Many parents-to-be spend countless hours deciding on a color scheme, furniture style, and room layout for their newborn baby’s nursery. While it’s fun to do all of the room planning, there are other important considerations that should go into the planning of your baby’s nursery as well. I’m talking about everything that will make your newborn’s sleep environment more conducive for sleep. If you take these five newborn baby sleep environment tips into consideration when getting your baby’s room ready, you’ll be set up for a successful start when you bring your baby home.
A safe space is the most important part of setting up your baby’s nursery. When planning everything that will be in the nursery and how it will be set up, keeping safety in mind should be first on the list. Please click on the link and review all safe sleep guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP.)
Now that you’ve had a chance to look over Safe Sleep Practices, I’m happy to share five tips for setting up a great sleep environment for your newborn baby.
The first tip is to focus on the temperature of the room. When your baby is sleeping, the ideal temperature range is 68-72 degrees Fahrenheit. If your baby is too warm, they are not only at a higher risk for SIDS, but they also may not sleep as well. When your baby is wearing a one-piece, footed sleeper along with a swaddle, they probably don’t need any additional layers if the room temperature is kept between 68-72 degrees Fahrenheit. However, I have run into babies whose feet feel chilly to the touch. In this case, I’d suggest putting on a pair of socks., along with the footed sleeper. If their feet are cold, they may have trouble getting comfortable enough to sleep well. If your baby’s hair or skin is damp with sweat, they are too warm. In this case, I’d suggest having only a onesie under the swaddle. A good rule of thumb is to only have one more layer on your baby than you have on yourself.
The next tip is to get Blackout Window Treatments. The room should be completely dark during naps and nighttime sleep. I’d suggest blackout window treatments to achieve this. Research shows that even the smallest amount of light can keep melatonin from being produced. Your newborn is not yet producing melatonin, but in a few months, they will be. I’ve seen some babies get so intrigued by a tiny sliver of light coming in that they get overstimulated and then have a hard time getting to sleep.
There are many different blackout window treatment options available now, so you have a lot of styles and price points to choose from. I’m a big fan of easy-to-install blackout blinds where no tools are needed. You can customize the size yourself to ensure there won’t be any light that comes through. A variety can be found on Amazon or other sites. If you’re purchasing them from Amazon, I’d suggest ordering blinds that are free to return just in case they don’t work out for your windows. Having blackout window treatments will also help keep drafts out and keep some outside noise from coming in.
Another tip is to place white noise in the baby’s room. White noise has gotten very popular over the last 10-15 years. There’s a great reason for this! Your baby won’t hear outside noises when white noise is on. I especially love that during baby’s sleep time, parents don’t have to tell their other children to be super quiet. The white noise is very soothing to babies, probably because they heard a similar sound in utero. While nature sounds and waves are cool to listen to, it’s important that when you want your baby to sleep, the setting of the white noise device is on a constant and continuing setting. Studies have shown that sounds that change in pitch are more likely to wake your baby up as they change. Ideally, the sound machine should be located between the crib and the door.
Another one of the newborn baby sleep environment tips that is important is the crib and bassinet placement. The placement is important to keep in mind when setting up your baby’s room. Place it where it is not under a window or right by the heat/air conditioning vent. Your baby may get too hot or cold if placed next to or directly under the heat/air conditioning source. When hanging a mobile, try hanging it somewhere else in the room instead of over the crib. A mobile suspended over the crib may overstimulate your baby and make it harder for them to sleep.
The next tip to make sure you focus on is the changing table. You’re probably wondering what a changing table has to do with my baby getting good sleep. A couple of things! My first suggestion is NOT to change your baby at night unless they have a soiled diaper or if it is leaking. In addition to all the normal supplies you should have on the changing table, I’d suggest a wipe warmer. If you absolutely need to change your little one during the night, the wipes will not be so cold that they wake them up all the way. I’d also like to add in this section that if your baby’s pajamas get slightly damp from drool or a spit-up, try not to change them. Changing your baby’s diaper or their PJs during the night can cause them to be wide awake, which is not what you want your baby to be anytime before 6 a.m.
Following these Newborn Baby Sleep Environment Tips when setting up your baby’s nursery will eliminate unnecessary wakings. Eliminating unnecessary wakings equals more sleep for you and your baby.
Do you have any additional tips that you would like to share? Please share them below in the comment section.
Are you ready to help your baby sleep more soundly? Visit our Newborn Sleep Tip Sheet with Coaching services, and we can start your baby’s process of sleeping well today!
October 5, 2023
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