The A-Z of Baby sleep
Here is the NapNap A-Z of baby sleep tips!
A is for avoid active play
Try to avoid any kind of active play before bedtime and try not to get your baby too excitable.
Dim the lights, play a gentle lullaby or some white noise and make the transition from day to night a calm and peaceful one for baby.
B is for bedtime
Getting a lovely sleep space for your baby is crucial to getting them settle well.
Clean bedding, soft lighting, white noise, vibrations and creating a womb-like environment.
The NapNap mat can really help to settle and soothe with its unique vibration technology and will quickly become a key part of your child's sleep routines.
C is for Co-Sleeping
If do you choose to co-sleep with your baby, here are NapNap's top tips.
- Keep pillows, sheets, blankets away from your baby or any other items that could obstruct your baby’s breathing or cause them to overheat.
- Avoid letting pets or other children in the bed
- Make sure baby won’t fall out of bed or get trapped between the mattress and the wall
A NapNap mat can help to calm and soothe your baby in to a restful sleep in your bed or a separate cot or crib.
Do you co-sleep with your baby?
D is for Dream feed
Dream feeding is when you rouse your baby, without fully waking them, to feed one more time before you turn in for the night.
Babies who go to sleep between 6pm and 8pm often wake out of hunger in the middle of the night.
Research shows that sneaking in an extra feed between 10pm and midnight usually reduces night awakenings, helping babies stay asleep until a little later in the morning.
Do you use a dream feed as part of your sleep routine?
E is for Empty the Crib
The The Lullaby Trust recommends that cots / cribs and moses baskets are kept as clear as possible -
- No pillows or duvets
- No cot bumpers
- No soft toys
- No loose bedding
F is fragrance
Lavender has many calming and sedative effects on babies and adults alike.
- A lavender oil massage can help to relax a fussy baby and encourage sleep. Just mix 1-2 drops with a carrier oil such as coconut.
- Add a drop or two to your baby's bedtime bath.
- Put a couple of drops of lavender oil on a cloth near your baby's crib or in a diffuser to help them drift off to sleep.
- Lavender oil has even been shown to be effective in alleviating the symptoms of colic.
G is for gentle gestures
You can help to settle your baby before bedtime with how you use your voice, face and touch.
Use a calm and soft voice, sing a lullaby, tell them a bedtime story. They may not understand the words, but they will respond to your tone.
Use soothing gestures such as a gentle stroke of the face, baby massage, stroke their feet.
Lots of smiles and eye contact will increase your bond and make them feel safe and relaxed.
H is for Hands-on.
Get partners involved in baby care .
Sharing the workload of nappy changing, feeding, naps, baths etc will take the pressure of you and also make your partner feel more involved.
Take all the help that's offered and take care of yourself too!
I is for individual.
Don't feel disheartened if your baby has different sleep patterns to others. Every child is different and they all find their rhythm at a different time.
Look through our A-Z of sleep tips and choose what feels right for you and your baby. Good luck on your baby sleep journey!
J is for jammies!
All babies look super cute in their sleepwear.
My personal favorite is the pure white baby grow
What does your little one wear to bed?
K is for keeping cool.
It is important to make sure that your baby’s room is a comfortable temperature – not too hot or too cold.
The chance of SIDS is higher in babies who get too hot, so try to keep the room temperature between 16 -20°C.
You can use a room thermometer to check and we'd always recommend referring to the @lullabytrust guidelines for information on sleeping bags, sleep suits etc.
L is for lights out.
A baby will sleep best in a totally dark room, so blackout blinds are a great idea.
Light from nightlights, light shows and glows from baby monitors can have a devastating effect upon sleep due to the effects of the wavelength of different colours of light on the human body.
White and blue based lights, however dim, will inhibit the secretion of the sleep inducing hormone melatonin at night. Melatonin is released by the brain in response to light sensitivity in the eyes.
During the day the presence of sunlight triggers the brain to secrete cortisol, which causes feelings of alertness. In the absence of light our eyes send a message to our brains to secrete melatonin, which causes feelings of drowsiness.
Melatonin is necessary for children to not only go to sleep initially, but stay asleep for longer overnight.
M is for massage.
Babies and toddlers who enjoy a 15 minute massage before bedtime fall asleep faster, according to research by the University of Miami.
