Do you have a baby or toddler 0-24 months? Here are five ways you can help set your baby up for better sleep with the help of Taking Cara Babies:
Aim for age-appropriate wake windows.
“Wake window” is just a fancy term for how long your baby is awake between naps and before bedtime. How long your baby is awake directly impacts sleep. Babies who are awake for too long OR not long enough struggle to fall asleep and stay asleep. BUT the right amount of active awake time for your baby helps set your nights and naps up for success. Keep in mind that the “right amount” is always a range and can vary a bit day to day.
Here are guidelines based on your baby’s age:
0-4 Weeks: 35-60 minutes
4-12 Weeks: 60-90 minutes
3-4 Months: 75-120 minutes
5-7 Months: 2-3 hours
7-10 Months: 2.5-3.5 hours
11-14 Months: 3-4 hours
14-24 Months: 4-6 hours
Set up an environment conducive to sleep.
Babies sleep best when everything around them says “It’s time to sleep.” How do we get the environment to say this? Make it completely dark, lower the temperature a few degrees, make sure your baby is in comfortable clothing, and ensure that the crib is completely safe.
Help your baby learn to fall asleep independently at bedtime.
This helps them know how to fall BACK to sleep when they awaken in the night. We all awaken multiple times a night. The “trick” for consolidated sleep is being able to connect those sleep cycles. If we know how to fall asleep at bedtime, it’s easier to do it during the night!
Offer feedings about every three hours throughout the day according to hunger cues.
No, that doesn’t mean we want a rigid feeding schedule. BUT offering good, full feedings rather than snacking helps your baby get the calories she needs during the day. Being responsive to hunger cues throughout the day helps get longer stretches at night. No need to overstuff at bedtime, just offer full feedings all throughout the day when your baby is hungry. Don’t exceed 4 hours between daytime feedings.
Know that help is available if you need it!
Taking Cara Babies has online classes that meet your baby right where he or she is developmentally. Each class will aim for great sleep and allows you to customize a plan that fits your family’s values. Everything is taught using the expertise of a nurse and the heart of a mama. You can get more helpful sleep tips here.
Cara Dumaplin is a baby sleep expert, neonatal nurse, mom of four, and wife of a pediatrician. Her passion is teaching parents how to help their babies sleep so they can reclaim the joy of parenthood. With over 2 million followers on social media, Cara has truly been able to see her passion come to life. You can discover more at takingcarababies.com