At first glance, you and your baby might seem pretty different. There’s the height thing, of course. And the difference in speaking abilities. Oh, and the fact that, unlike adults, babies can rock footed pajamas like nobody’s business.
But, when it comes to sleep, you and your baby are actually more alike than you think. In fact, a lot of the good sleep advice out there for babies makes just as much sense for adults.
With that in mind, here are six sleep tips that can help both babies and adults get a better night’s sleep:
Tip 1 – Sleep in one place
Predictability is a good thing when it comes to sleep – it makes you feel safe and secure. Babies need just one designated space that cues sleep. Adults too. If you’re used to getting sleep in multiple places – i.e. the bedroom, the guest room, the couch, your car, under the dining room table – pick one spot and mark it as your sleep territory.
Tip 2 – Keep things routine
Following the same bedtime routine every night preps your body for sleep. For little ones, that routine might include a bedtime book and a bath. For you, it might be caffeine-free tea and a Nicholas Sparks book. Even if you don’t have time to read an epic North Carolina romance, though, try to keep the same sleep and wake-up times. According to the Mayo Clinic, that consistency “reinforces your body’s sleep-wake cycle and helps promote better sleep at night.”
Tip 3 – Perfect the sleep environment
Environment is everything for sleep. Both baby’s nursery and your bedroom should be kept extra dark – to cue the body’s release of melatonin – and at a comfortable temperature. Soothing wall colors and decor themes are always a good idea. And, white noise is basically everyone’s best friend.
Tip 4 – Turn off the screens
Stimulation before bedtime is a no-no – all those glowing tablet and TV screens can be a nightmare for sleep. Instead, try adopting a “no screens” policy for the whole family about an hour or half an hour before bedtime.
Tip 5 – Watch the naps
What happens during the day doesn’t stay in the day. If your infant is sleeping too much or too little in the daytime, their evening sleep could be thrown out of whack. Similarly, if you’re taking one too many post-lunch naps, you’re going to feel it at night. “Long daytime naps can interfere with nighttime sleep – especially if you’re struggling with insomnia or poor sleep quality at night,” the Mayo Clinic says. “If you choose to nap during the day, limit yourself to about 10 to 30 minutes and make it during the midafternoon.”
Tip 6 – Give sleep R-E-S-P-E-C-T
Your baby’s schedule revolves around sleep, it’s just that important. So important that your schedule revolves around it too! But that doesn’t mean your sleep should take a backseat. Make healthy sleep habits a priority for everyone in the family. After all, good sleep is what fuels your parenting.
If that seems like an impossible dream, have no fear. Check out the many ways Nanit can help the whole family sleep better here.