A night and day difference
The sun is an underutilized resource for free sleep learning at any age. The sun holds great powers when it comes to sleepiness levels. The sun guides your body and also your baby’s body to help understand what time of day it is and gives you cortisol for daytime energy or melatonin for night time sleepiness. Sunshine has also been proven to improve mental health and can lower risks for postnatal depression. That’s a win for the whole family! Of course you should always be mindful of unsafe exposure to the sun. Apply some sunscreen, put on a cute baby hat, and venture outside for a mood boosting adventure.
Wake up to the sun
Open your blinds to let sunlight in first thing in the morning. This helps you produce melatonin, your natural sleep hormone, earlier in the day so you and baby are perfectly sleepy for bedtime. It also helps your body to produce higher levels of cortisol, your body’s stress hormone, to wake you up and help you tackle your day. Opening the blinds to naturally wake your baby at their designated wake time is a great way to gently wake them for the day. Their body will recognize the sun and may even wake them up before you do.
Nap to light
Nap time should look different from bedtime. Your baby should nap in the same room with you lit with natural light, or nap with you while on the go. Trust that your baby’s body will let them know when they need to rest and catch up.
Black out the sun
It’s 7 p.m. and you‘ve started your nightly bedtime routine. Step one is closing the blinds and blocking the sunlight as much as possible. After bath time, dim the lights and make the room even darker. Lay your little one down in their crib with all lights turned off. Make sure your baby monitor or white noise machine doesn’t have bright or flickering lights as they can be an unwanted stimulation.