If you’re looking for baby sleep tips to help you and your family find your way back to a decent night of sleep, you’ve come to the right place.
You see, my daughter was not a good sleeper when she was a baby. I didn’t sleep more than 90 consecutive minutes for the first 3+ weeks of her life, and while she started sleeping longer stretches once she got her days and nights figured out, she didn’t settle into a proper sleep routine until she was 11 months old. I read every single baby sleep book on the market, and spent many hours scouring online forums for new moms to try and figure out what I was doing wrong.
As it turns out, I made a ton of mistakes in the first few months of my daughter’s life. I swaddled her longer than I should have, I created a ton of negative sleep associations, and I incorrectly assumed an overtired baby will sleep longer. Of course, all of these errors were made out of nothing other than love and inexperience, but the resulting sleep deprivation my family endured for the greater part of a year is something I wouldn’t wish on anyone.
So when Jaycee from HUSH Hat reached out to ask if I would help spread the word about the sound absorbing baby hat she invented after her own child struggled to fall asleep – and stay asleep – like my daughter, I jumped at the chance. Our mission at Meraki Lane is to provide women with the tools they need to live their best life, and since chronic sleep deprivation comes with a whole host of negative side effects and health issues, finding ways to help new moms find their way back to a decent night of sleep makes me feel good.
The HUSH Hat is the world’s FIRST sound-absorbing hat for babies. It is specifically designed to capture and soften sounds that are damaging to a baby’s sensitive ears to increase feelings of comfort and safety, and has the added benefit of leading to longer naps and a happier wake time for the entire family.
I’ve provided more information about HUSH Hat and why I think every new parent should own one later on in this post, but before we get to that, I want to share 8 of my best baby sleep tips for new moms.
8 Baby Sleep Tips All Moms Should Know
Use a swaddle. Swaddling helps mimic the feeling of the womb, which will not only help your baby feel safe and secure, but will also enable her to stay asleep when something startles her. While there are heaps of helpful YouTube tutorials that will teach you how to swaddle your baby with a basic receiving blanket, I was never (ever) able to master the art of swaddling and ended up experimenting with a few different ready-made swaddle blankets designed specifically to keep babies snug. I eventually found something that worked, and my daughter immediately started to sleep for longer stretches both during the day and at night. Remember that your baby should be able to flex her hips and breathe comfortably while swaddled, and that you should stop swaddling altogether once your baby can roll over.
Help your baby distinguish days from nights. When you first bring your baby home from the hospital, it’s quite likely she’ll have her days and nights confused. You may find she spends most of her days sleeping, and is awake a lot more in the middle of the night, which can feel extremely overwhelming to first-time parents. If this sounds like your baby, remember to:
- Keep her days bright and her nights dark
- Ensure she is awake for daytime feedings
- Engage in an eat-play-sleep schedule during daytime hours only
- Keep the lights low during nighttime feeds and avoid talking, singing, etc.
Visit your pediatrician. If your baby is extremely fussy and/or not sleeping despite having her basic needs met (i.e. she’s fed, dry, and isn’t showing signs of an obvious illness), being swaddled, and figuring out her days from her nights, a trip to her pediatrician is in order. While her fussiness is likely due to her being a typical, colicky newborn, it’s always better to err on the side of caution.
Create an age-appropriate schedule. There is a lot of literature out there regarding how to get your baby on a regular sleep-wake routine, and my biggest advice to you is to take it all with a grain of salt. Most babies aren’t able to follow a by-the-clock schedule until the 6-month mark, and every child develops at her own pace. Some babies sleep like rock stars right from the beginning, whereas other babies nap well but are horrible nighttime sleepers (or vice versa). Try not to get too caught up on following a strict schedule, and use the following as a guideline to help you (eventually) reach a more predictable routine.
- 0-3 months: Again, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to get your baby on a predictable routine before the 6-month mark, but the first 3 months of her life are an excellent time to start working on her self-soothing skills. Try putting her down for her naps and at bedtime while she is drowsy but still awake so she can learn how to fall asleep – and stay asleep – without any assistance from you.
