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The Art Of Sleep: Tips And Tricks For Tired Parents

Ah, the elusive art of baby sleep. It can feel like you’re trying to solve a Rubik’s cube blindfolded. 

In this guide we’ll be discussing:

  • The art of baby sleep (including why the person who came up with the phrase ‘sleep like a baby’ clearly never had a baby)
  • Common sleep challenges and how to overcome them
  • Creating a sleep-friendly environment
  • Helpful tips for new parents

The Basic Sleep Needs for a Baby

But fear not, tired parents, we’ve got some tips to help you and your little one get some much-needed rest:

  • Stick to a routine: Establishing a routine can help your baby understand when it’s time to sleep. Try to keep a consistent bedtime and nap-time schedule to help them establish healthy sleep patterns.
  • Get some fresh air: Outdoor activities during the day can help your baby sleep better at night. So take that stroller for a spin around the block or visit a nearby park.
  • Know the signs of sleepiness: Yawning, rubbing eyes, and fussiness are all signs that your baby is ready for some shut-eye. Don’t ignore them!
  • Sleep when the baby sleeps: This is easier said than done, but try to catch some z’s when your baby does. The laundry can wait.
Just when you think you've got the whole sleep thing figured out, BAM, sleep regression hits.

Common Sleep Challenges And How To Overcome Them

Sleep regression: Just when you think you’ve got the whole sleep thing figured out, BAM, sleep regression hits. It’s like the second boss level in a video game. But don’t worry, you can defeat it. Try to stick to your routine, be patient, and don’t forget to breathe. This article from healthline explains sleep regression nicely – just remember it’s a good thing as it means your baby’s brain is developing!

Night wakings: You finally drift off to sleep and then it happens, your baby wakes up crying. It’s like your little alarm clock reminding you that you’re never really off duty. To help soothe your baby, try a dummy (although try to wean them off this after 6 months of age) or a gentle pat or rub on the back.

Teething: Teething can be a painful process for babies, and it can disrupt their sleep patterns. Try offering a teething toy or a cold washcloth to help relieve the pain.

Creating A Sleep-Friendly Environment

Creating A Sleep-Friendly Environment

A sleep-friendly environment can make a big difference in your baby’s sleep patterns. Here are some tips to help create a calm and soothing space for your little one (if you don’t have access to a lavender bed in the clouds like the picture above):

  • Keep it dark: Use blackout curtains or shades to keep the room dark and conducive to sleep. Darkness at night and natural light in the morning will help to signal the sleep-wake cycle to your baby’s brain.
  • Set the temperature right: A cooler room temperature can help your baby sleep better. Aim for around 20 to 22 degrees Celsius.
  • White noise: A constant noise, like a white noise machine, can help drown out any outside noise and soothe your baby to sleep.
  • Fully feed your baby during the day: A fully fed baby will be less likely to wake up hungry in the middle of the night. Try to feed before bed in a less distracting environment so they are more likely to fully feed.

Helpful Tips For New Parents

Feeling a bit like our furry gorilla friend here? Here are a few more helpful tips for new parents trying to catch some z’s:

Helpful Tips for New Parents
  • Let others help: Don’t be afraid to ask for help from family and friends. A babysitter (or the grandparents if you’re lucky), even for an hour or two, can do wonders for your sleep deprivation.
  • Keep a sleep diary: A sleep diary can help you track your baby’s sleep patterns and identify any issues or progress.
  • Take care of yourself: It’s important to take care of yourself so that you can be your best self for your little one. Try to be as consistent as possible but it’s also hard as a new parent! So don’t stress about it and try to go with the flow.

Want To Stay Ahead Of The Curve?

To help you along this journey, take a look at our Grow with Me development toy boxes. Rather than worrying about their developmental progress after they’re born, you can leave that to us. We provide a monthly research-based sensory subscription for developing cognitive & motor skills through play in 0-24 month-olds, leaving you to focus on spending quality time with your new family addition!