Ideal Environment When Babies Sleep Through the Night

sleep through the night

A newborn baby can sleep almost anywhere but sleeping close to his mother is always best during the early months.   I would like to talk about what the ideal sleeping environment is for babies when they are ready to sleep through the night around 4 ½ to 6 months old and beyond.

It is very important to keep baby’s sleeping room very dark.  If you want a night-light in your baby’s room, use a red bulb. Red light waves do not interfere with the production of the hormone melatonin, which is the hormone that promotes sleep. Any other light in the room will seriously interfere with melatonin production.  That is why you see red digits on many of the alarm clocks in the stores as some adults have trouble with melatonin production.

Also for daytime sleeping and during daylight saving’s time when it doesn’t get dark till 8 or 9pm we suggest having black out drapes.  This can definitely help with extending naps.

White noise is another tool most of us are familiar with but is also recommended.  White noise helps distract a baby’s busy mind so that he can focus on sleeping. Babies wake up every 45 minutes or 90 minutes because of their pronounced BRAC sleep cycles. For more information on BRAC sleep cycles read

We want to ensure that no sound distracts him from the business of going back to sleep. Also it has a hypnotic effect that helps relax him and allows him to sleep through the night.  Music is good for before bedtime but not during sleep.

No stimulation if you have to go in to comfort him during the night, it is essential that you do nothing that will stimulate him. This means you put him in overnight diapers so that once he goes down for the night you will not change his diaper (unless he poops, in which case do it quickly and as much in darkness as you can manage). You won’t turn on a light during a feeding, or talk to him or do anything with him other than soothe him.  There should be no toys, mobiles or lighted moving things that will distract him in any way from the business at hand: sleep.

Make sure the crib is nice and cozy.  I recommend having extra soft sheets like flannel or chenille or jersey knit (like soft t- shirt fabric).  Also a padded mattress pad or cover that will fit under the sheets.  Crib mattresses can be very firm.  He must sleep in warm pajamas or a blanket sleeper so there are no blankets or covers in his bed.  A sleep sack is also another option.

Parents should create a quiet and low key bedtime routine so there is time for baby or toddler to wind down and become sleepy.  Be consistent in your actions and routine and baby will learn that night time is for sleeping so he can learn to sleep through the night.

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