We all know that newborns can sleep a lot, and usually not when we want them to. It takes helping your clients create good habits that they can continue to use when you leave. One of the things that you can teach them about is how light affects sleep.

When there is a lack of light it signals our brains to go to sleep. When light comes on it signals our brains to wake up. Pretty straightforward, right? Where it gets tricky is when you have a newborn and not only want them to learn to sleep through the night, but also take efficient naps during the day. Here are some tips to help teach your clients:

Put black out shades in the rooms the newborn will be sleeping in most often. Do what you can to make a room during the day look as dark as a room during the night. This will also help when the sun is up before you want the newborn to be up.

When needing to move around during night wakings be sure to have limited light. Turning on lights in the room will just signal the newborn to be awake and will end up having a harder time going back to sleep. It also makes it harder for your clients to fall back asleep and get adequate rest in between feedings.

The best type of light to use is a night light with a red bulb. Red is a long wavelength light that is less disruptive on sleep. So use this type of light during the night.

If you need a brighter light. put a brighter night light further away like out in the hallway. This will help so the newborn doesn’t have the light directly in their eyes.

About an hour before you want the newborn to go to sleep at night, dim the lights around him or her. This will help to start the signal that it will be time to rest soon. Adding this as part of the night time routine will help create good sleep time habits.

Other types of lights that can interrupt newborn sleep is the television, phone screen or tablets and computers. When trying to create a good sleep environment, try to limit these where the newborn will be sleeping.

As a Newborn Care Specialist, educating your clients on how light affects sleep is just an added component to your job. These are all great tips that can be implemented from the start and carried on as the child gets older to keep great sleep habits consistent!