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4 Key Factors in Any Fantastic Baby Sleep Routine

"What should be done eventually, must be done immediately.”

This quote is from a college athletics administrator about why he was firing a football coach, but I think it’s got a lot of appeal outside of the sports world - especially when it comes to babies! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard parents tell me, “I just don’t think he’s ready for sleep training yet…” or, “I know it’s a bad habit, but it’s working for the time being. I’ll wean him off it soon...

Sleep deprivation is tough but procrastinating a healthy sleep routine is ultimately kicking the can down the road.

I’m not trying to say to anyone that they are doing anything wrong doing what they feel they have to temporarily keep the peace in their family; I am just as guilty as anyone of putting band-aids on things in order to hold the fort until I could deal with the bigger issue! After all, how could we ever cope as mothers if we had to deal with every issue the moment it came up?

But today I wanted to share my 4 tips to get started with healthy sleeping skills.

1. Hello, darkness, my old friend 🌛

Light, natural or artificial, sends a message to our brains that it’s daytime and not time to sleep. Melatonin production is triggered by darkness, so start turning down the lights an hour before you plan to put baby down. This includes electronic screens, which emit a blue light that is particularly inimical to baby’s shut-down process – get into the habit of switching to dark mode if there is anything on your phone that’s essential to use, such as Onoco or a white noise app. For babies who wake up early, it could be worth investing in some blackout blinds. You can get a good set for under $30, and I’ve had many parents tell me it’s the best money they ever spent.

Darkness is your all-time friend to get those long stretches during the day, and night and also prevent early morning wakings.

2. Turn down the heat! 🌡️

New parents can be understandable obsessive over their babies’ comfort and making sure they’re warm enough but it is possible to overdo it! Babies, like their grownup counterparts, sleep best when they’re warm and snuggly inside a cool environment. A warm nighttime onesie and a cool nursery somewhere around 65°F & 70°F (18°C – 21°C) is the best way to ensure that baby remains comfortable through the night.

3. Keep it boring 🤫

I know we all love the look of a cute, elegant mobile over the top of our baby’s crib or the sounds of the little faux aquarium with the little plastic light-up fish, but they can be a real source of fascination for your little one. This is great for during the day, but not quite what we want during nap time! To a baby, they can be the equivalent of a big-budget action movie, so keep visual stimulation away from the crib. A white noise machine can help to block out any outside noise that might jar baby into waking up and a yellow night light can keep toddlers from getting spooked by the darkness, but other than that, the more boring your child’s bedroom is, the better they’ll sleep.

4. Be predictable 📆

A well-planned, consistent bedtime routine is conducive to a good night’s sleep, no matter what your age, but particularly with babies. Once their bodies and brains start to recognize the signals that indicate an upcoming bedtime, they will start preparing to pack it in for the evening as soon as that first step begins. Their energy levels will start to wind down, melatonin production will kick in, and muscles will start to relax, so by the time you’re giving them a goodnight kiss, their system should be all set for a long, restorative sleep. Onoco makes it incredibly easy to stay on top of your baby's sleep routine, as well as notice when changes - and those common regressions! - are taking place thanks to pattern charts and insights, plus the routine manager available with Onoco Premium.

Teaching your child great sleep skills isn’t a one-night operation. It takes some time, a lot of repetition, and plenty of discipline and diligence from your side, but by introducing these simple tips you and your little should be well on the way to getting a few more hours of shut eye.


This is a guest blog for Onoco from Kiddo Sleep Factor. Just visit their website to book a free 20-minute sleep evaluation call, or email them at

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