From finding the right clothing to creating a proper routine, this quadruple-threat mama, real estate agent, philanthropist and broadcast journalist breaks down the whole sleep thing. Because when baby sleeps, so do we.
- Set Boundaries
Parenthood comes with a million adjustments and then some, so setting clear boundaries with yourself helps provide structure with your schedule. For us, this means no co-sleeping. While some find this a great solution, it often means changing our schedule on a daily basis to put the twins to bed, adding unnecessary stresses to our day.
- Understand Where You Value Your Time
I know that once my boys go down at night, I have about 12 hours until they’re fully up again (with some wake-ups here and there). Personally, my evenings are my time. And though I know this means I’ll be getting up earlier the next morning, understanding where I value my time has helped reduce stress at bedtime.
- Clothing Matters
If you have children under one, like me, then what your baby wears is just as important as anything else when it comes to taking the stress out of bedtime. If your baby is too hot or too cold, bedtime may as well be a nightmare. We’ve found that the varieties of sleep sacks give the boys the swaddled sensation , and have found this to be an amazing way to help them fall asleep and stay asleep.
- Promote Self-Soothing
Self-soothing is one of the best things to encourage at bedtime, and is so easy to support through comfort items like blankets, stuffed animals, and pacifiers. When you can help your baby put themselves to sleep, you’ve already conquered half the battle.
- Noise (!!)
Don’t be afraid of noise! Getting your baby used to noise as they fall asleep can be a game changer. Not only does this completely transform bedtime, but can also help with getting them down for naptime. In fact, noise can be a useful tool. We love the Baby Shusher and the Hatch Sound Machine to help the boys fall asleep, stay asleep, and enjoy their sleep.
- Play with Light
Test this one out. We opted not to use nightlights on a regular basis so that our boys know to distinguish nighttime from daytime. But we have found it useful to leave their door cracked a bit to allow them to be a little bit familiar with it in case one of the boys wakes up or we have to go into their room during the night.
- Bring Familiarity to Unfamiliar Situations
Whether you’re heading to a friend’s house, having a night out, or taking a much-needed vacation, getting your child to sleep in an unfamiliar place can make for one of the most stressful bedtimes at the moment you least need it. This can be a blanket, sweater, or even their normal sheets, but trust me, your child can tell the difference. Anything that signals the familiarity of bedtime can be make or break.
- Build a Routine
We all know it. We all say it. But we all know that routine is one of the first things to go when you have a baby. Building a routine helps set clear boundaries and expectations for your child at bedtime. Even if you can’t follow it to a tee every night, creating a routine for your child will take so much stress out of bedtime.
- Have Patience
Building a better bedtime routine is a long game. Give yourself grace when things don’t go according to plan, but take the time to listen to what your child needs under the circumstances. When we moved during the off-season, adjusting to the time change and new environment meant switching up naptime, adding more or less depending on their mood, paying closer attention to light control, or even pushing bedtime. It’s not always easy, but it pays off!