Your Baby’s Road to Better Sleep: Tips On Establishing A Nighttime Routine For Your Child
For moms with newborns, sleep is a precious commodity. Babies spend most of their time asleep but in short bursts of 2-3 hours between feeds. According to Certified Sleep Consultant Ria Campos Lopez, babies sleep for very short cycles as their nervous systems develop. This means that the better they sleep, the healthier they will be.
Once your child is between six to eight weeks, baby will sleep shorter during the day and longer at night. In fact, your baby is able to develop good sleep habits as early as 6 weeks! A consistent bedtime routine will help your baby fall asleep quicker, sleep better, and for longer stretches. Insert celebratory emoticons here!
Mommy Mundo sat with Certified Sleep Consultant Ria Campos Lopez of www.himbing.ph for tips to help you establish a nighttime routine that will set the stage for restful nights to come.
Sleep Is Good
“Sleep is very important. This is the time that the growth hormone is released. Thus, it is needed for the baby’s physical, mental, emotional, and cognitive growth and development,” says Ria Lopez.
During sleep, a newborn’s brain is hard at work. Dreaming stimulates baby’s brain and promotes healthy development. Research shows that good sleep decreases risk for general health problems when they get older.
“The amount of sleep that baby needs depend on how old the baby is. Sleep needs change as quickly as they are growing. They need to get in certain amounts of daytime sleep through their naps and consistently 11 to 12 hours night time sleep until they are young children,” adds Ria.
Establishing A Nighttime Routine
There is no exact formula as each child is different. The key is consistency! Find a calming routine and stick to it.
- Educate yourselves about how much sleep your baby needs.
- Plan out a simple step-by-step routine which can be done quickly every night.
- A sample nighttime routine would be nursing/feeding, followed by hugs and cuddles, a prayer, then a kiss goodnight. Make sure to put baby down in the crib awake but drowsy.
- Remind yourself to be patient and consistent. Results do not happen overnight!
Sleep Problems Happen
“We need to keep in mind that babies and children’s sleep needs are much more than adult needs. Sometimes as parents, we forget to take this into consideration and we insist to keep them on our schedule. It should be the other way around, focusing on an age-appropriate schedule,” Ria shares.
Meanwhile for older kids, Ria suggests to just continue your nighttime routine and stay consistent on how you address night wake-ups. She adds, “Toddlers are usually overtired or overstimulated, leading to poor sleep. They should have an early bedtime, allowing 11 to 12 hours sleep. “
Ria Campos Lopez, Certified Sleep Consultant, www.himbing.ph. Ria is a corporate lawyer by profession. Her journey to becoming a sleep consultant started when her first son experienced sleeping troubles. While working with a sleep consultant, she continued researching about sleep training and found so many elements she wishes she had learned before giving birth. Ria believes many sleep problems can be avoided if healthy habits are set in place from birth. And thus, her passion was born to continue learning to help herself, her future kids, and other moms.