We recommend using baby-safe oil or balm to massage your baby using soft strokes and applying moderate pressure.
Pay special attention to those adorable little toes!
N is for NapNap mat!
What is a NapNap mat? Our mats are thin vibrating sleep mats that use white noise and vibrations to soothe and calm your baby.
They're light and portable so you can create a 'home from home' sleep space for your baby wherever you go.
The mats are also used in Neonatal departments around the World to help premature babies. The science behind the mat is called Stochastic resonance which can help with sleep apnea in pre-term babies.
O is for overnight diapers / nappies.
A wet bed / nappy / diaper can wake your baby up at night.
For night time, opt for super absorbent overnight diapers, along with an application of diaper cream for skin protection, if needed.
This will help your baby get some uninterrupted sleep.
P is for pacifier / dummy.
A pacifier or dummy at bedtime can help your little one soothe themselves to sleep and studies show that it may also protect against SIDS.
If you do choose to use a dummy it is best to offer it consistently, giving the dummy at the beginning of every nap both during the day and also at night.
It has been found that only using the dummy for some naps or nighttime sleeps may not be as effective in reducing the chance of SIDS. You should never force your baby to take a dummy if they don't want it though.
Q is for quiet.
Loud or sudden noise may disturb your child’s sleep or calm time before bedtime. Some parents like to use white noise to drown out any unwanted noise and it can be a real help when trying to settle and calm your baby.
Babies are more sensitive to loud noise when they are in the early lighter stages of sleep.
R is for routine.
Babies who have consistent bedtime routines develop better sleep habits. If you try and follow roughly the same timings and sleep sequence at bedtime you can develop positive sleep associations for your baby and they will feel more calm and secure as they know what to expect.
S is for swaddling.
Swaddling means wrapping your baby up in a light, breathable blanket to help them feel snug and secure, similar to being in utero.
Swaddling also helps to prevent babies flailing their arms and legs around which can trigger their startle reflex and wake them up.
T is for telling a story.
Bed time stories and lullabies are such a beautiful way to bond with your baby. They may not be able to understand what you are saying yet, but the soothing tone of your voice will help them fall asleep faster.
Studies have also shown that listening to stories can enhance a child's creativity and boosts their oral development.
U is for understanding sleep cues.
Every time a baby cries, they are trying to communicate with you and they have lots of different cries and behaviours for different needs.
Sleep cues can also include yawning, making jerky movements, becoming quiet and not wanting to play, rubbing their eyes, fussing or being cranky, making sleepy sounds, pulling faces as well as crying.
Getting to know your baby's sleep cues will help you to adjust their routine and prevent them from becoming over-tired.
V is for vibrations.
Vibrations are very useful for sending your baby to sleep. Rocking the cradle, driving in the car, shushing, patting, jiggling to calm an upset baby are all forms of vibration.
Vibrations remind the baby of all the gentle motions it experienced in the womb.
NapNap mats mean that you can use vibrations to soothe your baby wherever you are. Just pull out the mat and let them enjoy!
W is for white noise.
White noise soothes babies because it imitates the familiar sounds of the womb like heartbeats, blood rushing to the placenta, muffled noises of the outside world etc.
White noise, just like white light, is a specific spectrum of noise which drowns out all other sounds.
It can be very helpful to use white noise for helping your baby to fall asleep, however, we don't recommend using white noise apps on your smartphone. Smartphones release microwave radiation, so if you do use them to play white noise, you should always make sure they are on 'airplane mode' to protect your baby.
X is for kisses!
You can never spoil your baby with too much love!
Kisses, cuddles and snuggles all make your baby feel safe and secure. They're pretty good for mummies and daddies too!
Y is for you time.
Being a parent is totally exhausting.
You do everything for your precious baby, but do you ever take time for yourself?
Have a lovely bubble bath, enjoy a solo shopping trip, go to the gym, see some friends, book a massage or some reflexology, treat yourself with your favourite chocolates!
You don't ever need to feel guilty for looking after yourself, your baby will definitely benefit from having a fully rested parent!
Z is for Zzzzzzz.....
We hope you've enjoyed our NapNap A-Z of sleep tips and found some useful advice. We wish you a peaceful night (and don't forget to add your NapNap mat to the cart!)
Lots of love and sleepy wishes from The NapNap team xxx