Safe and Effective Sleep Space: A Few Simple Tips

Do you have elaborate plans for your baby’s bedroom? Themed, whimsical, minimal, boho, modern, etc.?  No matter what your style is, the aesthetic itself likely won’t impact actual sleep quality. 

Luckily, to create a safe and effective sleep space, there are a few simple things you can do. 

To start, choose a sleep location. Your child may have their own bedroom or may room-share with parents/siblings or both! Keep the baby on a separate surface, such as a bassinet, crib, etc. We recommend you avoid nest/dock-a-tot type devices for sleep, as they are deemed a risk by Health Canada. Ensure the mattress is firm and has a tight-fitted sheet with no clutter in the space whatsoever (No blankets, teddies, etc.) 

Ideally, the temperature would be around 20 degrees celsius.

Our sleep drive is influenced by light and dark, so keep the bedroom as dark as possible. Investing in black-out curtains can go a long way in ensuring naps stay lengthy and for avoiding early morning wakings. I recommend these black out curtains, created by a Canadian family. We all cycle through sleep during the night – and that wont ever change. You can block out/reduce household and neighbourhood noises by using white noise or a fan. Do not allow fans to blow directly on the baby. These measures can prevent short naps and early morning wakings. There are tons of options for white noise. Check out pre-loved options from Once Upon a Child. I have used this exact white noise machine for 6 years (and three children) It travels well, too.

Boring is good. Have their bedroom be free of stimulating activities like moving light devices, loud/lit mobiles, etc. If you have toys/activities that you love, it is okay to use them during non-sleep time in their bedroom. 

Less is more. If your toddler is struggling with going down easily for sleep, try removing the clutter from their bed. Instead, choose 1-2 safe items that they love. For some children, too many items creates a stimulating environment. 

Safety first, always. Think to yourself: If my baby is unattended for a few minutes, are there any risks/dangers? Such as a cord he/she could grab, blankets to get wrapped in, etc. If there is any possibility your child can pull themselves up, lower the crib to the lowest setting.

~Bridget Jensen is a graduate of Wilfrid Laurier University, Conestoga College and is a member of the Association of Professional Sleep Consultants. Bridget’s calm and supportive demeanor are beneficial while working with families, individuals and workplaces all over Canada and beyond. She is dedicated to helping people get the rest they need, so they can feel at their best during the day. She is founder of Better Bedtime, a full-service sleep consultancy based in Waterloo Region. Services range from one-on-one programs for infants, children and adults to sleep sessions for the workplace.

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