Sleep is not just developmental, it is also influenced by the environment. There are some lovely, natural ways we can help promote sleep for babies, toddlers, and children.
Sensory Input (colour change):
Babies thrive on sensory experiences. Adequate stimulating activities during the day, can further promote night sleep. During wake time many babies love to watch lights changing colour. This can be a visually stimulating experience for them.
The Crane Humidifier contains a feature which allows for smooth colour change, creating a visually sensory experience. Toddlers and older children can use the same feature to learn or practice their colours.
White noise can be a useful tool to support sleep. It may support sleep by blocking out environmental sounds which may promote waking; by recreating comforting sounds similar to that in the womb. This can act as a sleep cue, helping a child associate the familiar noise with the onset of sleep.
However, not all white noise is equal. In order to promote sleep, the noise should run continuously rather than be motion or sound-sensitive. Children like to fall asleep in the same environment for all sleep, including in the middle of the night during all sleep cycles. If they fall asleep to white noise and it is not available when they wake at night, it could make it more difficult to return the sleep.
White noise should not be too loud. Ideally, it should be played around 60 decibels. It can be used throughout sleep but should be switched off during wake times to ensure children hear a range of sounds as required for language development.
The Crane Humidifier has the added feature of white noise, which can be set to run continuously.
Restricting light at night:
The sleep hormone, melatonin, helps to prepare the body for sleep. It is light-sensitive and its production is promoted in a dark atmosphere.
However, there are times when a light can be useful – for example, night feeds and for toddlers who are afraid of the dark. Babies do not tend to be afraid of the dark – the womb is dark. But around 2 years old, many children experience the development of imagination and with this, can come fears. Some children may become afraid of the dark and find comfort in a night light.
Research suggests that a red-based light is less disruptive to melatonin production than its white or blue counterparts. For this reason, we recommend that if you need a light for night feeds, or for toddlers who are afraid of the dark, that you use one with a red base.
The Crane Humidifier has a colour changing light feature that can be set to red during this time.
Babies who were massaged for 15 minutes per day were found to fall asleep faster than those who were not. It can promote more organised and longer periods of sleep. Baby massage can be an excellent addition to a cool mist humidifier, particularly before sleep, whilst using the warm glow of red light – a feature of the Crane Humidifier.
Certain essential oils can promote sleep. Studies suggest that lavender oil can help to reduce sleep disturbances in infants at the start of sleep, by maintaining sleep and whilst transitioning between sleep cycles. Studies also suggest that those who had been bathed in lavender cried less and spent more time in a deeper sleep.
Essential oils can be added directly to the Crane Humidifier.