When your baby has difficulty sleeping, it not only affects their ability to function and be happy during the day, but also your own quality of sleep and overall health. Although it can seem like your baby's sleep patterns are an unsolvable mystery, the answer to your baby's sleep woes might be in their own room. There may be things in your baby's nursery that make it harder for them to fall asleep and sleep well at night that you never even considered could contribute to the problem.
Whether they've developed sleep associations that cause them to wake often and fail to fall back asleep or there is some other issue at play, if your baby isn't well rested, you certainly won't be. You've probably tried every method in the book for sleep training and forming positive sleep associations. But if their room isn't providing the soothing atmosphere they need in order to fall asleep, common methods aren't going to work despite your efforts.
Clearing these common objects from your baby's room might seem a bit excessive, but when you realize that they were actually hindering your baby's sleep instead of helping it, you'll be ready to toss them in no time.
1. A Distracting Mobile
Although giving your baby something cute to look at while they drift off seems like a good idea, if your baby's mobile is too colorful, noisy, or even too fun, it could be causing them to not get enough sleep. According to the Baby Sleep Site, some mobiles are meant to be stimulating and some are designed to be soothing. Make sure that, if you do have a mobile above baby's crib, it is a soothing one that won't distract them.
2. A Too Bright Nightlight
Like the mobile, a night light can either be a good tool or a distracting tool when it comes to baby sleep. According to the Baby Post, a dark sleep environment is usually best, as it encourages the body to release sleep hormones and stay relaxed. Some babies, however, sleep best with a little bit of light.
If your little one needs some light in their room at night, choose a night light that isn't too distracting, like one that displays stars on the ceiling or changes colors. These can end up stimulating your baby's mind instead of soothing it.
3. Too Many Toys
Even if the toys aren't in bed with your child (which poses a new set of sleep dangers), having too many toys in your baby's room could cause them to want to play instead of sleep. An article from The Bump suggested that you keep their room as a place for sleep only, and have a separate area for toys will help keep the difference straight in their minds.
4. A Heater
You want your baby warm while they sleep, but according to the Baby Sleep Site, if a baby is too hot while they sleep, they'll have poor quality of sleep and be at a higher risk for SIDS. The article noted that the optimum baby room temperature is between 65 and 70 degrees, taking into consideration any blankets or pajamas that might keep your baby warmer as well.
The same logic follows for babies who are too chilly while they sleep, although that is easier to remedy with a warmer blanket or thicker pajama.
5. Thin Blinds
It seems like a small detail, but if your baby goes to bed while it is still light out or tends to wake right as the sun rises, your blinds may be the issue. Keeping your baby's room dark with thicker blinds can improve their quality of sleep, according to another article from the Baby Sleep Site.
6. A Sound Machine
Although white noise machines can be life savers when it comes to baby sleep, they can also be a hinderance. If you're noice machine is too loud or set on an obscure sound, it can distract your baby instead of calm them or even damage their hearing, according to Today's Parents. Instead, keep your baby's white noise machine on a soothing sound that is just loud enough to block the noise.