3 Ways To Reclaim Your Bedroom
Almost all of us struggle with sleep issues at some point in our parenting lives. It doesn’t matter if it’s your baby or toddler, sleep struggles can seem like a never-ending journey on a very sleep-deprived road. If you’re not sleeping well because you’re sharing a bed with your little one, or you want to reclaim your bed as an adult-only zone (for some grown-up ‘alone time’), here are a few things you can do to help.
Create a Sleep Sanctuary for Your Baby
Once sleep starts to get organized (starting as soon as 2 months old) the body needs certain things to help make sleep restorative. Your baby needs a dark, quiet and cool sleep environment for ultimate sleep success. You can help create that for them!
- Wondering if baby is too hot or too cold? Place two fingers on the back of their neck to get the best feel for their body temperature. If you’re worried about them getting cold at night, you can use a sleep sack – a wearable blanket.
- Be sure you’re always practicing the ABC’s of safe sleep (Alone, on their Back, in their Crib)
- The darker the room, the better. Even a sliver of light is enough to wake the most sensitive of sleepers during their sleep cycle transitions. Blackout blinds (or even foil on the window) can be your best friend!
- Consider a white noise machine. We recommend one that makes a continuous noise (not music) and stays on until you turn it off. As long as it is across the room and used on a low volume it is safe to use.
As babies get older it may be time to get rid of the distractions – mobiles, aquariums, toys. We want the place they sleep to be nice and friendly, but the real business of the room is sleep and if those things distract your baby then you don’t want them there.
Keep your baby’s sleep environment consistent for both naps and night sleep so that they begin to feel safe and secure in their crib.
Make Naps a Priority During Daytime
Promoting an age-appropriate nap schedule during the day will keep your baby well-rested – and that makes bedtime easier! Our bodies naturally follow a 24-hour clock, which controls changes in the body that help us sleep. After 4 months of age babies start to follow those patterns, called the circadian rhythm. You want to work with your baby’s circadian rhythm schedule to encourage healthy sleep.
If we put them to bed while their body is naturally telling them that it’s ready for sleep a couple of great things happen – first it’s easier to get them to sleep (no more bouncing, rocking or driving around trying to quiet them) and second, they get that healthy, restorative sleep which will make them better rested and happier.
Also, before putting baby down for their nap make sure they are clean with full tummies. (We all sleep better when we’re not hungry, right?)
Introduce a Calming Bedtime Routine
A consistent soothing set of activities you follow at bedtime is a great way to signal that there is a transition happening between an active time and time for sleep. The key here is to leave yourself enough time, around 30 minutes for a bedtime routine, to get things done calmly.
Try bath time, stories, cuddles, and gentle talks during your baby’s bedtime routine. Massage and touch are a great addition to your baby’s bedtime routine. It can relax them and promote longer sleep at night. Following these steps towards healthier sleep will make it easier for your baby to get used to their crib and get the best sleep they need. It also allows you to reclaim your bed for you and your partner, so you can focus on the couple time you need.
How to Get Mama’s Groove Back
Now that you’ve got your bed to yourself, let’s talk about getting the romance back too. Here are some ways that you can get both your groove back in bed and some extra zzz’s – because when you’re a parent, sometimes there’s nothing sexier than being able to get a good night of sleep.
Make Your Bedroom a Non-Tech Zone
Your bedroom should be completely free of distractions, so you can focus on one another. Get rid of your televisions, computers, and phones.
The blue LED light from these screens prevents our natural sleep hormone melatonin to be released. It stimulates our brains and turns the sleep switch off. Spend time distracting each other instead of looking at your phone.
Establish a Relaxing Routine
Just like we implement a consistent calming routine for our little one, grown-ups should practice one as well. For special nights, include a couple’s massage or relax in a warm bath surrounded by candles, and play some calming, romantic music.
Make it Dim & Dark
Keeping the room dimly lit not only produces a romantic ambience but the darkness also helps cue the brain to release melatonin. When we think of sexy sleep, we may automatically think silk sheets – but a cool environment is best. Natural fibers like cotton are the most breathable, keeping you both cool and comfortable. Finish off your love nest with a romantic white noise like the ocean that will whisk you into a restorative sleep and add the scent of lavender or chamomile for a dreamy slumber.