There are two extremes opinions when it comes to what baby needs to sleep well: those who want everything quiet and those who think making noise is not only okay, but good because baby’s will learn to sleep through anything.
But the truth is somewhere in the middle (isn’t it always?).
How Quiet Does It Need To Be For My Baby To Sleep Well?
So how quiet does it need to be?
The answer is as quiet as you can make it and still live life. Obviously you can’t shut off the traffic outside and the hum of the radio a few rooms away at a moderate level shouldn’t be too disturbing.
But having a conversation in the hallway outside her bedroom at normal volume? Maybe avoid that. And turn off the ringer if there’s a phone in her room, too.
Simply put, give your napping the baby the same respect you would want if you were tired and actually got to take a nap.
The Down Side Of Too Quiet
There is something to the belief that baby’s will adjust to noise levels. While the hum of steady traffic outside isn’t going to wake him because he’s used it, an ambulance siren likely will. It’s a disturbance.
In the same way, if you stop all life and noise at nap times, then small noises that he might otherwise be able to sleep through because they are commonplace will become disturbances that cause waking needlessly.
The Myth Of Light Sleepers
Some parents will say they have light sleepers who awake at the slightest change.
That is more likely to be a case of a baby who has been tricked to sleep, than a baby who has a sleep wise experience and solid bedtime routine.
What do I mean by “tricked to sleep?” Simply that they’ve been lulled to sleep through rocking or walking or nursing, and a change in environment (such as from your warm arms to a cool crib) will jar them awake. It’s not a creak in the floor or the sound of the door closing that woke them up all.
This isn’t light sleeping; it’s bad sleep habits.
Similarly, if they are jarred awake in their crib because of a loud noise and they fell asleep in your arms, it will be disorienting at the least and confusingly scary at the worst. Can you imagine waking up in a different spot than you fell asleep? I bet you wouldn’t be a big fan, either.
Juggling Outside Opinions
The hardest part can be handling the well intentioned comments, advice, and (let’s face it) judgment of family and friends. They love you, they adore your new baby, and they want the best from you.
So they shower you with their thoughts on the ideal sleep environment or your baby and share their strong feelings of support or your need to change how you do things.
How do you stand firm and do what you know is best for your baby?
It’s not that hard when you’ve carefully made sleep wise decisions that you know are the best thing for your little one. Respond with a smile and just them see how your gentle rhythms and sleep routines are giving you a happy child who doesn’t suffer from being exhausted.
What Really Matters Most
More important than the noise levels in your home or your surrounding environment is teaching your child healthy sleep habits.
Once you teach your baby how to fall asleep, even when they are jolted awake they’ll be able to settle again. These sleep habits aren’t just making for an easier bedtime and more rest for a tired parent; they are equipping them to live well rested lives.
Healthy, wise sleep habits turn “light sleepers” into well rested babies who know how to enter deep sleep…and return to it if they are awakened too soon.