Of every hurdle that you may face as a new parent, getting your baby to sleep at bedtime may be the hardest of them all. The amount of sleep your baby gets determines just how much you get.
Some babies can sleep under any condition and at any time, but it’s more common than not for infants to either have trouble falling asleep or problems with waking up in the middle of the night – or sometimes both. While there aren’t any magic wands you can wave to make your baby sleep, but there are many tools out there to help in the process. Trying a range of technological aids through to traditional baby sleep methods could help you find a solution for your baby’s disrupted night times.
If you’re concerned about your baby not sleeping well through the night, check out three of the best inventions to help babies sleep – and if those don’t work, you may want to consider consulting an online pediatric sleep expert so you both can get a good night’s rest.
- White noise machines
White noise is created by combining all the different frequencies of sound that humans can hear. White noise machines mimic the natural sounds of life – the ambient noises babies hear in the womb, the gentle rush of moving air, heartbeats, and many more. While you may be inclined to think that a totally silent environment is the most effective at getting your baby to sleep, white noise can actually be more soothing. If you sleep in your baby’s room, white noise machines have the added benefit of being soothing to you, too.
The best white noise machines are kept under 50 decibels, which is loud enough to block out any distracting sounds coming from outside the room but also quiet enough to keep your baby’s ears safe.
Fortunately, there are many options for white noise machines for babies, which come in a variety of different types and tones. Some white noise machines are even built into stuffed animals!
- Swaddling outfits
Swaddling is an age-old practice for infants under 4 months of age and before they’re at the stage of being able to roll over on their own. Traditionally, babies are wrapped tightly in blankets to keep their arms tucked at their sides. The snugness of swaddling can be comforting and prevent babies from startling themselves awake by thrashing around. Attaining the perfect swaddle with a regular blanket can be tricky, but luckily there are many specialized outfits out there designed for peak comfort and security.
Swaddling outfits can be found in every color, pattern, and texture to suit you and your baby’s preferences. Some even keep your baby’s arms above their heads or on their chests rather than tucked at their sides, so it’s easy to find a swaddling outfit that complements your baby’s sleeping style.
- Blackout curtains
For some babies, even the tiniest sliver of light can make a world of difference when trying to fall asleep at night. There’s actually a scientific explanation for this, as light can disrupt our brains’ melatonin production and send signals to our bodies to wake up because we associate light with daytime. Blocking outside light from your baby’s bedroom can be as simple as hanging blackout curtains. These special curtains are more effective than blinds or regular curtains at keeping out unwanted light because of their thickness.
To check for sources of light, step into your baby’s room at bedtime, shut the door, and allow a moment for your eyes to adjust to the darkness. Check for any light peeking in from outside or shining from other places in the room, like from a digital clock or an electronic toy.
Lights coming from places inside your baby’s room can be easily covered, but if you notice any light from the sun, moon, or any streetlamps filtering in, blackout curtains may be your best bet. Just make sure they’re the right size to prevent light from leaking in through the gaps on the sides and bottom.