Unlock Better Sleep: Tried and Tested Tips for Your Baby's Bedtime

Blog Written By: Heidi Skudder one of the UK’s leading early years parent coaches.

In the past fifteen years, I have worked with thousands of families across the world to help them on their way to healthier, happier sleep habits for the whole entire family. Whilst sleep will look different for each and every individual family I work with, there are of course some common themes and top tips that can help everyone out, and I am thrilled to be collaborating with Glow Dreaming and sharing these with you today.

Sleep can be confusing and overwhelming at times, especially with the ever increasing amount of parenting information shared on social media. New parents find it harder than ever to tune into their gut instincts on sleep and work out what works best for their family, rather than what everyone else is telling them to do. We want to help you along the way to making sleep easier for you and your family, by doing it in a way that feels good. No pressure to do things a certain way and certainly no crying it out… Here are some of my favourite tried and tested ways of aiding sleep for your baby.


1. Optimising Your Baby's Sleep Environment: A Guide to Temperature and Light Adjustment

We always want to look at a little one’s sleep environment first. This is because sometimes the smallest tweak to light levels, or even temperature can have a massive impact on how easily they sleep, but also how often they wake up – particularly in the early hours of the morning when they body’s hormones are starting to wake us up for the day. As our cortisol increases from 4/5am onwards, melatonin drops off which makes it much harder to stay asleep if the environment is not quite right.

The recommended temperature for a baby’s room is between 16-21 degrees. As a first time parent it can sometimes be hard to work out what to dress your little one in, or even know what the temperature is. This is why I love the Perfect Sleep Sensor so much, it shows everything you need to know from temperature, to humidity as well as a recommendation on what tog sleep sack to put baby in.


2. Enhancing Baby's Sleep: The Benefits of Pink Noise with Glow Sleep Easy

As well as their environment, pink noise can be a brilliant tool in helping your little one sleep for longer, by masking out other sounds in their surrounding environment. Perhaps your heating clicks on at 5am, or the noise of the traffic starts to pick up. Whether you are at home, or away from home (and perhaps often even more crucially away from home with new sounds to tune in to), the Glow Sleep Easy (and travel version), play pink noise that will help your baby to settle and sleep without interruptions. As a sleep coach, the introduction of pink noise to a baby’s environment can make a positive difference to their sleep!


3. Balancing Baby's Nighttime Needs: The Role of Light and Feeding with Glow Sleep Easy 

Whilst we are always wanting to improve on sleep and get longer night time stretches, we also want to balance that out with the fact that babies do still need to feed in the night time and depending on their age, regularly too. The light a baby is exposed to can also impact their sleep during the night, and we know from research that red light is the best kind of light to have as a feeding light (red light is linked to higher levels of melatonin production – our sleepy hormone), or to help you see in the night when looking after your baby. Try replacing phone lights, or white bulbs with a red glow, such as the Glow Sleep Easy. Not only will it help baby, but not having your phone light on to see will also help you fall back to sleep more easily too!


4. Unlocking Better Nights: Harnessing Optimal Awake Windows for Your Baby's Sleep 

During the day time, a baby who has optimum naps and awake windows (how long baby stays awake from their last wake up, to then going down again), can make a huge difference to their night times. For this reason, we recommend that parents have a look into awake windows and have a go at practicing them with baby. This sometimes means putting baby down for a sleep before you think they are ready, but we find that awake windows are a brilliant way of helping improve sleep for so many of our clients. Click here for a free guide to awake windows.


5. Nurturing Healthy Sleep Patterns: Understanding Your Baby's Circadian Rhythm 

Your baby is born with no real sense of time or night and day, and this can take time to develop. Our circadian rhythm is our body’s internal clock that starts to show us when it is time to get up, eat, and function throughout the day time and this starts to develop in the early months of their life. Once the circadian rhythm is fully developed, your baby will find it much easier to differentiate between day and night, as well as to sleep more soundly too. When our body has patterns and knows when we usually do things, it can really help aid sleep! Getting out and about in the fresh air is a brilliant way of helping shape your baby’s internal rhythm. Natural exposure to light is crucial and a walk in the morning or later afternoon can not only be great for your mental health as a parent, but also help with your little ones sleeping too!

6. Beyond the Cradle: The Impact of Tummy and Gut Health on Your Baby's Sleep 

So much of your baby’s sleep will be linked to their environment, and setting up consistent routines and cues around sleep. That said though, there is one massively underrated cause of difficult sleep that rarely gets spoken about and that includes your baby’s tummy and gut health. As an adult, you’ll be very aware that your sleep can be impacted on days where you eat too much close to bedtime, feel bloated, or suffer from wind and your baby is no different. Ensuring that you wind your baby during and after their feeds, as well as practice lots of tummy time can be a great way of ensuring that their sleep is as good as it can be! We can also look at building their gut health by adding in lots of friendly bacteria, for example with the use of probiotics. At Positively Parenthood, we like to think outside of the lines when it comes to baby sleep. There is no one size fits all approach and we look at each and every baby’s health holistically, to get a real sense of what might be going on for baby.

7. Sweet Dreams in Every Breath: Aromatherapy Solutions for Your Congested Baby's Sleep 

Of course, there will be times when your baby just cannot physically sleep – we all know well about that period of adjustment (usually baby’s first winter), when they are exposed to multiple coughs and colds. It can feel like sleep deprivation is dragging on forever… When your baby is congested, using aromatherapy such as the Glow Breathe Easy oil, may be a good way of helping your baby to sleep more soundly when they are congested and blocked up. We know that many parents rave about the use of scents in the air to help aid sleep and the Glow Sleep oils can be used not only in babies usual bedroom humidifier, but on the go too in their Glow Travel Sleep Easy.


As well as these tips, we can’t call it a sleep blog without thinking about the idea of a routine for your baby. The word routine always gets a mixed press, as many parents still relate it to the days of strict baby books, where you had to be home every day from 12-2pm and if you weren’t, you “failed”. This is simply not the case, and rather a routine refers to a gentle structure and sequence of events that can help your baby understand that sleep is on its way.

At Glow Dreaming and at Positively Parenthood, we are massively aligned on the idea that routines help build structure for our little ones, which in turn helps them to understand sleep is on its way. This has a positive knock on impact to sleep, and even research tells us that bedtime routines are an effective way of boosting sleep. This may look something like a sleepy feed, a few stories, some songs and then switching on their pink noise and night light, perhaps even with some aromatherapy thrown in. The Glow dreaming products are a perfect bedtime routine accompaniment.

I could go on… Sleep is such a big topic and as modern day, busy parents, we are all in such need for more of it. With my extensive experience and hands on experience working with parents, I know full well how difficult it can be when you have a baby who is not sleeping. Sleep really does impact your ability to function as a parent, as well as your mental health and overall enjoyment of parenting too. Rest assured that sleep is possible for every baby, and if you are struggling to work out the root cause of your little ones broken sleep and difficult nights, try some of these to see if they help move things in the right direction.


Happy Sleeping All!

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