Your baby's room plays an important role in sleep. Now, I don't actually think the picture is a good representation of a good sleeping environment, but it looks nicer than a completely black picture!
Your child's room environment for sleep is a positive sleep prop to help promote sleep. When your baby wakes up at night, these factors help calm the mind and body to help go back to sleep. These tips not only help babies sleep, but also us as adults too! To encourage the best sleep for any age, an ideal room should:
If some of this sounds strange, remember that your baby came from inside the womb where it was dark, the perfect temperature, and had a constant whooshing sound. Re-make your baby's room to be as womb-like as possible and you'll have more success with sleep. This theory even applies to adults! If you have trouble sleeping, try out this room environment too.
Visit the Parent Resources page for more tips to help your kiddo sleep! Or get in touch if you have more questions.
This post is taken from my upcoming book, Happy Sleeping Baby ~ Your Guide for Sleep Success, coming out this spring! Want to know when the book will be out? Fill out the form below:
This post was written by a former client who reached out about creating this white noise album. I use the playlist often when I'm trying to work or relax! Give it a try via the link below in the post. ~Courtney
Guest post written by: Kaveh Akaber
I’m a filmmaker and composer and have professionally experimented with sound all my adult life and nighttime has always been a creative playground for me. But after our first child, I was struggling to fix my random sleep, take care of my child and try to be creative all at the same time. After years of insomnia, I collapsed. My body said stop. Not even music could calm my senses and make me go to sleep. Doctors advised me to take heavy sleeping pills, but after several weeks I stopped. Before I went to bed, I had a feeling of panic and couldn’t calm myself. This reminded me also of my newborn baby that didn’t have the right tools to calm down before sleep.
I have tried various methods to deal with this issue for many years. At one point I was reading an article about different sound therapies. How sound and music could redeem Alzheimer’s patients to start remember again and other sounds that can make you sleep easier. It was during this time I started to look for different methods of white noise sound therapy to deal with my burnt-out state of mind.
Sounds are actually ancient life hacks to make you go to sleep. People have used their vacuum cleaner to make noise and get their babies to go to sleep, driving cars for hours, or listening to static on old radios through the whole night. In all of these sounds, you have white noise. Actually, everywhere you go there is noise. Different noise can also be described in various colors depending on which frequency they have. Light waterfalls can be described as pink noise, and heavy waves on sea can be described as brown noise and so on. In my opinion the problem is our surrounding is based on artificial environments with too many sounds that interfere with our senses. We start looking for total silence instead of relaxing or going into deep meditation. But if you think about it, total silence is an even more unnatural state of mind. In our evolution, our minds have developed in light sounds in surroundings. For example, sleeping under the stars, listening to the wind, or sleeping near the sea. White noise can be discovered in all of these natural environments.
According to professor Göran Söderlund at Lund´s University, if your body is too tired before sleep you can have a sense of panic stress instead and to fall asleep can take a longer time. Especially babies who don’t have the tool to deal with this issue. White Noise can instead increase the state of alertness and make you more awake and then make you tired quicker and put you to sleep.
So, what noise works for you? There are loads of poor recordings and sounds out there, so therefore I started to make my own noises. I created this Relaxing White Noise Sounds for Baby Sleep album inspired by these events and my friend encouraged me to produce one album especially for his baby. I calibrated the white noise with sound recording pulses from other space, the seaside from south Sweden, winds from the mountains in north Scandinavia, and a hairdryer at home. In my studio I almost fell asleep during experimenting with these sounds! So, I thought this might work! This will definitely not solve all your issues with sleeping and a troubled mind, but maybe a good way to make it easier. A strange mind is a strange mind. The only thing you can do is deal with it.
Link to the album Relaxing White Noise Sounds for Baby Sleep:
White noise can be a great part to a perfect bedroom environment. Read more about a great room environment for sleep here.
