Solace Blog

Solace Pediatric Home Healthcare

Baby Sleep

January 23, 2019

Parents hear a lot about when and how to stop swaddling, but what comes next?  Newborns have very immature nervous systems, lots of reflexive movements, and little control over their limbs. Swaddling keeps them nestled tightly while their nervous systems are developing and gives them the best chance of sailing smoothly in and out of stages of sleep (here are some good apps the help track your baby’s sleep and eating).  The nervous system matures quickly, though, and once a baby is somewhere between three and six months, they are much more likely to regulate movements, have good control over their arms and legs, and have a mature circadian system (internal clock) telling them to sleep when it’s nighttime (here are some tricks to help your children sleep through the night eventually).

Tips to Keep in Mind for Better Sleep

Overdressing babies in winter is a common problem, while underdressing babies in the summer is a problem. In the spring and fall, rapid temperature changes can also lead to over and under dressing.  One of the most common missteps we see in sleep consultations is people overdressing their babies. There’s a misconception that warmer equals sleepier, but the opposite tends to be true: people of all ages sleep best when the room is cool (65-68 degrees).

Your baby’s skin is a good indicator of how cold or how warm he or she is. To see if your baby is too warm or too cold, touch your baby’s skin in a few different places. Your baby’s skin should be at a comfortable temperature.  For example, if your baby’s toes feel cold, then your baby may be too cold and you may want to put on some booties. If your baby’s skin feels too warm under her clothes, then she may be too warm and you should remove a layer of clothing.  You can check any area of baby’s skin, but the back of the neck is a great indicator. The back of your baby’s neck should be a bit cool to the touch and there should be no sweat. Sweating can be a sign of overheating in babies.

Expect and encourage your baby to tumble around, sit up, stand up, and eventually walk around and explore their crib; it’s their domain and they should feel free to move unencumbered.  When bedtime rolls around, think cool and free to move. Your baby will have the best chance of finding their cozy position and having a good night’s sleep.

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