Watch your temperature: create the perfect sleep environment for your newborn this summer
Getting your newborn to drift off to sleep at appropriate times can often be a challenge for new parents; especially those who may be struggling to get a good night’s sleep themselves.
The recommended daily amount of sleep for newborn babies is around 15 hours, but as parents will know, this rarely happens at convenient hours – so it’s often a case of adapting to regular nap times and early morning wake up calls in the early stages of parenthood.
As summer approaches and the evenings get warmer, the temperature of the room your baby sleeps in becomes another important aspect to consider.
According to the Lullaby Trust, a room temperature of somewhere between 16-20°c, with either light bedding or a lightweight, well-fitting sleeping bag is a comfortable and safe option for babies.
In the first six months of the baby being born, the safest place for them to sleep is, of course, in the same room with you. However, if you are in separate rooms, using a thermometer is an effective way of ensuring the room remains at a stable, suitable temperature.
Parents are advised to regularly feel their baby’s tummy or the back of their neck, and if the skin is particularly hot or sweaty, removing a layer of bedclothes or bedding is recommended.
Silentnight’s resident sleep therapist, Dr Nerina Ramlakhan, also knows the challenges new parents can face all too well, and has shared her top tips for parents facing similar struggles.
Dr Nerina said: “Newborns are used to being in the womb, so mirroring a similar environment can help soothe them in their first few months. Create a warm, dark and compact space which only allows for low-pitched noises.
“The world can be a weird place for newborns who have been cocooned in their mother’s womb. New smells, sights and sounds can cause stress for little ones but white noise may be the answer when it comes to sleep. White noise is sound containing many frequencies with equal intensities – this can help relax your baby, calming them down and creating a sense of ‘womb-like’ security that helps them to drift off.”
“Getting up at a similar time each day and implementing a sleep routine can help you and your baby rest well. Try having a bath and some food before bed each night at the same time to manipulate your baby’s body clock – and before you know it, you’ll be yawning at the sound of the bath running!”
- Limit nap lengths
“Your baby is going to nap… a lot! However, try to ensure that a big chunk of this happens at night. Although it may be hard to wake up your sleeping beauty during the day, sleeping for too long during this time can rob them of precious hours throughout the night.”
- Don’t rush in
“New parents may find it hard to put their baby down. This is understandable, but babies often wake up, babble and go back to sleep, so give them some time to see if they can resettle themselves, before intervening.”
- Dream feed
“A dream feed is when you feed your baby while they are still half asleep, before going to bed yourself. The aim of a dream feed is to prevent your baby from getting hungry in the early hours, and in turn giving you, the parent, a better night’s sleep.
“However, while this idea may be great in theory, unfortunately there are no guarantees, as some babies are naturally more prone to waking up throughout the night – but remember not to worry as this is completely normal.”
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