Welcome to life with a toddler! If you haven't read Part 1 of this series, you can do that here: Starting Preschool (Part1)
As your child adjusts to this new life as a preschooler, don’t over schedule yourself during the first month! If you are stressed with your schedule your child will also feel this along with needed extra time during this adjustment. The first two weeks will be a time of adjusting and learning new routines. Be sure to give yourself and your child time and patience to adapt. Be ready for some early pick-ups, if needed. Then be ready for your child to get sick soon after they begin…you just get back to work and then you are home with a sick kid. Welcome to preschool life! For some tips to help reduce sickness you can read more about how sickness spreads here.
Many kids will sleep worse after starting preschool; if this happens you aren’t alone! Often parents tell me that the first two weeks were pretty easy but after that their child didn’t sleep well and became extremely cranky. Making adjustments for a short time is like going on vacation – you can deal with the new schedule, but then you’re ready to get back to normal after about two weeks; except this is the new normal.
It’s not uncommon for sleep to get worse because your child is experiencing new environments, new people, different food, a new napping place, and learning how to be away from you. It’s a lot to handle for a little kiddo! You might notice that your child will be sleepier but have a harder time sleeping, they might wake up more often, have more dreams or be upset by dreams, be sad, have anxiety, eat less, or seem unhappy. Be sure to give lots of extra hugs and allow for some extra time for bedtime. This is all really normal! Think about when you last made a new change; you probably also felt a little cranky after a week, or slept worse, ate more or less. Going through change is not any different for you and your child.
If you are seeing that your child is tired before their normal bedtime, make bedtime 20 to 30 minutes earlier. You may need to make time for a few more snuggles or an extra book. It’s not uncommon for kiddos to regress with sleep during times of change.
Now, what about you?
Adapting to life with a preschooler will bring many emotions. Happy, sad, confused, a sense of freedom, or need to cry? Acknowledge your feelings as it’s o.k. to feel anything right now! Think about how much your life has changed in less than two years. Everyone is going to have emotions from these huge changes and there’s no right or wrong feeling. I remember feeling happy to get back to work (I really love to work) but of course sad that my baby was growing up.
Don’t be surprised if one parent has an easier or harder time dropping off your child either. This goes both directions; you child may be sadder with one parent, or you might have a harder time dropping your child off or your child may be more upset with one parent than the other. Just know that it’s o.k. to feel sad, happy, relived, or worried. There’s no right or wrong way to feel.
Hopefully these tips help you and your child adapt to preschool life. The best part about these tips is that you can apply them to any new changes or at any age. Developing a foundation to handle change builds trust and a strong bond with you and your child.
Have questions or comments, let me know below or at Happy Sleeping Baby on Instagram or Facebook
Starting preschool or daycare (if you are in Sweden it’s förskola) is a big leap for both you and your child. It will come with big emotions for both of you, but helping them to prepare for the transition with ease the changes ahead. It’s never too early to help your child make an adjustment! Providing them with an easier transition helps strengthen the bond and trust between you both.
When working with clients I will often relate starting preschool with making changes with sleep because the concept is the same – make changes according to your child by giving them guidance and support through the difficult period. Change can be hard no matter what age and giving guidance and support helps build trust and reduce their stress. But keep in mind that even when making changes built around trust and guidance there will still be an adaption period that may come out as crankiness, sleeping worse, or sadness. Change can be challenging, but we never want it to be overwhelming for a child. Using the following tips and help ease the transition of starting preschool.
Make the transition easier
Three to four weeks before:
1) Talk, talk, talk to you child about the change coming up and what they will be doing at pre-school. Make it exciting and fun to hear about!
2) Visit the location. I would suggest walking by several times and talking to your child about them going there soon. Try and visit while the kids are outside playing to get them used to what they will do there. If you feel comfortable, stop in and say hi or ask if you can stop by with your child to say hi for a few minutes.
3) Visit other play places to get your child to being around other children. If possible, let your child explore on their own while you are sitting a little further away and encourage them to explore. This is also great to start at home as well as this builds their skill in a comfortable environment.
4) Choose a comfort item (blanket or stuffed animal) for them to have with them at preschool and keep at preschool.
5) Be confident, happy, and excited when talking about preschool. Your child will mirror your emotions about the changes.
One to two weeks before:
1) Begin on the same schedule as your child will have at preschool in regards to eating and sleeping times.
