It’s well known that sleep is crucial for a baby’s growth and development, and that is especially true for newborns. With this in mind, one of the most important things you can do to prepare for your new arrival is to create the ideal baby sleep environment for your baby before they even come home. In doing so, you’ll set the foundation for the kind of sleep that will ensure your little one grows up happy and healthy! Unsure on where to start? Here are a few of our favorite ways to create the perfect sleeping environment for your new little one.

Choosing The Baby’s Sleeping Environment

The first step may seem obvious, but choosing the right room for your nursery is one of the most important factors that can determine how well your baby sleeps. Make sure the room is quiet, dark, and cool – any bright light, or loud noise like heavy foot traffic can not only make it hard for your little one to fall asleep, but also stay asleep! By keeping the room cool and dark, you limit those outside factors so they can fall asleep quicker and then stay that way. Consider covering any windows, and try to choose a room that’s away from your main gathering areas of the house to limit noises throughout the day.

You’ll also want to make sure that the nursery is free from any distractions – these can include televisions, computers, and other electronic devices that may emit light or sound that can interfere with your little one’s sleep. In addition to avoiding distractions, it’s imperative to remove any potential hazards as well. Place the crib far away from any windows or electrical outlets; and remove any loose cords and cover sharp edges. Doing all this prep work ahead of time will make sure bedtime is seamless once they arrive.

Invest in a White Noise Machine For Improved Rest

Whether you were able to place your baby’s crib in a quiet area of the house or not, it’s worth investing in a white noise machine for the nursery. These machines can be effective tools for creating an ideal sleep environment for newborns. By producing steady, soothing sounds that mimic the womb, a white noise machine works to drown out any background noise while lulling your little one to sleep.

With so many options on the market to choose from, there’s a white noise machine to fit any budget or lifestyle. Whether you choose a simple one that just provides a low hum, to more advanced machines with a night-light and decibel monitor, you’ll be able to find a machine that sends your little one off to dreamland in no time!

Use Blackout Curtains To Encourage Continuous Sleep

Another way to modify your nursery to create the perfect sleeping conditions is by purchasing blackout curtains to cover any windows in the room. While you’re often aware of the lighting conditions throughout the day, remember that even at night, there can be sources of light pollution, such as street lights or traffic. Blackout curtains are designed to block out all light to keep from providing any stimuli that might disrupt your baby’s sleep.

An added bonus to blackout curtains is that they can also help to regulate temperature in the room – with their thick fabric, they can keep the room cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter and create a more comfortable, neutral environment for your little one.

Select Comfortable Cribs and Bedding

Just like us as adults, newborns sleep best when their bed and surrounding environment are cozy! Because of this, their crib and bedding play a big role in their quality of sleep, so you want to make sure you’re choosing the right ones to help your baby feel safe and secure throughout the night.

When selecting the crib, test to make sure it is sturdy and free of any potential hazards like sharp edges or loose parts. The award winning parenting book Newborn 101, states to check and make sure that it “has been certified by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) or has earned a seal of approval from the Juvenile Products Manufacturer’s Association (JPMA).” Then you’ll want to invest in a tightly fitted crib sheet that is soft and breathable. In the same vein, avoid using any pillows, blankets, or stuffed animals in their crib until they are old enough to avoid that suffocation hazard.

The Ideal Sleeping Temperature For Babies

Have you ever woken up sweating in the middle of the night, and then struggled to fall back to sleep? If so, you understand the importance of maintaining a consistent, comfortable temperature in the bedroom! The same goes for your baby’s nursery – by keeping the room between 68 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit, as recommended by the AAP, you can make sure you have the ideal temperature for their sleeping environment.

To make sure it stays consistent, use a thermostat to monitor the temperature of their nursery and adjust as needed throughout the day. Some baby monitors have that feature built right in. You should also try to avoid placing their crib near any vents or drafty areas that could impact the temperature around them.

As every new parent knows or learns, making sure you and your newborn get the sleep you need is crucial to a happy, healthy home. With a little planning and a few simple strategies, you can create the ideal sleep environment for your little one, ensuring they get the best possible sleep, night after night. If you are looking for additional sleep support reach out to our Boston Baby Nurse & Nanny certified sleep coaches, working with infants through three years of age.