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Helping Babies Sleep Better

By Dr Wong Boh Boi

Founder and Senior ParentCraft Consultant

Wong Boh Boi Pte Ltd 

 

When your baby is not getting enough sleep, their mood is often affected, which can be very stressful for both parent and baby. Newborns sleep up to 18 hours per day, and sleep is essential for their overall health, mental development and mood.

It will be useful to develop a bedtime routine to help your little ones get quality sleep and help new parents manage time better.

#1: Develop a sleep schedule

The first step in developing a sleep schedule is helping your baby distinguish between day and night by offering stimulating activities during the day. When your

baby wakes in the morning, bring them to a room filled with natural sunlight. You can also encourage ‘awake time’ by stimulating your newborn with music or toys. When it is time to sleep, unwind gradually and reduce activity so that the baby is ready to be tucked into bed.

#2: Swaddling

Babies tend to have a startle reflex that causes jerking movements that wake them up suddenly. Swaddling is a useful technique to reduce jerking movements and encourage quality sleep as it mimics the womb environment. Be sure to swaddle them in light and breathable clothing that is not overly tight so that they feel a sense of security. It is Important to learn and master the special skill and technique in swaddling.

#3: Consider a Bedtime Routine

Creating a bedtime routine signals to your newborn that it is time to unwind. Thisseries of activities is entirely up to you and could include bath time, reading, touch therapy or even listening to music. A good bedtime routine is never rushed and is ideally between 20 to 45 minutes. This time should be comforting and reassuring for your little one, and remember to look out for sleep cues like drowsiness or fluttering eyelids which signals that they are ready for bedtime.

#4: Having a Night Light In The Room

While many may consider complete darkness to be the best sleeping environment, it actually creates a sense of unease for newborns. Instead, you should consider having dim lighting in the room to provide reassurance and comfort. Ensure that the night light is diffused and shaded, and use bulbs with warm or yellow tones between 4 to 7 watts. Avoid any blue-toned light that is disruptive to sleep quality as it affects the melatonin levels in your baby’s body. Having a nightlight can also facilitate diaper changing and feedings, so it might be useful to get one with adjustable levels of brightness.

 

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