With winter quickly approaching, bringing with it colder temperatures and shorter days, you may be wondering how the change in seasons might affect your baby’s sleep.
From tips about room temperatures to sleeping bags, the effect of darker nights to managing the cold, the team here at The Parents Class have put together a helpful list of our top 5 tips and tricks to help your little one get the best night’s rest they can.
1. Check Baby’s Bedding
Making sure your baby has the right sort and amount of bedding during winter is crucial. While your first instinct might be to cover your baby in thick, heavy or fleecy blankets, doing this could run the risk of overheating.
Instead, we recommend that if you are going to use blankets for getting your baby nice and snug, you use ones that are thin and lightweight. This way you can layer them up if baby’s cold, or take them off one-by-one if baby starts to get too warm.
When using sheets and blankets, always make sure you firmly tuck them in in order to avoid baby’s head becoming covered.
If you’re using a baby sleeping bag to keep your little one cosy, then try not to add extra blankets on top. If you need to warm baby up then think about choosing a higher tog sleeping bag or, more immediately, layering baby’s clothing. This way you can more sensitively adjust your baby’s bedding to their temperature.
2. Check Baby’s Room Temperature
At the start of a winter cold snap, indoor room temperatures can change a lot and change quickly. You may find it difficult to know what sort of temperature you should keep your nursery or bedroom to help baby stay comfortable during the night.
We recommend a temperature of between 16-20 degrees celsius, although it is worth noting that the temperature of the room will change the amount of bedding, or tog rating of the baby sleeping bag, you use to keep baby warm. Check the NHS website for more information about how to set up a safe sleeping environment for baby.
3. Noisy Heating and Baby’s Sleep
A side note to the last point, if you’re trying to delay switching the heating on this winter, then remember that central heating systems can often be prone to making lots of noise when they’re turned back on, especially after long periods of not having been used.
If and when you do turn the heating on, try if possible not to do it during baby’s nap time, as it could wake them and disrupt their sleeping patterns.
4. Evenings That Get Darker, Earlier
With winter bringing with it darker starts to the day, you may find yourself looking forward to your little one spending a bit more time asleep in the mornings.
We’re afraid to say that while the mornings are getting darker, the evenings are as well, which may mean your baby gets sleepier earlier, in turn meaning they wake up earlier, too.
One way you might want to ensure baby’s sleep schedule doesn’t change too much during the winter is by leaving the inside lights on in the evenings to simulate daylight. Then, when it comes to bedtimes, dim them down. Hopefully this should recreate the usual transition from day to night and get baby’s sleep schedule back on track.
5. It’s Okay to Say No
Winter’s not all dark and dingy – it’s also a very exciting time of year, not least because of all the holiday celebrations. While visiting relatives and attending parties with your little one during the festive period can be lots of fun, it can also be overstimulating for them and may end up affecting their sleeping habits.
Friends and relatives will of course be excited about the family’s newest arrival, but that doesn’t mean that baby’s sleep schedule can’t also be respected. Although it can be difficult to explain to friends and family who want to play with baby that it’s not always the best time to do so, especially when you’re trying to get them settled down for a nap, it’s worth remembering that it’s okay to say no.
Try and make it clear to everyone when baby needs their sleep so they can adjust their habits accordingly. Remember, you’re going to be the one responsible for baby getting enough sleep so while it may seem that you’re being strict at the time, you’ll thank yourself later, and baby will, too.
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If you’re looking for more tips about the early days of parenthood, why not check out our antenatal classes? The courses we offer here at The Parents Class are fantastic ways of getting all the most up-to-date information on everything from infant feeding to making a postnatal plan. Find out more here!