Nap time: Secrets from a child sleep consultant to get your kiddo well-rested
Malabar Baby has clients all over the world, and some of them are experts in their own unique fields. As you can imagine, we get a number of questions on sleeping habits and whether we’ve got any sleep tricks of the trade up our sleeves. We may not have the answers, but our Malabar Mama community does! It’s our pleasure to team up with Malabar Mama, Jade Dharmana from The Sleeep Lab to learn about the secret to a good night’s rest. We love how her passion was borne from her own experience with her own children, and how she uses Malabar Baby’s very own wearable sleep bags to keep tiny tots comfortable and in a slumber throughout the night.
As a mum of two young children, I can relate to any parent who has waved goodbye to the sleep they once knew. I found my calling as a child sleep consultant out of sheer desperation with my daughter Myla, and now I help families all over the world with every sleep challenge you can think of – I’ve seen it all!
There are some absolute game changers that can help you and your little one get a better night’s sleep but before making any big changes (which people often think is the case), we need to get the basics right first.
1. What to Wear
It can be quite hard to know what to dress your baby in. Are they too warm, too cold, are they safe? I always suggest breathable, cotton pajamas, as the fabric will ensure they don’t get sweaty.
From a safety perspective, it’s highly important that your baby doesn’t overheat and we want to avoid fabrics that trap heat. Zip them up in a sleeping bag over their PJs, and definitely avoid blankets. Blankets are unsafe as they end up being a loose item in the cot (no matter how tightly you tuck it in), and it’s unlikely to stay on bubba because they move and wriggle throughout the night.
I absolutely love the sleep wear at Malabar Baby because not only are they super safe with amazing breathable fabrics, but the designs are absolutely stunning. The sleep sacks are a staple fixture in my house and my son looks adorable wearing them. They’re made out of 100% organic cotton, and the sleeveless design ensures your tot doesn’t overheat. The design is simple and easy, with large zippers for quick diaper changes that won’t wake your little one, while being big enough so won't fumble in the dark. There's also plenty of legroom for any mini kickers out there.
2. Naps and Routine
If your baby is older than five months, and their day time sleep is all over the place, there’s a strong chance that their night time sleep will be, too. Stick to a routine, help regulate their body clock and ensure they get enough sleep for their age. It may even be helpful to keep a log, as you might be surprised at how inconsistent their sleep patterns can be.
3. Nursery Must-haves
It can be overwhelming to know what to buy to fill up your little one’s nursery, but there’s no need to spend a fortune. The following is all quite practical, and will make a big difference on your tot’s quality of sleep:
- Black out blinds. The room should be pitch black for naps and night time. When that sun creeps in, the light provides a signal to the brain that it is time to wake up.
- A safe cot with a firm mattress. SIDS guidelines require that there is nothing in the crib (apart from your baby of course!) for the first 12 months. I highly recommend no bumpers, blankets or soft toys.
- White noise machine. Play this all night long and check the decibel range.
- A neutral, clutter-free bedroom for your baby will create the most zen environment for them to sleep. Keep the toys outside, especially for older babies who can become a bit cheeky and want to party instead when it’s sleep time.
4. Get outside!
Daylight - not the artificial kind - is another thing that can help set your baby’s biological clock. This goes for little babies, older babies, and actually adults too, because exposure to light and dark releases all the right hormones to induce sleep and wakefulness. So we want to make sure we’re getting them outdoors in between naps and before bed to really make the most of the day.
I also ask my clients to get their kids outside to burn off all of that energy they seem to have, which certainly helps build fatigue for bed time, too!
So, as you can see there are lots of little things that you can do to get your baby off to the right start but if the problems persists, then this is where I can help dig a little deeper into the many factors that can interfere with your little one’s natural ability to sleep.
Ahhh… we love the pin-drop silence of a sleeping baby! Hopefully, these snippets of info help you if you’re struggling to get your munchkin down for the night. If not, The Sleeep Lab offers an array of packages to match the needs and budgets of parents today. It’s not always an affordable luxury to hire a sleep trainer, but the options available are great and worth considering.