An appropriate sleep environment is important to support positive sleep habits. This means thinking about good ‘sleep hygiene’ which includes routine and environment. Make sure that baby is having good naps during the day, with a consistent daytime nap routine.
It is wise to make sure the last hour of the day is a generally calm and quiet time. This may be playing quietly, reading, or watching television, but avoid letting children rush around and get over excited at this time. If a parent is likely to return home from work around now be sure they are aware that this is a quiet part of the day and not to over excite the little ones. There is a real danger of this happening if they haven’t seen each other all day, beware!
Before beginning the bedtime routine be pro-active and prepare what you need in advance. Being prepared and organised makes it a much easier and less stressful time for all. Run the bath and test temperature with your elbow – not too hot, and not too cold. Have everything you need to hand; towel, pajamas, nappy and creams. Close the bedroom curtains, put on soft lighting and have baby’s milk ready.
The temperature of baby’s room is important and should ideally be between 18 – 20 degrees. Turn the heating down now if necessary to ensure the temperature is correct. Overheating is a risk factor for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) so this is really important.
After baby is bathed, clothed, fed, cuddled, read to and teeth are brushed they should now be ready to go to sleep. If the same routine is followed every night it becomes familiar to baby who feels safe and secure in the knowledge its now sleepy time.
Night night, sleep tight….. zzzz