How to Help Baby Sleep with the Right Nursery Design
1. Choose a calming nursery theme
Even before baby has arrived, you can begin preparing their perfect sleeping environment by creating a calming nursery theme. Choose colours based not just on what you like, but on what will help your baby get a more restful night’s sleep. Traditional colour psychology says that blue is the perfect colour for bedrooms and nurseries. Its calming properties make it ideal for promoting relaxation and sleep, making it a soothing choice for boys and girls.
Also try to keep decoration to a minimum. While a zoo animal mural may be stimulating for baby’s imagination, this doesn’t encourage the right frame of mind to help them sleep. Look for nursery theme ideas that focus on soothing, muted images in neutral or pastel shades or place the mural on a wall they can’t see from their cot.
2. Consider nursery lighting carefully
Until they’re three months old, most babies are not sensitive to night and day which is why they can have such seemingly erratic sleeping patterns. But as they get older, they’ll become increasingly aware of changes in daylight, using it to develop a more structured routine.
To help your baby to sleep, try to eliminate as much natural daylight from the room as possible, using black out curtains if necessary during the summer months. These have the added benefit of muffling outside noise too, so baby can sleep safe and sound, even if the street is busy.
You can also use lighting as a way to let your baby know that it’s time for bed. Try using a dimmer switch to gradually dial down the lighting in the hour or two before bed as this can help to promote sleepiness.
3. Get the temperature right for baby to sleep
For babies, maintaining a healthy temperature is crucial. Since they can’t regulate their own body temperature they are at increased risk of overheating. In its mildest form, this can cause them to be restless and wake, but in more serious cases, it can result in night sweats and has also been associated with increased risk of SIDS. To reduce the risk of overheating, babies are heavily reliant on their external environment.
The best way to keep baby cool is to make sure that their sleeping environment is designed to help them maintain a healthy temperature. This includes:
- Turn central heating off or set it to low at night: You may be feeling the chill, but your baby is more likely to overheat.
- Choose a cotton sleep suit: Cotton is a naturally breathable fibre that will help to keep your baby cool.
- Resist the temptation to layer: It’s tempting to want to wrap baby up snug at night, but remember this can increase their risk of overheating – keep clothing layers to an absolute minimum and use a sleeping bag to remove the need for sheets or blankets.
- Harness the healthy sleep benefits of wool: If you find it difficult to use a single sheet at night because you worry about your baby being too cold, choosing natural wool bedding for your baby is the perfect solution. Wool has remarkable heat-regulating properties that help to keep your baby cool when they’re hot and warm when they’re feeling the chill. Wool baby sleeping bags are the perfect way to harness the natural benefits of wool for your little one.
- Keep cool air circulating: Particularly in the summer months, you may want to keep a window slightly open if it’s safe to do so, or use a fan to manage room temperature.
4. Keep it clean, tidy and allergy free
It goes without saying that you’ll want to keep the nursery as clean and fresh as possible – but are you doing everything you can to keep allergens at bay? Standard synthetic mattresses and bedding provide the ideal environment for dust mites and fungal spores to thrive. For babies who are allergic to these common allergens, this can trigger coughing, sneezing or waking with dry, itchy eyes at night. In other words, another sleep disturbance to keep them awake.
To keep the critters at bay, switch from a synthetic mattress and bedding to a natural wool crib mattress and wool baby sleeping bag. Why does this work? Because wool fibres absorb and then desorb moisture, they don’t provide the hot, humid environment that dust mites and fungal spores need to thrive. So your little one can sleep on, comfortable and sniffle free.
Looking for more advice on how to help baby sleep? Discover 7 Sleep Secrets Every New Parent Needs to Know.
by Arvind Kumar
16 Sep 2016