Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Sleep cycle awareness {Sleep Tip of the Month}

If it's on at bedtime, it stays on all night long.

This goes for anything that makes noise or emits light (think: Twilight Turtle, white noise machines, fans, humidifiers...).

Your baby's sleep cycles are anywhere from 30-60 minutes long. Between each sleep cycle they come to an almost awake state. If they fell asleep to a CD playing music or a nightlight on in their room, and it's not on when they wake up in the night, it can be disorienting or even scary for some kids.  This could be the cause of middle of the night cries or calls for mom or dad to come and help soothe them back to sleep.

Most parents out there are familiar with the 'Sleep Sheep' and other products in that line... Cute and well-intentioned as they may be, they can actually wake kids up! The soothing white noise or heartbeat sound it plays turns OFF after just 45 minutes (the average length of a sleep cycle!) which does not help your child push through to the next sleep cycle.

Jeff and I have been using this white noise machine in our room forever.  Jeff has had it since living at his parents' house!  It stays on all night long and blocks out most noises.  We ended up buying one for Leila's room and gifted one to my sister for her new baby.  
We are guilty of using some of the sleep aids Lauren discussed (CD and Cloud B Twilight Ladybug), but luckily they don't interrupt Leila's well-established sleep. 

While we were using the  'Sleep Sheep' when she was a baby, I do remember it causing issues!  Just like Lauren said, when it turned off, Leila woke up.  I plan on using it for Carson only for the stroller and car when another cycle of sleep isn't necessary!

What do you use to help put your child to sleep?  Could it be interfering with their nighttime sleep?


Lauren is a certified sleep coach and DONA trained postpartum doula.  Her passion for helping tired parents began when her own newborn daughter's constant crying and terrible sleep habits finally got the best of her. Visit her blog and Facebook page for more information.

Check out Lauren's other featured posts on Leilaland:

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