Between daylight savings time and the transition between seasons, days are getting longer, and it is staying lighter later. While this is a positive thing for many of us, with an increase in mood and energy for many adults, it can be difficult for newborns and babies who have their sleep routine disturbed and may find it more difficult to fall asleep each night. This leads to grumpy, sleep-deprived babies that cannot function and grow at their best. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to help your baby sleep when it’s light outside at bedtime.
Maintain Your Baby’s Bedtime Routine
As many parents have experienced, once you get your baby into a good nighttime routine, maintaining it is in everyone’s best interest. Babies like to fall asleep at the same time each night and operate best on a consistent schedule.
While it may be tempting to push back your baby’s bedtime to accommodate the changing amount of light and length of the day, this will likely be detrimental to your and your baby’s sleep. Keeping your baby up too late will cause them to become overtired and make it difficult for them to fall asleep. Avoid undoing all your hard work teaching your baby proper sleep hygiene by keeping their bedtime routine as consistent as possible, from timing to activities. A calming bedtime routine will help your baby wind down for the day and let them know it’s time to sleep.
Find a Blackout Option
Due to the longer days, we are graced with sunlight much later into the evenings. This can be wonderful for many reasons but may make it challenging to maintain your baby’s bedtime schedule with the setting sunlight streaming in through their windows. This sunlight can prevent your baby from producing much-needed melatonin to help them get sleepy and stay asleep.
Blackout blinds and shades are an excellent option for any baby’s room with windows that receive a lot of light. These window coverings are designed to fully blackout your windows and seal out even the tiniest slivers of light. Try adding these to your baby’s windows and pulling them before starting your bedtime routine to help ease your child to sleep in a dark, cozy environment.
Plan Ahead for Success
Along with the two tips above, make sure you allow time to prepare your baby for sleep. Most babies cannot instantly go from playtime to bedtime and rarely understand that it is simple “time for bed.” Make sure you take the necessary steps to prepare them to get sleepy and tuck in for the night.
One of the best ways to help a baby wind down is to make their environment calmer and more conducive for sleep. This means turning down the lights and closing the curtains in your home. You may also decrease the temperature a bit since most babies prefer to sleep in cooler temperatures. Choose calm, quiet activities such as a bath or reading a book that helps reduce the amount of stimulation your baby is subjected to in the hours leading up to bedtime. These changes should help your baby naturally unwind and fall asleep more easily.
Go With the Flow When Necessary
With a baby or young child, some days simply aren’t going to go as planned, so it is important to stay flexible and go with the flow when necessary. Especially for the first few days after a time or season changes, give your baby some grace and understanding to help keep both of you happier.
Your baby will be perfectly fine if bedtime is a bit later one night due to a fun summertime outing or a late family dinner. Use some of our other tips above to help your baby calm down after an exciting day and get back to your regular routine tomorrow.