2) Develop a goodbye routine. Wave from the same location to give them consistency. Provide your child with ideas on what they can do if they are sad when you are leaving. For example, let them know they can ask for a hug from a teacher or have a comfort item with them to hold on to.
3) Continue talking, making a stop or two by the preschool, continue giving your child space to play either on their own or with other children, and continue talking about pre-school in a positive way, even if you are feeling unsure or nervous yourself!
Our preschool sent a photo of the class and welcomed Taylor with a note. We put the picture up on our fridge and started talking about going to preschool often. It really helped the transition for her to begin on the first day.
Starting daycare is a gradual process and I often explain to parents that it’s similar to sleep changes using a Happy Sleep Plan or sleep support. Both are parent assisted processes that allow your child to adapt to the changes. You can’t make the change for them but you are there to help when needed, give guidance, and offer support.
To continuing helping your child adapt and develop a positive attitude after they have begun preschool, ask them about their favorite part of their day when you pick them up.
Click to read Part 2, where I’ll talk more about what to expect as your child adapts.
Have questions or comments, let me know below or at Happy Sleeping Baby on Instagram or Facebook
As you know, I am absolutely passionate about the science behind sleep and helping you and your family finding your way to the sleep you need and deserve. What I’ve found along the way is that it’s not only sleep that weighs in. Nutrition and child development is as important and also goes hand in hand with sleep.
I think most of us have heard or read about the importance of talking to our children to help them with their speech and language development. But did you also know that this will help your kiddo later on in life with things like math, reading and social abilities?
So no matter no matter what their age, it is important to talk to children. I always tell parents to tell their kids what they are doing so that they begin to understand but also because it’s great to hear so many words.
“Children learn best from speech directed to them by their caregivers creating conversations that build on children’s interests.”
And for those of you who are thinking that they can give their child the same benefits by having adult conversations when your child is with them I have to tell you that unfortunately ambient speech will not have the same results. Children thrive when being addressed and engaged in a conversation.
This all sounds good but how do you do it without feeling foolish talking to yourself?
Here are my top 5 tips on how to talk more with your kiddo to make it feel more natural:
1. Narrate your day.
When I was on maternity leave I talked to baby T about what I was doing, what was around us, describing colors and shapes or talking about how things work. It could be things like, “Mama’s going to wipe your little bottom now and change your diaper so you don’t get a rash” or when out grocery shopping “We are going to need an apple, some carrots and broccoli for our salad today. What color apples do you think we should get? Red or green?”.
2. Sing and talk when playing with your kid.
Play peek-a-boo and other games where you practice taking turns, talk about what you are playing and what is happening in your games. This also helps them understand how a conversation works. Sing songs where you use your body to describe what is going on, like “Itsy Bitsy Spider” or “Wheels On The Bus”. Describe the colors and sounds of toys you’re playing with, i.e. “The zebra is black with white stripes” or “What sound does the duck make?”
3. Talk about what is going to happen throughout the day.
Like “Today we are going to go on a play date with your friend Oliver and in the afternoon we have a check up at BVC (healthcare center for children in Sweden) to weigh and measure you.”I’ve found that as your child grows it is actually quite good to talk to them about what activities you have planned for the day. It gives them a sense of control knowing what’s up next. And even if they don’t remember, you can remind them throughout the day of what the plans were, i.e. “We’ve met your friend and after lunch we’re off to BVC”. It doesn’t eliminate tantrums entirely but it helps your child feel more included in what’s going on and not be ambushed by new things.
4. Encourage others to talk to your child!
Grandma’s, grandpa’s, friends who also interact with your kiddo, ask them to engage in conversation with them and let them know of the benefits of doing this.
5. Read to your child.
Books stimulate your child’s imagination and you can also pause and ask them questions while reading. For example “What do you think will happen next?”
Let me know what tips and advice you have for talking more with your children in the comments below!
Talking with children matters: Defending the 30 million word gap
Roberta Michnick Golinkoff, Erika Hoff, Meredith Rowe, Catherine Tamis-LeMonda, and Kathy Hirsh-PasekMonday, May 21, 2018
19 Apr 2018, kl 08:11