Sleep is so important. When babies don’t sleep, it can be devastating, frustrating and tiring for the entire family. It can leave parents desperate and constantly wondering if something is wrong with their baby, or if they are doing the right thing.
I was in the exact same position when my son Elijiah was born. He was only sleeping for 45 minutes at a time and would wake up crying. I was sleep-deprived, anxious and desperate for a solution. After hours on end searching for answers and spending hundreds of dollars on products that promised to help and nothing improving, I was at a breaking point.
Trial-and-error led me to my first real glimpse of a solution. Elijah seemed to sleep better with his arms UP, rather than wrapped against his body. Using my skills as a fashion designer, I spent many hundreds of hours refining, simplifying, sampling and resampling the very first version of Love To Dream’s signature Swaddle UP™, which allows babies to sleep and self-soothe in a more natural position.
Since then, we’ve helped millions of sleep-deprived parents around the world achieve safer, better, longer sleep for their babies and toddlers. However, I wanted to find a way to help more. I didn’t want other parents feeling lost, not knowing where to turn when their baby wasn’t sleeping.
I knew that parents need easy-to-read advice in one spot. And we’ve done just that with our new free, digital resource – the Love To Dream™ Sleep Series.
Developed in conjunction with qualified paediatric health and sleep experts, it features a mix of easy to watch videos, printable guides, FAQs, and articles. These cover a range of insights into how babies sleep, tips to settle a baby and practical information on laying the foundations for healthy sleep patterns to help new parents prepare for what is to come.
We know all babies are different, so the Sleep Series is designed to help parents find what works best for their baby and family. As part of the Sleep Series, we identified four foundations that can help give parents the confidence to help their baby sleep well from the start.
Foundation 1: Setting Up a Routine
Just like you, your baby’s body clock has to learn to understand day and night, because you don’t want them up all night when it’s time to sleep! You want their sleep, feed and wake cycles to align with day and night.
Their daytime should consist of lengthy naps broken up by periods of feeds and uptime. Nighttime should look like one long stretch of sleep, with feeds throughout. A consistent bedtime and wake-up time with naps in between will help set their body clock into motion.
Foundation 2: The Ideal Sleep Environment
Where your baby sleeps can make all the difference too. When you’re at home, we recommend you always put your baby down to sleep in the same safe location, in their bassinet or cot or crib, for all their day and nighttime sleep.
Other elements, such as location, bedding, the amount of light in the room, temperature, noise and swaddling can all affect how your baby sleeps. We have some great tips in our Sleep Series on these particular elements.
Foundation 3: The Tired Signs
As your baby grows, their sleep requirements and sleep patterns will change. We’ve developed a guide in our Sleep Series of how much sleep your baby actually needs as they grow. For newborns, signs like jerking arms and legs, yawning and arching their back can indicate that your baby is ready to sleep.
Recognising and responding early to your baby’s tired signs helps prevent your baby from becoming overtired and distressed, and it also makes it easier to calm your baby down for sleep.
Foundation 4: Self-Settling
Self-settling or self-soothing is the ability to go to sleep on your own, without any help. This is a vital skill for your baby as they get older – and a saviour for you! It does take some time and won’t happen overnight, but like everything else in life, practice makes perfect.
To start, choose one day nap and their nighttime sleep to practice putting bub down while drowsy, but still awake. This gives them the opportunity to self-settle and learns to fall asleep in their bassinet or cot. While they’re trying to self-settle you may hear them grizzle and fuss at a low level, let out a little cry or nestle and rub the back of their head into the mattress. These are all normal reactions and part of the self-soothing process. After a little while, the noises will settle and the baby will drift off to sleep.
If your baby ever shows signs of becoming unsettled while they’re trying to self-soothe make sure to comfort them. We want our babies to learn to self-settle, but we never want them feeling distressed.
We know how hard it is for babies and their families when nobody is sleeping! Please check out The Love to Dream Sleep Series here if you need some practical tips to create a good foundation for healthy sleep.
Hana-Lia Krawchuk is the Founder and Director of Love To Dream™, a Sydney based baby wear wholesaler and exporter.
As a new mother and former fashion designer, with a First-Class Honours Bachelor’s Degree in Fashion & Textile Design, Hana designed the unique Swaddle UP™ range, which fast became the leader in the product category after her own significant challenges in getting her newborn son to sleep.
Since the company launched in 2008, Love To Dream has swaddled millions of babies around the world and created award-winning sleep solutions designed to help newborns, babies and toddlers achieve safer, better, longer sleep.
Hana’s mission hasn’t changed. Together with Love To Dream™, she is more determined than ever to arm all families with the knowledge, confidence and tools they need to start laying healthy sleep foundations for their babies from the day they are born.75