There’s nothing quite like baby’s favorite blanket to help her snuggle in and head off to dreamland. The security blanket is so much a part of childhood that it’s almost cliché, but the truth is that comfort items, like a favorite blanket, can help your baby get to sleep faster and stay asleep longer.
For a baby, everything is new and fascinating. And we all enjoy watching as our these tiny people explore everything around them. Every new sight, every new sound, every new scent is like an adventure. And most babies love experiencing new things as much as we enjoy watching them. However, when it’s time for baby to go to sleep, it isn’t something new and exciting she craves, but something warm and familiar.
Babies thrive on routine, and using the same blanket for bedtime can help create a peaceful, familiar experience for her when she’s tired. She will get used to not only the sight, but also the texture and the smell of her favorite blanket. While this alone won’t put a baby to sleep, using a familiar blanket every time you put her down for a nap or for bed time slowly helps her to associate the blanket with relaxing and going to sleep.
When baby is less than three months old, swaddle him in the blanket, making sure that it is snug enough so that arms can’t get out. This simulates the security inside the womb for a new baby and helps him to rest. As baby gets older, you may want to swaddle him more loosely, or simply cover him up with the blanket. Try it both ways, and you’ll soon be able to figure out which way baby prefers.
Not only will using the same blanket help your baby to fall asleep, but it can also help her stay asleep longer. Babies, like adults, go through light and heavy sleep cycles. During light sleep cycles, which occur about once an hour for babies, we are much closer to waking. During these light sleep cycles, having something familiar like a favorite blanket’s texture and smell can help baby relax herself back to sleep.