Ask any new mother what she needs most after she arrives home from the hospital with her new bundle in tow, and she will almost certainly answer with one word. Sleep.
Getting your baby to sleep through the night (so mom and dad can get some sleep themselves!) is the top wish of new parents. There are entire books and programs dedicated to helping baby sleep. There are products lining the shelves at baby stores and online retailers dedicated to helping mom achieve the elusive night of sleep she so craves. Baby sleep training and tips to help baby sleep are discussed and debated at moms’ groups, amongst friends, on social media sites and with pediatricians. Just talking about babies and sleep can make you tired!
It seems getting baby to sleep is the holy grail of motherhood.
Baby & Sleep: The Five Benefits of Sleeping Well (for Babies & Parents)
According to the experts at Sleepwiseconsulting.com, there are five benefits to sleep:
- Sleep can strengthen the immune system.
- Sleep helps baby grow.
- A good night’s sleep helps prevent injury.
- Babies learn while they sleep
- Sleep can help your child with weight maintenance, possibly avoiding childhood obesity.
All of these are reasons mom and dad should get a good night sleep, too.
Baby Sleep Training: How to Help your Little One Sleep through the Night
It’s clear why your baby needs to sleep- the benefits are many! But it often isn’t the why that challenges new parents. It’s the how. How do you get your baby to sleep?
According to Shannon Glenn, Owner and Founder at Sleep Well Sleep Specialists, “Newborns can only stay awake for about 45 to 60 minutes, and that is including feeding time. Newborns get overtired very easily and then struggle to fall asleep if they are kept up too long.”
Here are a few steps to helping baby get to sleep (and stay asleep):
- Make sure your baby is in a safe sleeping environment. Shannon recommends a basic bassinet that meets all the necessary safety standards. If your newborn is a sensitive sleeper, she recommends the SNOO Sleeper. Once your baby reaches 12 months of age, they can be safely transitioned to a full-sized crib to sleep
- Make sure your baby is getting the appropriate amount of sleep for his or her age group. Sleep recommendations change as your baby grows
- Be sure your baby’s sleep space is free of blankets, stuffed animals and other obstructions. Swaddles and infant sleepers are fantastic options to help your baby stay comfortable while getting in a good night’s sleep
- Need extra peace of mind? There are several products on the market, from wearable sleep monitors to baby monitors, that allow you to gauge your child’s safety and breathing as he or she sleeps
Shannon advises that it is never too late to teach a child to sleep better. “We spend 1/3 of our lives sleeping!,” she says. “Sleep is one of the most important things a person does to promote good health. Everyone deserves to sleep well, some children just need to be taught how to do it!”
Have questions for Shannon? Find her on Facebook and Instagram for more sleep tips and shop our sleep collection for the best baby sleep products and sleeping essentials to help your little get the rest they need.