You’ve successfully gotten your baby sleeping in their crib, through at least a portion of the night. Awesome! Well done!
Now, of course, you’re worried to change….anything...but life happens! How to keep your baby on a great schedule through the twists and turns of it all? Buckle up, we’ve got tips.
Keep it Dark
When traveling, staying in a different place, or baby is sick, it’s important to keep their sleep area dark. This is usually pretty second-nature (we sleep in a dark room) but there’s science behind it too! Our brains produce Melatonin to help us fall asleep and stay there. We’re programmed biologically with what’s called the “Circadian Rhythm” which basically means our brains want to sleep during the night and be awake during the day. In order to use that programming to our advantage, putting baby to sleep in a dark room will help their little brains to fall into what they naturally want to do. It will also help with the production of Melatonin, helping them to stay asleep.
Keep it Noisy
Okay, not noisy but keep White Noise! This is a surefire way to help your baby lull back to sleep like they’ve learned to do. White noise works to block out noises that may occur outside baby’s room as well as give their brains something to focus on to help them calm down. (Hint: it works well for adults too). White noise also can help imitate the comforting “woosh” sounds they heard in the womb, adding to the layer of comfort.
Keep it Consistent
Your bedtime routine is working and you know what they say. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Continue consistently with the routine you’ve set in place to help smooth over the transition. No matter if baby is sick, has just received shots, or is traveling, your routine should help signal to them that it’s now time to sleep (and stay there). This is why we recommend a simple routine, one that can easily be done anywhere you are. Consistency is key!
Keep going through any setbacks. Baby may wake and fuss a bit but it will likely be much, much less than before they learned to sleep on their own. By reinforcing their comfort techniques (white noise, bedtime routine, dark space), you will have baby soothing themselves back down fairly quickly. Remember that sometimes even adults struggle to sleep outside of their normal routines or space and it’s completely normal for there to be some hiccups here and there. Keep going through them and support the sleep you know your baby can achieve.
Basically, life happens! And even though life happens, we still need sleep. By remaining consistent with everything you’ve done to help establish the healthy sleep habits your baby has learned, you’ll have a significantly easier time helping them fall and stay asleep through illness, shots, and company. Whatever life throws your way, wishing you happy and healthy sleep!