7 Things All Parents Must Know About Sleep

<h2> 7 Things All Parents Must Know About Sleep <h2>

The entire team at Baby Dream Machine wants to ensure that all our followers and their babies are getting the best out of their sleep.

A few weeks ago, we asked our fans on social to ask us their burning sleep questions. Well, when we asked, you delivered, we got so many fantastic questions. Our knowledgeable in house sleep expert Laura Collaci answered some of your best questions. 

Read along to find out some of Laura's sleepy baby secrets.

1. Help! We have been picking up our baby every time she wakes up at night. How can we transition to self-soothe in the crib?

Great question! If you are looking to offer your baby crib side assistance, you can hover over the crib, hold and hug your baby. You can even put your cheek up against him/her. Gently rubbing the areas between the eyes. This can help relax the baby to sleep. You can begin this transition by giving crib side assistance a try! You will begin to learn what your baby will respond to best. You can also choose to combine a few different techniques. Try to give each technique a few minutes before moving onto the next.

2. How can I get my baby to sleep long stretches? 

This is one of the most common questions I get from tired parents. Your child's bedtime routine is essential when it comes to sleeping longer stretches at night. This will help signal to your child that it is time for sleep. A short bedtime routine can begin as early as three months of age. Consistency is key, so you will want to follow the same steps in the exact same order each night. Baby should be drowsy but awake. This means calm and ready for sleep. The timing of your bedtime is also very important, based on your little one's age.

  • Following a daytime schedule is key! Following wake windows (the amount of time baby can stay awake based on his/her age) will help you see better results with naps. Making sure your baby is getting enough day sleep can help your baby sleep longer stretches at night.

  • Night weaning should always be approved first by your pediatrician. If night feeds are still happening, try to make sure your baby is not falling asleep at the breast/bottle.

  • Your baby's sleep environment will set the tone for sleep. Setting up a calming space for your child can help you see longer stretches of sleep. Blackout blinds, pink noise, red light therapy, sleep sack/swaddle, soother are all things that you can introduce right away that will help fill your child's sleep toolbox.

  • Calorie loading - having consistent feeds throughout the day, and getting as many calories as possible can help your baby sleep longer stretches at night.

3. Is Baby Dream Machine good for children seven and up? 

Baby Dream Machine can be used for children of all ages. Often older children will have bad dreams or fears around the dark. Baby Dream Machine is a wonderful alternative for your traditional white night light. Red-light therapy helps destimulate melatonin, which can help your child fall asleep and stay asleep.

4. How do I know I have the right wake windows? 

A wake window is the amount of time your baby can stay awake based on his/her age. 

This chart is a useful guide to help you navigate your baby's sleep schedule. Keep in mind that every child is different, and some can vary 30+ mins. This chart is also great to look ahead at how your baby's schedule will change month to month. Remember to include your child's nap/bedtime routine before he/she needs to be asleep.

5. Should my eleven-month-old breastfed baby be sleeping through the night?

Every child has different needs based on his/her growth and development. If your baby still needs that feed, just make sure he/she is awake throughout the feed and able to fall asleep independently afterwards.

6. How do I get my three-month-old to take longer naps?

It is remarkably common for babies under six months of age to have short, frequent naps. At three months, I encourage my sleep clients to practice putting their baby down for sleep awake. This helps your baby learn to fall asleep independently. You can begin to have a baby nap in a separate sleep space. Windows should be covered; red light therapy and pink noise can be used to help drown out any outside sounds.

7. Wake windows and total naps for a six-month-old? My baby only takes two naps a day.

A six-month-old baby will typically take 2-3 naps, 2.5 hr wake window and 12-15 hr total sleep (nap + night sleep). *see baby dream wake window chart for more info!

Happy Sleeping!

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