The Ideal Sleep Environment
When I was expecting my first child, I spent all kinds of time on Pinterest finding inspiration for the perfect nursery. I picked out a color scheme, bedding, decorations, a comfy chair for those nighttime feedings, organization - all the things. I didn’t think at all about how my child would sleep in this room, just that it looked nice. And it did look great! But I had to make a few adjustments when baby arrived.
Here are the basics for creating the ideal sleep environment:
Safe - This is the most important aspect. Make sure you’re using a crib or bassinet that has been approved for sleep. Until 12 months of age, the sleep space should be empty of blankets, pillows, stuffed animals and crib bumpers. As your child becomes more mobile, continue to ensure safety by lowering the crib mattress and anchoring furniture to avoid any accidents. A safe sleep space is the best sleep space.
Dark - like really, really dark. Can't see your hand in front of your face dark. This will help signal to baby that it's time for sleep, especially at nap time or summer when you may be putting your child to sleep when it's still light out. Invest in good blackout shades. You won't regret it!
White Noise - Baby's are used to loud noise because the womb is pretty loud. White noise also helps to muffle the sounds of the house and neighborhood when baby is trying to sleep. I recommend using plain, white noise instead of lullabies or other stimulating noises. The white noise should be loud and left on all night long.
Cool - the ideal room temperature is between 68-72 degrees. Parents frequently worry about baby being too cold, but there's not a lot of evidence to support this. Keep the room cool and avoid dressing baby in too many layers.