bed, a reasonably dark room, a temperature which is neither too cool nor too warm and of course, relative quiet. These are probably exactly the same things that you want in your bedroom when you’re trying to get to sleep and your baby, believe it or not, probably feels much the same way as you do. Granted, they aren’t yet at an age where they can communicate this to you verbally, but when you provide your infant with the right kind of environment for going to sleep and staying asleep, they’ll get the point across in a way which every parent will immediately understand and appreciate deeply: sleeping peacefully.

You can get started by looking at each of these elements one by one. First, let’s look at the crib or bassinet your baby sleeps in. Of course, your baby can’t tell you whether they’d prefer a softer place to sleep, but you’ll want to make sure that wherever your baby sleeps is soft and comfortable as possible. This alone can make a big difference in whether your baby tends to stay sleeping or wakes up frequently. Put yourself in your baby’s shoes (or booties, if you will) for a moment and think about it: if your mattress is uncomfortable, you’d have a hard time getting to sleep and would probably toss, turn and wake up throughout the night, wouldn’t you? Of course you would – and if your baby’s bed isn’t comfortable, they will have the same kind of experience.

Next, think about how dark (or light) that the room where your baby sleeps is. Just like you, your baby will have a harder time sleeping if the room is flooded with light, whether this is sunlight due to curtains or blinds which don’t do a good enough job blocking out outside light or the light of a streetlight at night. Your baby isn’t quite at the age where they’re going to need a night light (if they do end up needing one to get to sleep later on, that is), but anything more than the soft light of a night light will probably make it more difficult for your baby to get to sleep.

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Putting a night light in the room where your baby sleeps also has the benefit that you don’t have to turn on the lights and risk waking your baby if you want to check on them during the night or while they take a daytime nap – or waking anyone else in the house while you’re on your way to soothe your baby back to sleep in the middle of the night or give your baby a feeding in the wee hours of the morning. Basically, if the room is too bright for you to sleep easily, it’s too bright for your baby as well. You may need to invest in heavier curtains or light-scattering window treatments in order to keep the light level in the room from being excessive when it’s time for baby to get some rest.

Consider the noise level in your baby’s nursery or your bedroom (or anywhere else that your baby sleeps). Obviously, the room needs to be quiet enough to be conducive to restful sleep, so if you’d planned on making a room that faces a busy street your baby’s nursery, you may need to rethink this decision. While many babies aren’t quite as sensitive to outside noise as an adult who happens to be a light sleeper might be, your baby does need a fairly quiet place to sleep.

Depending on where you live, it might not be possible to provide a room for your baby to sleep which is entirely free of outside sounds. If this is the case in your home, then you’ll just have to do your best to ensure a quiet and peaceful environment for your baby to sleep in. This could mean installing double-paned windows to reduce sound coming in from outside (they’re also good for insulation, so you might be able to lower your energy bills at the same time; and since most new parents could use a little extra money, this is something well worth considering). It could also mean putting heavy drapes in the room to further dampen sound.

There is also a behavioral component at play here which parents need to become accustomed to. If you have a baby sleeping and want to keep them that way, you’re going to have to get used to being a little quieter around the home than you may have been before your new baby arrived. You’ll have to remind everyone to keep their voices down when your baby is sleeping, turn down the TV or radio and generally try to keep the noise level down to help your baby sleep. It’s something every parent learns on their own, but a little reminder always helps; you may even want to try to get used to this new habit while you’re expecting in order to be ready to give your baby the kind of quiet and comfortable bedtime environment that they need to sleep soundly.

Finally, there is the temperature of the room where your baby sleeps and this, like the other factors which go into creating an environment which is conducive to getting your baby to sleep, is simply common sense. The room needs to be a com fortable temperature (say, 68 to 72 degrees or so) or your baby may have a hard time sleeping or wake frequently due to the discomfort of being too cold or too warm. If it’s a little chilly, make sure the windows are closed and your baby has warm clothing on. If it’s warm, dress your baby lightly and consider using an oscillating fan (which can also be a soothing sound for your baby to fall asleep to, by the way), open the window a little or if necessary, turn up the air conditioning a little to make sure that the temperature in the room is just right for your little bundle of joy to get some much needed rest.

It’s all pretty simple stuff, really, but it all matters. If you want your baby to sleep soundly – and what parent doesn’t – then you need to make sure that they’re comfortable when it’s time to go to bed. When you make sure that baby’s room and bed are quiet, dark and comfortable, you’ll find that it’s that much easier to get them to bed and stay sleeping longer so that you can get some rest yourself.

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