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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.

 

3 Tips for Working From Home When You Have Young Kids

3 Tips for Working From Home When You Have Young Kids

We all know that schools are closing throughout the nation in an attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19. Many parents are now left to quickly figure out alternate childcare so they can still go to work. For those parents who have the ability to work from home it’s still a daunting task to remain productive on the job while keeping little ones busy. In this article, we offer some expert advice on how to handle things at home in the coming weeks.

Shift Your Work Hours

If you have very young children, and no one to help you care for them during the day, it will be very challenging (if not impossible) to work while they are awake. That’s just reality. So, to help you cope, you need to create a plan for yourself that capitalizes on the time they are sleeping. That may mean:

  • Setting your clock for 4am so you can work for a few hours before your kids wake up
  • Working during any and all nap times
  • Opting out of conference calls that will be during your child’s awake time
  • Putting your kids to bed earlier (much earlier if necessary) so you can work after they’re asleep (here are the recommended bedtimes for children by age)

Be honest with your employer about your constraints around childcare and ask about shifting when and how you work. Most employers will understand and appreciate you coming to them with a clear plan of action for how the work will get done (even if it’s a bit unusual!).

Create a Daily Schedule

If your children are a little bit older/school-age, it will help to create a daily schedule. Children thrive on structure (and so do most adults), so one of the first things to do is create a daily plan for your family. This will help your kids know what to expect and will give you blocks of time to get work done. You don’t have to get too involved with this. If it makes more sense for your family to create three longer blocks of time, then do that. There is no right or wrong way to do this, but here are some suggestions for things you can schedule in:

  • Meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner (this will mitigate the constant asking for snacks)
  • Reading: quietly reading a book (choose books that stretch your kids academically)
  • Creativity: coloring, painting, playing with clay
  • Recreation: riding bikes, roller skating or just general outdoor play
  • Naps: if you child still takes them
  • Television/Electronics: We suggest following screen-time guidelines as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics
  • Family time: where you spend time together playing a game, watching a movie or just hanging out 

Be sure to have a discussion with your kids so they understand the new schedule and that you cannot be disturbed during certain blocks of time. If your kids are school-age, you can place a “Do Not Disturb” sign in the open doorway when you are in a work block and ask them to interrupt only in an emergency. 

Cut Yourself a LOT of Slack

The most important piece of this evolving “work from home with kids” situation is to reduce your own stress. The truth is, even shifting your work hours and creating a schedule will not eliminate all the challenges that come with working from home with kids. In fact, if all the advice and recommendations you're getting are driving you crazy - don’t do them! You just need to do whatever creates peace in your own home. Then, breathe deeply and be gentle with yourself if it doesn’t all turn out perfectly. This is a challenging, ever-evolving time and we are all figuring out how to bend and adapt to the best of our ability.