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Baby Sleep Schedule 101: How to Get a Routine Down with Your Newborn

Baby Sleep Schedule 101: How to Get a Routine Down with Your Newborn

There are few things in life more exciting than bringing home a brand new baby!

Babies bring joy, excitement, and fulfillment to life, but they can also leave you feeling exhausted.

You'll need energy, though, to care for your baby, and a great way to get the energy you need is by establishing a baby sleep schedule.

Now, this isn't going to happen overnight. But, it can happen a lot faster if you are intentional with it.

Here are some helpful tips you can use to create a good sleep schedule for your little child.

Start When Your Little One Is a Few Weeks Old

It's not easy to train a brand-new baby to stick to a schedule, so don't try to rush this. Instead, wait until your child is at least a few weeks old before implementing a sleep schedule routine.

If you start too soon, you may feel discouraged when your plan is not working. Be patient, and start slowly. It will take some time for you to learn your baby, and for your baby to learn a routine.

Your baby will most likely adapt well to an established routine by the time he or she is a few months old.

Keep Day and Night Separate

Babies aren't born with a sense of night and day, so helping them learn the difference is key to a successful sleep schedule. You can start right away!

During the day, keep the blinds or curtains open to let lots of daylight in. When your baby isn't napping, give them lots of stimulating play, conversation, and eye contact. At night and nap time, turn the lights and volume low.

When your baby wakes to feed at night, turn on the dimmest light possible, keep talking to a minimum, and resist the urge to gaze into their eyes (they find it really stimulating!). They'll soon start to realize that day is for activity and night is for sleep.

Create a Routine Before Bed

As your baby begins growing, you should create a routine to use before bed. A lot of parents like bathing their babies before bed. Next, they may read a story to their child. After that, they may cuddle them and sing them a lullaby.

These are all great activities to incorporate into a sleep schedule. As your baby develops, he or she will get used to the order of these events and will know what to expect next.

Having a schedule is essential for a baby's cognitive development. Babies will even sleep better when they have a schedule to follow.

Let Him or Her Fall Asleep Alone

One aspect to include in your bedtime routine is letting your baby fall asleep on his or her own. Don't wait to put your newborn to bed until he or she is sleeping. Instead, let your child learn how to fall asleep alone.

Offer a Safe, Nurturing Environment

It's also essential to provide your newborn with a safe, nurturing environment to sleep in. Your baby should sleep in a room that is dark and cool. It should be free of drafts, too.

You can play white noise in the background to offer a soothing sound for your baby, and you should always put your baby to sleep in the same place for naps and bedtime.

Learn More About Developing a Baby Sleep Schedule

Creating a baby sleep schedule is vital for you and your child. If you start working on it and stay consistent, you'll have a good routine to use each day.

If you would like more information about parenting a new baby, check out our blog for more helpful articles.

 

The Top 3 Reasons Why First Time Moms Should Hire a Parenting Coach

The Top 3 Reasons Why First Time Moms Should Hire a Parenting Coach

From the moment you leave the hospital with your newborn, most first-time parents feel completely overwhelmed. After all, kids don’t come with instruction manuals. 

Unfortunately, things get more complicated the older your children get. Thankfully, you don’t have to figure it all out on your own. Keep reading to learn more about why more and more first-time moms are deciding to hire a parenting coach.

Reassurance That You’re “Doing it Right”

From common health questions, like whether your newborn is gaining enough weight to more complex issues like dealing with a toddler’s temper, it seems like parents have to face life-changing questions every day. 

It’s easy to feel like you don’t know anything sometimes! Hiring a parent coach gives you someone to turn to when you need a boost of confidence or some advice about the “right” way to do things. This support and encouragement will give you peace of mind that you can't get anywhere else. 

Your parenting coach can also help ensure that your baby hits all of the milestones at the time that's expected. If he or she falls behind, your coach can also help you explore options for helping to get them back on track or make the necessary accommodations. 

Reduced Reliance on Family and Friends

While thoughts like “I wish I could just hire my mom” might have run through your head occasionally, many have a hard time taking parenting advice from people close to them. Working with parent coaches is like contracting with “moms for hire” – without the judgment.

Relying on your friends is also not the best option. No matter how much you may love your besties, it’s likely that many of them believe in different styles of parenting.

