Welcome to the Colored Organics Community blog series; a collective place to connect, learn, and share about experiences, emotions, hopes and dreams while raising our children and growing our families.
This month, we invited certified infant and toddler sleep consultant, Cara Walker, the creator of Well Rested Mama, to share her best tips and tricks for navigating sleep training with your little one.
*Disclaimer: Sleep training is just one way to support your baby to sleep, and may not work for every family. Doing what's best for you and your child will always be the most important factor when navigating infant sleep cycles.
Blog written by Cara Walker
Sleep Tips by Cara Walker
As a certified infant and toddler sleep consultant, here are my top 5 hacks for conquering a full nights sleep.
1. Your baby's sleep environment is KEY.
You want to make sure you are setting your little one up for success, when it comes to their sleep environment. A dark room will ensure that your little one is able to easily fall asleep, without any visual distractions. This helps with not only falling asleep but staying asleep. Babies wake every 4-50 minutes – a dark room with give them the ability to connect sleep cycles and fall back asleep. The room should have a controlled temperature between 68-72 degrees, so that your baby can sleep comfortably in their Dreamland Baby sleep sack or swaddle. Additionally, playing white noise will help reduce outside noises that could hinder your little one’s ability to stay asleep.
2. Monitor your baby’s wake windows during the day.
The better your baby sleeps during the day, the better they will sleep at night. We want to make sure your little one isn’t becoming overtired by bedtime. Following appropriate wake windows can help avoid over-tiredness, which will give your little one an easier time falling asleep at bedtime – as well as minimizing nighttime wakings.
3. Keeping track of your baby’s nutrition is very important
Your baby is going to eat the same amount of calories in a 24-hour period. With that being said, we want your baby consuming the majority of those calories during the day. Ensuring that your baby is taking full feeds during the day, and not snacking, will help minimize any nighttime calories.
4. Promoting independent sleep habits is where the magic happens
Once your little one is able to put themselves to sleep at bedtime, they will be able to put themselves back to sleep in the night. It is normal that your baby is waking in the night – we all do. If your goal is to have your baby sleep independently all night long, they need to be able to put themselves back to sleep during those wakings. If your baby needs help falling asleep at the initial bedtime – they will need your help during the middle of the night wakings as well.
5. Doing what’s best for your baby is the best thing you can do as a parent.
Identifying their needs, as well as yours, is going to make you the best mom (or dad) you can be!
About the Author
Hi! My name is Cara and I created Well Rested Mama in 2019, while pregnant with my third baby! I truly understand the struggle of being a tired mom and constantly trying to guess what your child needs or wants. As a new mother, you feel like the world is watching and pressuring you to do everything perfectly; that in itself can be exhausting. By implementing a consistent daily schedule and routine, I have always aimed to create a positive sleep foundation for our family. Since then, our lives have been significantly easier and more stable.
Becoming a certified sleep consultant was one of the best decisions I have made. I love helping frustrated parents succeed, while overcoming sleep deprivation and helping their children! As your sleep consultant, it is my mission to provide you and your child with the necessary support to achieve your sleep goals. Each sleep plan we create is customized to meet your individual needs as a parent. There is no “one size fits all” approach when it comes to sleep training. Together, we will create a plan that aligns with your parenting philosophy and values.