Dr. Jacq’s 5 Tips for Sleep Awareness Week
Ah, parenthood. When you hear “it’s Sleep Awareness Week”, it may spark the awareness of the lack of sleep you’re getting. We feel you, but that’s for a different blog post. (Or is it!?) In this post, we reached out to our medical advisor, parent, and friend, Dr. Jacq, and had her give us her advice and insight on how to make baby’s sleep safe and productive.
Keep it safe
The most important sleep tip: safety comes first! Make sure to follow the ABCs of safe sleeping:
A for ALONE
Your baby should sleep alone, in a separate space, for EVERY sleep (naps and night-time). This could be a crib, pack and play, or a bassinet
B for BACK
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends all babies sleep on their backs. Sleeping on the back has been shown to decrease risk.
C for CRIB
Babies should sleep in their own cribs (or bassinet or safety-approved pack and play) The crib should have a firm mattress with a tight-fitting sheet. There should be nothing else in the crib- no blankets, stuffed animals, toys, bumper pads, or pillows
It’s never too early to start a routine
We know newborns’ brains are still immature and might not be able to differentiate between day and night, but it is never too early to start a sleep routine. The order might vary but it usually includes a bath, reading a book, and a feeding before bed. Starting early will help develop those routines and make it easier when baby is older and ready for more structure.
Baby’s room is best kept cool and cozy
Keeping baby’s sleep environment comfortable will not only help baby sleep better, but it is also safer. Studies show a room that is too warm might overheat baby and increase risk. Experts recommend a room temperature of 68-72 degrees Fahrenheit.
If babies could read textbooks
How many hours of sleep does your baby need? The National Sleep Foundation has recommendations for hours of sleep by age. In general, they are as follows:
|Age Range||Hours of Sleep|
|Newborn||0-3 mos.||14-17 hrs|
|Infant||4-11 mos.||12-15 hrs|
|Toddler||1-2 yrs.||11-14 hrs|
|Preschool||3-5 yrs.||10-13 hrs|
|School-age||6-13 yrs.||9-11 hrs|
Sleep is for everyone- including YOU!
For a good part of the early months of parenthood, we worry, sometimes obsess, over our baby’s sleep. But make sure you get your rest too! Everyone says: “sleep while the baby sleeps,” and while this is not possible for many parents, look for ways to ensure each parent has time to “catch up” every day. Try splitting the night feedings or having a helper watch the baby while you take a nap. A well-rested parent is a better parent!