4 tips for better sleep.
1. Keep it dark. Light sends a message to our brains that it is daytime and not time for sleep. Because melatonin production is triggered by darkness, I recommend turning down the lights about an hour before you plan to put your baby to bed. (Note: electronic screens and some clocks/sound machines emit a blue light that is particularly detrimental to the winding-down process).
2. Turn down the heat. Babies sleep best when they’re warm and cozy in a cool environment. A nursery around 18°C – 21°C is the best way to ensure that your baby remains comfortable throughout the night.
3. Use white noise. A white noise machine can help block out any outside noise that might startle your baby out of sleep. And it can be particularly helpful in the newborn phase when babies are still accustomed to (and comforted by) the loud noises that they lived with in utero.
4. Be predictable. A consistent bedtime routine is important at all ages, but particularly for babies because it acts as a cuing system. Once their brain recognizes the signals that indicate an upcoming bedtime they will automatically start to wind down. Melatonin production will kick in, and by the time you’re giving them a goodnight kiss, they should be ready for a long restorative sleep.