- 4 months: Getting your baby on a by-the-clock schedule is still unlikely at this age, but you can get her on an eat-play-sleep schedule during the day to help keep her awake for longer stretches of time and get her body used to a more predictable routine. At 4 months, your baby will still be taking 4 naps per day, and her schedule may look something like this:
7:00 am: wake-up
8:30 am: nap 1
11:30 am: nap 2
2:00 pm: nap 3
4:30 pm: nap 4
7:00 pm: bed
- 5-7 months: At 5 months, you want to start trying to extend your baby’s awake time to help you move towards a more defined schedule. At this age, your baby will likely be down to 3 naps per day, and her schedule may look something like this:
7:00 am: wake-up
9:00 am: nap 1
12:30 pm: nap 2
4:00 pm: nap 3
7:00 pm: bed
- 8-12 months: While you and your child are likely on some sort of schedule by this age, keep in mind that a sleep regression typically occurs around this time and your baby will probably drop down to only 2 naps per day. At 8 months, your baby’s schedule may look something like this:
7:00 am: wake-up
9:30 am: nap 1
2:00 pm: nap 2
7:00 pm: bed
Stick to a regular bedtime (and naptime) routine. Babies and children thrive on consistency and routine, and the sooner you establish (and maintain) a routine before naps and at bedtime, the better. Your baby will learn to associate certain activities (getting into her pajamas, reading books, singing certain songs, etc.) with sleep, which will help her body prepare itself to wind down and snooze.
I have learned a lot about bedtime routines throughout my daughter’s life, and my biggest advice when it comes to creating a schedule is to keep it relatively short so you can keep it up long-term, and to avoid any activities that might overstimulate your child. For example, I used to give my daughter a bath before bedtime as that’s what my mother did with me, but as she got older and our stash of bath toys grew, I soon found nightly baths actually started to interfere with our nighttime routine. Not only did baths draw the process out by an extra 15-20 minutes, making bedtime too late, but splashing around in the tub often energized my daughter, making it more difficult to settle her down for the night. My advice is to stick to books, singing, and snuggles instead!
Avoid sleep associations and teach self-soothing. If I could go back in time and give myself one piece of advice during those first few, sleep-deprived months of motherhood, it would be to listen to all of the well-intentioned women who told me to stop nursing my daughter to sleep. As she was a very colicky baby and nursing was one of the only things that soothed her, I spent most of my days and nights with one of my boobs in her mouth, and I didn’t realize what a mistake I’d made until it was too late. It took me months and months to break the habit, and since my daughter associated nursing with sleeping, she relied on me to help her get back to sleep every single time she woke up at night (spoiler alert: she woke up a lot during the night). Make sure to put your baby into her crib drowsy but awake at naps and bedtime so she not only learns how to fall asleep on her own, but can also put herself back to sleep when she wakes up at night.
Remember that ‘sleep begets sleep’. Contrary to popular belief, keeping a baby awake later will NOT lead to a later wake-up time the following morning. Trust me, I know this for a fact! My daughter is 7-years-old and still wakes up extra early the morning following a later than usual bedtime. There are a lot of helpful sleep articles written about the effects of overtiredness on earlier wake-up times, and while I realize it sounds counterintuitive, well-rested babies and children really do sleep better overall. If you find your baby is waking up extra early, trying putting her to bed 30-60 minutes earlier to see what happens. You may be pleasantly surprised!
Block out distracting noises. While some children can sleep through virtually anything without waking up, others aren’t as lucky. I remember my daughter being a very light sleeper during the baby and toddler years, which left me in a tough spot. I didn’t want to put life on hold and tip-toe around during naps and at night, nor did I want to create a sleep association whereby my child needs it to be 100% quiet in order for her to sleep, but sometimes you’ve just got to do what works.
For us, this unfortunately meant enforcing ‘quiet time’ during naps and after 7 pm. We lived in a small condo until our daughter was 4, which made things even more challenging, and when I think back to all of the ridiculous things we did to try and keep things as quiet as possible while our sweet girl was sleeping, I don’t know whether to laugh or cry!
The good news is that a lot has changed since those days, and if you’re the mom of a baby who struggles to fall asleep – and stay asleep – the HUSH Hat will literally change your life.
