Parenthood is a beautiful journey filled with precious moments, and one of the most significant challenges parents face is ensuring their baby gets the sleep they need. Sleep is essential for a baby’s growth, development, and overall well-being. To help you navigate this crucial aspect of parenting, we’ve enlisted the expertise of Ashley Crago, APRN. Seasoned in pediatric care, Ashley has a wealth of knowledge in sleep health for babies and children.
Ashley Crago, APRN, with CMC Pediatrics in Carolina Forest has years of experience working with families and their little ones. Ashley understands the intricacies of baby sleep and has helped countless parents establish healthy sleep routines. Her insights and tips are a guiding light for parents looking to make the sleep journey smoother for their babies.
7 Ways to Create Good Sleep Habits for Baby
- Create a Consistent Sleep Routine: Ashley emphasizes the importance of consistency when it comes to baby sleep. “Establishing a predictable sleep routine helps signal to your baby that it’s time to wind down,” says Ashley. “This might involve activities like a warm bath, reading a soothing bedtime story, or gentle rocking. Consistency can help your baby’s internal clock develop, making it easier for them to fall asleep and stay asleep.”
- Pay Attention to Sleep Cues: Babies have their ways of communicating their tiredness. Try to familiarize yourself with your baby’s cues and try to be attuned to those,” Ashley advises parents. “Some of those cues might be yawning, rubbing their eyes, or becoming fussy. By recognizing these signs, you can put your baby down to sleep before they become overtired, making the transition to sleep a lot smoother.”
- Create a Comfortable and Safe Sleep Environment: Creating the right sleep environment is crucial for your baby’s sleep success. Ashley suggests ensuring the room is cool, dark, and quiet. “A white noise machine can help drown out any external disturbances and make a world of difference in your baby’s sleep,” recommends Ashley. “You also want to make sure the crib is free from loose blankets, toys, or pillows to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Safe sleep is comfortable sleep. If you are worried about your baby getting cold, dress them in layers of clothing instead of adding blankets.”
- Mind the Feeding Schedule: Newborns often wake up to feed during the night. Ashley advises parents to be mindful of their baby’s feeding schedule during the day, as this can impact nighttime sleep. “Ensuring that your baby is well-fed and comfortable before bedtime can lead to longer stretches of sleep.”
- Encourage Self-Soothing: Teaching your baby to self-soothe is a skill that can benefit them in the long run. “Putting your baby down while they are drowsy but still awake is a way that you can start encouraging self-soothing,” Ashley reveals. “This helps them learn how to fall asleep independently, reducing dependency on external sleep aids.”
- Be Patient with Sleep Training: “Sleep training is a process that requires patience and understanding,” Ashley shares. “Every baby is unique, and what works for one might not work for another.” She recommends researching different sleep training methods and finding one that aligns with your parenting style and your baby’s temperament.
- Seek Support and Guidance: If you find yourself struggling with your baby’s sleep patterns, Ashley encourages seeking support from a pediatric professional like herself. At CMC Pediatrics, our experts can provide personalized guidance tailored to your baby’s needs.
When To Call Your Pediatrician
Ashley’s invaluable tips will help guide you toward creating healthy sleep habits for your little ones. Remember, establishing a consistent sleep routine, recognizing sleep cues, and maintaining a comfortable yet safe sleep environment are key factors in helping your baby get the sleep they need.
With Ashley’s expert advice, you’re well-equipped to embark on a successful baby sleep journey. However, should you run into any difficulties getting your baby to sleep, Ashley Crago, APRN and the pediatric team at CMC Pediatrics at Carolina Forest is here to help you along the way.
Ashley Crago, APRN is a pediatric provider who cares for children of all ages from newborns to teens. She performs pediatric health care maintenance, including well child exams, developmental screenings, and in-depth physical assessments, such as vision, hearing and dental. Ashley also diagnoses and treats common childhood illnesses such as allergies, ear and respiratory infections, and skin conditions including acne. She provides parents advice on common child health concerns, including nutrition, obesity and weight management and works with the family on long term planning and goals..