With so much information out there about baby sleep, the pressure of a ‘perfect nighttime routine’ can get a little overwhelming! One of things that often makes us most confused is what the ideal sleep environment should actually look like.
Keeping in mind that you cannot be home for every sleep, I work on an 80/20 rule – 80% of what we do forms a habit and therefore we work on the sleep environment where our baby will sleep for most of the time.
I always recommend that your baby or toddler’s bedroom should feel like a day spa. You know the feeling you get when you enter – it’s relaxing, not too stimulating, nice and warm. Number one is making your child’s bedroom nice and dark.
On a scale of 1 to 10, I aim for around a 9/10 in terms of darkness. A dark room will minimise stimulation for our babies, and also help regulate our little one’s internal body clock. A dark room also assists in the release of melatonin (our sleep hormone) into the system.
Temperature wise, the room should ideally sit somewhere between 19°C and 22°C. Our little ones do get cold, and a common issue I see when working with families is under heating and underdressing. Rightly so, we’re very well educated on overheating – but many of us overcompensate.
I recommend dressing your bub in one layer more than what you would wear yourself as a good starting point. Common signs of knowing that their room is too cold is early rising, and lots of movement in the cot throughout the night.
A cold bub will also show a preference for sleeping on their tummies with their heads down, bottoms in the air, and their arms tucked under their chest. Once the ideal temperature has been set, I find it helpful to ensure everything on the bed, and the little ones’ clothing is made of natural fibres, so that the material breathes and helps regulate body temperature.
Finally, you cannot go past some beautiful white noise to assist with your child’s sleep. It is such a fantastic sleep cue, and helps block out external noises to allow us adults to move freely about the house without fear of waking a sleeping baby.
Remember, babies come from a loud and noisy womb, so this can actually be really familiar and calming to them. White noise should ideally play all night long, and for the entire nap length.
These three environmental factors are my top tips for providing the optimal sleep environment. Bring on those sleepy vibes!
Ideal room environment can impact your little one’s sleep
Lisa is the founder of Cherish Your Sleep, Co-Regional Director (Australia/Pacific) of The Association of Professional Sleep Consultants, an experienced certified baby/child sleep consultant and a mother to 3 young children.
She has always loved children and has worked in the industry for over 20 years as a qualified child care worker, working primarily with children aged 0 – 3yrs.
A successful outcome is not only good for the parents and children, but also giver Lisa a sense of satisfaction and happiness – there’s nothing better than hearing from a parent who finally got their first full night sleep since having a child.
Becoming a mum and meeting and seeing other mums struggle with their babies and children’s sleep made Lisa really want to reach out and help. She doesn’t see that there is a one size fits all to helping families – sleep is almost like a Puzzle – you need all the pieces in place to achieve the full picture and those pieces are what she shares with families.
Lisa uses a holistic approach to sleep, focusing on emotional wellbeing of families and ensuring the parent child connection in not only maintained, but enhanced. She knows how easy it is to become overwhelmed and frustrated, so it’s her passion to help find solutions that will work for you, your baby and the rest of your family.