We love our babies, but we’d all like them to sleep a little longer. And while there really is no way of guaranteeing a longer nap for junior (after all, babies tend to sleep and wake up when they’re ready to), there are some things we can do to make the environment more conducive to baby sleep.
Let’s start with the temperature. An ideal sleeping temperature for babies is about 70 degrees Fahrenheit. 70 is high enough to avoid being chilly without making the room overly warm and stuffy.
Next, let’s talk about the humidity in baby’s room. Most of you probably haven’t though about addressing the humidity in your house. Many of you probably didn’t even know it was possible. The ideal relative humidity for baby’s room is around 50%. The relative humidity can easily be measured with a device called a hygrometer (also called a humidity sensor). These are readily available online or in stores, and cost between $15 and $30 in most cases.
If there isn’t enough relative humidity in baby’s room (this is a common problem in homes with central heat), you can use a vaporizer. In addition to adding moisture to the air in baby’s room, it will add an element of white noise that can help soothe baby to sleep.
If baby’s room is too humid (relative humidity significantly above 50) you may consider using a dehumidifier. These machines are a bit pricier than humidifiers, and are used to take moisture out of the air. You should consider using a dehumidifier if the relative humidity in baby’s room is above 55 because high relative humidity fosters mold, fungi, viruses, dust mites, and other microbial irritants.
When it comes to noise, it’s best to keep things at a median level. If things are too quiet, it can actually make it harder for babies to fall asleep. After all, babies are accustomed to a certain amount of noise from the time they are inside their mothers’ wombs. Allowing things to get too noisy, on the other hand, obviously isn’t conducive to anyone sleeping.
Keeping things at a level, warm temperature, with the relative humidity where it should be and reasonable noise levels doesn’t guarantee that your baby will fall asleep quickly, but it does provide an environment where she can fall asleep better and stay sleeping longer.