Curating a Pinterest-worthy nursery for your baby is one thing; creating the perfect sleep environment is something else entirely. Where you put your baby down is just as important as how you put your baby down, so take time to make sure you’ve got the right space for healthy sleep. Check out our favorite products to create a good sleep environment.
How to create a good sleep environment?
When we talk about the sleep environment, there are four areas that contribute to your baby getting good, restful sleep: silence, temperature, safety and darkness. We know you’ve got the decor under control, so we’re here with years of expert knowledge to help set you and your baby up for sleepy time success.
Keep it quiet
Keeping your baby’s sleep space free from distracting sounds is key in helping them stay asleep for longer stretches of time. Silence, or soothing sounds like those produced from a white noise machine, can relieve stress and tension and aid in restful sleep. White noise is preferable to music or nature sounds, since overnight consistency is key for a waking baby to return to sleep.
White Noise Machine.
Utilize white noise! It can help block out disruptive noises from the rest of the house, like older kids playing or grown-ups watching television. It’s especially useful if you’re room-sharing; you might not notice your partner’s snoring or midnight bathroom visit, but your baby will! PS: don’t turn the volume up all the way. Ideally, the white noise volume shouldn’t be louder than a bathroom shower.
Keep it cool
Keep it cool in your baby’s room, but not too cool. Experts recommend keeping the temperature between 68 and 72 degrees. We all sleep better in a cool environment. But more importantly overheating is a risk factor for SIDS, as are multiple layers if the room is too cold. Remember that babies should never sleep in a hat or any other item of clothing that could come loose and create a suffocation hazard during the night. If you choose to add a space heater or fan to your baby’s room make sure to follow the safety instructions, like keeping the device away from walls and curtains.
Keep an eye on the room’s temperature with a thermometer you can check even when you’re not in the room. If a digital thermometer didn’t come with your baby monitor, you can grab one that’s a hygrometer combo for less than $15 on Amazon.
- Kelvin Thermometer and Hygrometer // $14.99
We suggest investing in a nice, four-season sleep sack for your baby so you know they’re always comfortable.
- Woolino Four Season Sleep Sack // $65.00
If the room where you baby is sleeping tends to get warm, a fan can help keep the temperature constant. Remember to place far enough from baby’s crib to remain out of reach at all times, and point the air stream away from your baby. (Bonus! A running fan can serve as white noise too!)
Using a humidifier in your baby’s room actually helps your baby breathe easier, which in turn helps them sleep better. Adding moisture to the air also helps keep your baby’s skin soft and supple, rather than dry and itchy.
- Cool Mist Humidifier // $42.48
Keep it safe
When it comes to safety, we always recommend following Safe Sleep recommendations for children younger than 12-months. Flat, firm surfaces are best, and babies should be sleeping in their own bassinet or crib — not bed sharing at this age. Investing in a video monitor is also helpful for peace of mind.
Crib or Bassinet Mattress.
Your crib mattress is not something that you should take hand-me-down. Invest in a firm, certified safe crib mattress with a fitted crib sheet that wraps secures tightly to reduce any possible suffocation hazards. If you’re using a bassinet, the mattress should fit those custom dimensions; don’t try to squeeze in a non-coordinating cushion.
Having a monitor that allows you to see baby while they’re sleeping is always a good way to keep your peace of mind. Even when you are room-sharing, your baby might nap while you’re somewhere else in your home, taking care of older siblings or trying to do some home office work. Video monitors come with a range of features, from sleep-tracking functions, to wi-fi enabling and even fancy apps offer sleep tips. Pick whichever best suits your parenting style.
- Owlet Cam Smart Baby Monitor // $149.00
Baby Proofing Items.
If your child can climb out of the crib or is already sleeping in their own big kid bed, make sure the room where they’re sleeping is safe. Furniture including dressers and bookshelves should be attached to the wall and outlets should be covered.
- Anti Tip Furniture Straps // $12.95
- Baby Safety Outlet Covers // $8.95
Keep it dark
Your baby will start to know the difference between day and night as their circadian rhythm begins to mature around 6-8 weeks. Keeping the room where your baby sleeps as dark as possible will not only help them develop that circadian rhythm but also maintain it as they get older, and even into adulthood.
Blackout Blinds or Curtains.
We always recommend keeping the room your baby sleeps in pitch black if possible. We love using blackout curtains for home and suggest picking up a set of portable blackout curtains for overnight trips.
A nightlight will make sleepy visits to the nursery easier, but make sure you keep it dim. Red or orange-hued light, like the light that comes from a Himalayan salt lamp, are less sleep-disruptive than blue or white light.
- Himalayan Salt Lamp // 19.99
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