Your Baby’s sleep during the Covid-19 pandemic

Closeup portrait of a sleeping baby girl

There is so much uncertainty surrounding Covid-19 and what our future may look like. Especially now, as we have been asked to physically distance ourselves from others around us and we are almost being entirely confined to our homes.

Baby Sleep Consultants are still working during Covid-19. In fact, we are all very busy as families struggle with being at home, working and entertaining the kids, life can be very hectic and unpredictable. The extra work load within the home and lack of support from family and friends has left many parents vulnerable to increased risks of postpartum depression and anxiety.

I am sure you have had plenty of family time in the past two months with lack of outings and activities and the stress of being stuck inside, our daily schedules have been thrown out the window while we are juggling working from home and entertaining the kids.

Your babies and toddlers need fresh air and sunshine and to burn off that excess energy so they are not wide-eyed at bedtime. The increased use of screens with distance learning and occupying their day, is totally understandable, but can interfere with sleep. Screens give a blue light, which can suppress the release of melatonin, a hormone, when released assists with sleep.

Many babies and toddlers are experiencing sleep regressions during this time. This unpredictable time is even more challenging when you have a baby or toddler who is;
• waking frequently at night
• experiencing a sleep regression
• will only sleep in your arms
• having short cat naps
• early morning wake ups
• getting out of bed
Adequate sleep is linked to all the things we need right now – boosted immune systems, greater attention spans, stronger emotional regulation, and much more.
You can tackle both – sleep and the uncertainty your child is facing – helping your entire family get the sleep you all need!
Prioritise outdoor activity
The benefits of outdoor activity are endless for our children’s from health, creativity, and social interaction, physical and mental well-being. When it comes to sleep it gives them the boost of sunshine they need. The brain tunes its “inner clock” using light cues, so going outdoors can help children maintain healthy sleep rhythms. They burn off excess energy to ensure they are adequately tired before bed time.

Maintain consistent nap routine
Sticking to a consistent nap schedule is very important. Though it might be tempting to move naps around to accommodate your zoom calls, try not to get too far off the regular schedule. Provided you have age appropriate awake times and encourage a longer nap in the middle of the day, this also gives you the break you need and ensures your baby is well rested and happy.

Early Bed Time Advantages
The best time for all children and toddlers to go to bed is between 6-7pm. An early bedtime can mean much more restful sleep for your child, and it is often much easier to implement than parents think. Here are the benefits of an early bedtime for your children.
• Quicker to fall sleep
• Less resistance at bedtime
• Less bedtime battles
• Quality family time before bed
• Less early morning wake ups
• More overall sleep time
• A healthier happier child
• More quality time for parents

Most importantly be kind to yourself and other around you.
For more information, check out the Sleep During the COVID-19 Pandemic resources;
Sleep for parents and their babies
Children’s sleep during the COVID-19 pandemic – Tips for parents
Tips to support better sleep and daytime functioning