High quality sleep is one of the most important pillars for health and wellbeing. Concerns about sleep are some of the most common that parents express during well visits. Starting good sleep habits can start early and there is a lot of conflicting information out there.
Marsha’s favorite sleep book is Sleep, Play, Love (How to love and play your way to better sleep for babies, toddlers, preschoolers and parents) by Sophie Acott. This is a book that can guide you through your child’s sleep stages throughout the first several years of life. Part of the reason she loves it so much is because it also incorporates a connected, conscious parenting approach. It also helps parents work through their own reaction to their babies crying. We also love that the book is broken up into sections. Because you are using this book early and may prevent many sleep issues, we recommend you begin reading at p. 147, which discusses age-appropriate sleep. If you have already identified issues with sleep, you can skip directly to that part.
Sleep routines can be very helpful to establishing good sleep hygiene and habits. You can start early with this, but it will evolve over time and the routine should not be rigid. This article shares some ideas for setting up a sleep routine.
It is important to continue providing a safe sleep environment for your baby. Your baby should be placed on his/her back wearing a sleep sack in crib or bassinet. Discontinue swaddling with a blanket as your baby is beginning to roll.