This week we are talking baby sleep - specifically, how to help your baby get a better night's sleep - hallelujah! We've teamed up with the lovely people at Owlet who have not only given us their 5 top sleep tips, but are also offering one of their fabulous Smart Sock Monitors in this week's Mini First Aid Competition! Over to Owlet . . .
Five Baby Sleep Tips All Parents Need to Know
Sleep is high on the priority list for all of us, but especially for new parents! If your baby isn’t giving you the shut eye you need then read our top five baby sleep tips and take your first step towards a better night’s sleep…
Sleep Tip 1: Establish a routine early on
Your baby is never too young to get into a bedtime routine, so decide what yours will look like and start doing it from day one. Most bedtime routines follow a relaxing pattern including bath, story, feed and bed but decide what works for you and your family and then stick with it. If you have an older baby and you haven’t established a bedtime routine yet then don’t worry, just introduce one now and your baby will soon learn to recognise the signs that it is sleep time.
Sleep Tip 2: Create a sleep haven for your baby
Think about what helps you to sleep - a cool room, darkness and a safe, comfortable bed - well, your baby needs all of these things to help them sleep too!
One of the best baby items you can invest in is a really good blackout blind that keeps their nursery nice and dark, even on those bright summer nights. It’s best to keep the room cool too as a warm baby is often a cranky baby and being too hot at night can actually be dangerous for little ones. The ideal nursery temperature is between 16-20ºC and we advise you get a room thermometer so you can keep an eye on the temperature and dress your baby accordingly.
Your little one’s sleep space should be free from clutter such as toys, excess blankets, cot bumpers and pillows, they need a good fitting mattress with a fitted sheet and your choice of swaddle, sleeping bag or similar to help them sleep comfortably and safely. If you are sharing a sleep space with your little one then we recommend you check out the safer sleep guidance on the lullaby trust website to ensure you are co-sleeping safely. [https://www.lullabytrust.org.uk]
One thing that your baby might like (that you don’t need to get off to sleep), is white noise. If your baby is struggling to settle then you can use a white noise machine to recreate the noises of the womb so that your little one can drift off more easily.
Sleep Tip 3: Check on your baby without disturbing them
New parents are often tempted to check on their baby every few minutes in those early weeks and many of us rush in as soon as the baby makes a sound for the first few months (or years!) but this can actually disturb your baby from their natural sleep rhythm. It is perfectly normal for babies to stir during their sleep as they go through the different stages of their sleep pattern and often, they will settle themselves back to sleep fairly quickly if left to their own devices. But understandably, parent’s always want to check that the little cry isn’t a sign that baby is in distress. Thankfully, there are now products available that allow you to check on your baby without upsetting that lovely sleep routine you have worked so hard to establish.
From day one, you can use an Owlet Sock to monitor your baby’s vital signs. Track your baby's heart rate and oxygen levels while they sleep using clinically proven pulse oximetry and be notified if something appears to be wrong. Have complete peace of mind knowing you can keep track of your baby's heart rate and oxygen levels from anywhere.The clever little sock fits snuggly onto your baby’s foot and sends data back to your smart phone and the in-house station, which will both notify you immediately by sounding an alarm if your baby’s vital signs fall outside of preset parameters. You can check on your baby anytime, anywhere using the app on your smartphone.
When your baby is old enough to move into their own bedroom at around six months, it is worth installing a baby monitor that allows you to hear and see your baby without entering the room. Position the baby monitor out of reach but in clear sight of the cot and you will be able to check up on your baby at any time. The Owlet Cam works alongside the Owlet Sock and interacts with the same app on your smartphone, so you can see and hear your baby and monitor their health wherever you are.
Sleep Tip 4: Be prepared for quick changes
One of the worst culprits for disturbing both baby and parent’s sleep is the dreaded night time nappy change. They are inevitable and unavoidable, but they needn’t be catastrophic for your night time routine, the key to surviving them is all in the preparation. Have everything you need within easy reach for you but out of reach for your baby, including spare bed sheets, swaddles, pyjamas and all the nappy changing paraphernalia.
It is a good idea to install a nightlight within easy reach too, but make sure it omits a very low light that won’t wake up your little one and give them the impression it is morning time, avoid blue lights that simulate daylight. Keep calm and quiet and try not to engage your baby in play, just change them, feed them if needed and then return them to their sleep space and hope that they go back to sleep.
Sleep Tip 5: Learn to recognise the sleep signs
Half the battle of teaching your little one to sleep through the night, is spotting when they are ready for bed. Your baby is following a powerful biological rhythm which prompts their body to release the hormone melatonin when it is time for a nap. Melatonin helps baby to fall asleep promptly and often without a fuss, but unfortunately if you miss the signs then that little window of seamless sleep closes and you are left with an overtired (and often cross) baby to contend with. Leave it too long and your baby’s brain will start to release hormones like adrenalin and cortisol that help wake us up, once that happens it will be very hard for your little one to drift off to sleep. So look out for the cues that mean your baby is getting sleepy, they include the obvious yawning, but also if baby goes quiet, seems distant, disinterested in their surroundings or is rubbing their eyes, these are all signs that they are ready to go to bed. Act quickly and baby should settle quickly and sleep for longer, so get to know their sleep signs early on.
Thank you Owlet for those fantastic tips! Let us know how you get on with following these five sleep tips for baby, we would love to hear from you! The most important thing to remember is that every baby is different, so try not to worry when your friends tell you their baby is sleeping through the night, your baby will get there too eventually and in the meantime, make sure you carve out some “me time” to relax and catch up on your sleep while your partner or someone you trust looks after your baby, because as the saying goes, “you can’t pour from an empty cup” and that is very true in parenthood.
Mini First Aid x
(Written by Cheeky Rascals)
We’re SUPER excited to be giving you the chance to win an Owlet Smart Sock Monitor. This is the most advanced and integrated baby monitoring system on the market, worth a whopping £269.99! And it could be yours! This is a competition NOT to be missed! To enter, please visit our Facebook, Instagram or Twitter page NOW! Competition T and C's are available here.