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How-To-Create-The-Best-Environment-For-Baby-Sleep

How To Create The Best Environment For Baby Sleep

Your baby’s sleep environment should facilitate sleep and help develop good sleeping associations.

At around 4-6 months your baby begins to develop memory, and expectations about where he is put to sleep. Where he falls asleep is where he will expect to go back to sleep when he wakes during the night. So, if your baby is put to sleep in your living room, your baby will wake at night expecting the same situation. So being aware of the importance of the sleep environment for your baby, will help your baby develop positive sleep associations.

In helping to create a sleep environment for your baby, it is helpful if the environment is calm and conducive for sleeping.
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Some pointers to help you create the best sleep environment for your baby:

  • The environment should be soothing in colours and also dark. Keep lights dim. You might like to try special black out curtains which can be purchased form any Nursery Store. 

  • Be mindful of the need for a darkened room during nap time, not just at night.

  • The walls should be painted using muted colours, not bright colours as these can be visually stimulating for your baby rather than calming.

  • Avoid posters and wall murals especially of characters and animals. These can be perceived as ‘scary’ and threatening especially at night.

  • Avoid hanging dressing gowns on the back of the door as again this can be perceived as ‘scary’.

  • Keep your baby’s cot away from plug points and radiators.

  • Be mindful of the fabric on your baby’s bed. Check the fabric for any scratchy fabrics such as labels, raised patterns, seams, lace etc. These can be irritating for your baby especially if against the skin directly.

  • The washing powder you use to wash the bed linen in is also important. Non- distinct smells are better. Wash your baby’s bed linen and clothes in odourless detergent and for conditioner why not try a tablespoon of vinegar to soften the bed linen and leaves no residual smell which can be stimulating for your baby’s sense of smell.

  • A sleep environment incorporating soft sounds and white background noise are most calming for your baby. Limit loud, unexpected noises which can be alerting for your baby’s sense of hearing and can impact on sleep.

Lastly be aware of the temptation to leave toys in your baby’s sleep environment. When your baby becomes more aware of his surroundings, toys can be all too exciting at 3am in the morning and when your baby sees the toys when he wakes up, he will want to play with them; and all notions of going back to sleep will have gone out the window for the night.

Did you have any magic tricks for getting your little one to sleep (and getting them to stay asleep?!) We'd love to hear.

For more information go to our Sleep Expert page.

Read Next: Benefits Of A Good Night's Sleep For Baby & Mom


About the Author

Fiona O’Farrell is a Paediatric Occupational Therapist, specialising in baby development, premature babies and is an experienced sleep consultant, validated by the department of health. For information on workshops and sleep consultations visit fionaofarrell.ie or Facebook. Call Fiona on 0879144323

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