1. Add White Noise. This is truly a must-have sleep item and well worth the investment. White noise helps comfort small babies and cancels out household noises. Our favorite is the Marpac™ sound conditioner, available in our online sleep shop (www.dreamteambaby.com). Use it every time your child sleeps, day or night, and bring it with you on trips away from home too!
2. Darken, Darken, Darken. The ideal level of darkness should allow you to barely see the outline of your hand. This is hard to achieve with blinds alone so we generally recommend blackout liners.
3. Clear the Clutter. The crib should be a place to sleep, not play. Clear out mobiles, electronic crib toys, and that mountain of stuffed animals. If your child shares a room with others, partition off his or her crib with a hanging curtain or divider to eliminate distractions and create sleep independence
4. Cool It Down. The ideal temperature for sleeping is 68 – 72 degrees Fahrenheit. Take the guess work out by having a room thermometer on hand. It will help your child sleep better and longer. We love the Mobi digital thermometer for its instant readout and functionality, also available in our online sleep shop.
5. Pick an Appropriate Bed Time. The best bedtime for babies and toddlers is between 6 – 8 p.m. Choose a bedtime that you can commit to for the long term and try to make sure 8 p.m. is the cutoff.
6. Create a Calming Bedtime. Your bedtime routine should not last more than 15 minutes (excluding bath time) and be free of television or stimulating toys. Incorporating massage time can also be a wonderful source of connection while helping to transition children into a more calming state.
7. Pick the Right Time for Sleep Teaching. Do not start sleep teaching if your child is sick, received shots within the past 48 hours, or is currently experiencing a major life transition. We also generally suggest waiting until a child is at least four months of age and avoiding travel for two weeks.
8. Ensure Partnership Among Parents. Both parents should agree on the sleep teaching method you’ve decided to utilize and understand the approach. Start sleep teaching on a night you are both at home, ideally on a weekend.