If you are setting up a new nursery, or you just want to make sure your child’s room is conducive to sleep, follow these simple tips to help your darling drift off to dreamland in the ideal sleep environment.

Dark as Possible

You want to make the sleep environment dark, dark, dark.  Did I say dark?  When there is no light, the brain is sent a message to release melatonin, a sleep inducing hormone.  It acts like a natural sedative to help us get drowsy and fall asleep.  Even a little bit of light can stop the release of melatonin, thus waking up your little one.  Put up some blackout blinds to completely block out the light, avoid the use of night lights, and keep the hallway light off to reduce the amount of light coming through the door.  Some children are extra sensitive to light, so eliminating any light in your child’s sleep environment may be all they need to get better sleep.  Plus, if you have a little rooster that rises with the sun, they may start sleeping a little later in the morning!

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Cool, Comfortable Temperature

We sleep best when we are dressed warmly and the sleep environment is nice and cool.  Children are no different.  Keep the sleep environment at a temperature of about 20 degrees Celsius, and keep your child warm by using a sleep sack.

Remove All Toys

The crib is for sleeping, not for playing so remove all mobiles, flashing lights, and music makers from your child’s bed.  You want the crib to be as boring as possible so that the only thing they are thinking about is sleep!  Plus, depending on the child’s age some toys can be a SIDS risk, so it’s best to just remove them from the sleep environment altogether.

White Noise

Help block out the noise in the house or early morning street noise by using a white noise machine in their sleep environment.  It also helps calm fussy babies as it mimics similar sounds to what they heard in the womb.  You can get special white noise machines, or use a white noise CD.

Safety First!

It’s important to always follow safety guidelines when it comes to your child’s sleep environment.  Make sure the crib is in good condition with no loose screws.  Avoid the use of bumper pads, blankets or pillows as they can be a suffocation risk.  Make sure the mattress is firm and fits the crib properly with no gaps between the mattress and the rails.  Also make sure the crib sheet is fitted.  If you are worried about your little one getting cold, use a sleep sack to keep them sleeping soundly (and they also help keep your climber from catapulting from the crib!).

Need more help with your child’s sleep?  Visit my BabyZzz website for more information on how we can work together one-on-one!