Whether your child struggles with sleep due to the sounds of her older siblings playing, the incessant barking of your neighbor’s dog, or other unexpected noises like doorbells, construction, and Fourth of July fireworks (GAH!!!!), the HUSH Hat will:
- absorb high decibel noises
- mimic how your child perceived sounds while she was in the womb
- protect her developing hearing from the dangerous effects of loud noise levels
This will allow you and your baby to enjoy the benefits of longer naps and provide you with more freedom while your child is sleeping. Not only can you carry out household tasks without worrying your baby will wake up, but you can also enjoy the benefits of stroller naps on beautiful weather days without everyday sounds like traffic, sirens, and chatty neighbors waking her up.
What is HUSH Hat?
Developed Jaycee – the mom of a little girl who struggled to fall asleep and stay asleep – the HUSH Hat is the world’s FIRST sound-absorbing hat for babies. It is specifically designed to capture and soften sounds that are damaging to a baby’s sensitive ears to increase feelings of comfort and safety, and has the added benefit of leading to longer naps and a happier wake time for the entire family.
Who is HUSH Hat for?
The HUSH Hat can be used right from birth until 10+ months. It is designed to absorb and soften noise to help babies sleep more peacefully both at home and while on the go, and has the added benefit of protecting developing ears from harmful everyday noises, making it the perfect protective hat for all babies.
How does HUSH Hat improve baby sleep?
Crafted with specialized sound-absorbing foam and ultra-soft materials, the HUSH Hat absorbs high decibel noises like vacuum cleaners, city street traffic, restaurant noises, etc. Rather than completely blocking noises, the HUSH Hat simple softens them, mimicking how babies perceive sounds in the womb. By ensuring your baby’s noise levels are safe and consistent, the HUSH Hat will help her sleep more soundly – some parents have even reported their child’s naptime has doubled or even tripled!
How does HUSH Hat protect a baby’s hearing?
Sounds that are 75 decibels and above have been shown to be dangerous and damaging to a baby’s developing ears. With it’s patent-pending design, the HUSH Hat filters out noise levels that are dangerous to your baby’s hearing and softens them so they are more manageable, making it the perfect baby accessory for noisy outings.
Why I recommend HUSH Hat to new moms
As a well-seasoned mom to a child who was a very fussy baby, I wish the HUSH Hat had been available to me during my first, sleep-deprived year as a mom. Sleep was extremely challenging for us, and it often felt like I had to jump through hoops to get the setting just right for my daughter to fall (and stay) asleep, and even on the days when all the planets aligned, it often felt like something completely out of my control – a neighbor knocking on our door, a barking dog, or unforeseen construction noises – would wake her up prematurely from her naps.
It was extremely frustrating!
And since I learned very early on that the quality of my daughter’s naps had a huge impact on her nighttime sleep, I was extremely motivated to go above and beyond to ensure everything was just right. A short or missed nap could throw her sleep schedule off for days on end, and since my ability to cope with life as a first-time mom was directly tied to how much sleep I was getting, I really wish the HUSH Hat had been available to me as I know it would’ve made a huge difference in our lives.
Here’s what I love most about the HUSH Hat:
- It mimics how babies perceive sound in the womb
- It’s super soft and comfortable for baby to wear
- It’s not habit-forming since it softens rather than blocks noise
- It allows new moms more freedom as they can run errands while their babies snooze in their car seat/stroller without fearing outdoor noises will wake them up
- It protects developing ears from high-decibel noises babies are exposed to each day
- The designs are soooooo cute!
You’ve convinced me – where can I buy a HUSH Hat?!
HUSH Hat is available for purchase at Walmart and on Amazon and Buy Buy Baby, and on the HUSH Hat website. CLICK HERE to start shopping! With so many adorable designs to choose from, you’ll probably want one for every occasion!
If I can leave you with one more piece of advice as you navigate your first year of motherhood, it’s this: believe in yourself. Your journey as a mom is yours and yours alone. There is no ‘right’ way to parent your child, and while there will be times it feels completely exhausting and overwhelming, have faith in yourself. You will figure it out, and even on the days you feel like you’re screwing it all up and doing it all wrong, I guarantee you’re not. Why? Because all your baby needs is YOU.
I hope these baby sleep tips for new moms prove helpful to you.
This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.
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