In the best-case scenario, you’ll receive confusing information from your various friends and have to sort through it yourself. In the worst-case, asking for advice can lead to conflicts that may strain your relationships. When you don’t want to feel alone but you want to keep your friends at arm’s length when it comes to parenting, a parenting coach is the perfect answer!

Improved Accountability

Sometimes, even though we know what to do, it’s easier to give in to a tantrum or add some extra screen time so we can take care of other things around the home. Having a parenting coach can help you to stay accountable and stick with the decisions you’ve made.

If, for example, you’re struggling with bedtime, you could arrange for your coach to call or text you each night an hour after the planned bedtime to discuss how things went and provide tips for the following night.

Your coach can help to keep you from second-guessing yourself and can provide ongoing advice as the situation changes. If you’ve hired a coach and you’re both on the same page, it can also help you deflect unsolicited advice that comes from well-meaning family and friends.

Get the Parenting Help You Need Today!

Whether you choose an in-person parental coach or opt for an AI-powered option, like Wunder, don’t be afraid to get the help you need. In the meantime, browse through more of our parenting blog posts to learn more about how to handle the most common parenting struggles.

 

Top 3 Reasons to Read to Your Child from Birth

Top 3 Reasons to Read to Your Child from Birth

Reading Aloud to Your New Baby Boosts Future Language and Reading Skills 

It may seem odd to read books aloud to your brand new baby, but plenty of research has shown how important it is. Not only is reading aloud to your baby a great way to bond and spend quality time together, it is also a proven way to boost your baby’s future language development, reading skills and much more. Once you understand the impact reading aloud has on your baby, you’ll be scheduling it into your daily routine right away.


Most parents know that reading to a school-age child is an important way to improve language and reading comprehension as well as encourage a lifelong love of reading. But what many new parents don’t know is that reading aloud to babies has been shown to have a significant and lasting impact on their language development. A 2017 research study entitled “Early Reading Matters: Long-term Impacts of Shared Bookreading with Infants and Toddlers on Language and Literacy Outcomes,” revealed that book-reading in early infancy and toddlerhood predicted child vocabulary up to four years later. It also showed that book-reading quality during early infancy predicted early reading skills while during the toddler-years, book-reading quantity AND quality were closely tied to emergent literacy skills.


According to the study’s lead author and researcher Carolyn Cates, PhD, “These findings are exciting because they suggest that reading to young children, beginning even in early infancy, has a lasting effect on language, literacy and early reading skills.” She goes on to say “What they’re learning when you read with them as infants still has an effect four years later when they’re about to begin elementary school.


The benefits of reading aloud continue as your child moves into toddler and school-age years.

Jim Trelease - author of The New York Times Bestseller “The Read-Aloud Handbook,” believes that very young children benefit greatly from parents reading aloud. He cites the results of “The Early Childhood Longitudinal Study” (which included 22,000 students) that found kindergarten children who had been read to at least three times a week had a significantly greater phonemic awareness than did children who were read to less often, and were almost twice as likely to score in the top 25 percent in reading readiness. Pretty compelling numbers from the simple act of reading books!

The well-known 1995 book “Meaningful differences in the everyday experience of young American children” established a scientifically substantiated link between children's early childhood experience and their eventual intellectual growth. The authors - Hart and Risley - spent years researching the roots of intellectual disparity. They observed 1 and 2 year old children in typical American families and found staggering contrasts in the amount of interaction between parents and children. These differences translated into shocking disparities in the children's vocabulary growth rate, vocabulary use, and IQ test scores.

Clearly, reading to your baby (and toddler) can create a whole host of benefits both now and in the future; setting your child up for greater levels of success. And all it takes is just ten minutes a day.

Reading to Your Baby May Also Have a Positive Impact on Future Behavior

Reading aloud to your baby has also been shown to potentially help his or her future behavior. In a compelling study, reading aloud and positive play during ages 0-5 was associated with improved behavior outcomes up to 4.5 years later. The study participants who were exposed to parents reading aloud and playing with them had more than a 60% reduction in hyperactivity and psychosocial risk. That study concluded that reading aloud and positive parental play from birth to 5 years could enhance social-emotional development.


Wondering what books are good for reading to your baby? Wunder has a library of our favorite books for you to enjoy with your baby! But truthfully, anything age-appropriate that you enjoy reading to your baby will work just fine. All that really matters is that you read aloud to your baby as soon as possible and as often as possible.