5 Ways to Improve Baby’s Summer Slumber

The temperatures are rising, and summer is officially here. Summer is a great time of the year – being outside, swimming and enjoying more sunshine! But, many parents don’t realize that high temperatures and daylight savings time may pose problems for their baby’s summertime sleep. 

 

Here are a few tips to help keep your baby sleeping well during the summer months:

 

  1. Stick To Your Schedule

These months, we all love fun in the sun. But it’s still important to keep your sleep schedule consistent even in the summer. Vacations can throw everyone off schedule. Try to establish some structure to your days and create a summertime routine that lines up as closely as possible with your regular schedule. Keep wake time, bedtime and nap times the same.

 

  1. Limit Sunlight Close To Bedtime 

The longer hours of light may affect your baby’s sleep patterns. Spend some time inside, out of the sun, before bed. Coming inside and having about 30-minutes of cool, quiet pre-sleep activities will also help your baby to fall asleep easier. Also, consider closing the blinds at least an hour before bedtime, and putting room-darkening shades or curtains in the nursery.  Helps with nap time, too! Doing this will help your baby begin to relax and fall to sleep easier.

 

  1. Keep it Cool

Babies’ bodies do not regulate temperature as well as adults do. Did you know that the optimal temperature for sleep is between 68 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit? During the summer months, many of us have our air conditioners working overtime, but this may not be enough to help encourage sleep. You may want to keep the shades in the room drawn during hot days to reduce room temperature. Using a fan inside the room before bedtime will help cool it down.

 

  1. Limit Pajamas  

Dress baby in minimal clothing for sleep during the summer. Try a tee shirt or short sleeve onesie, or even just a diaper for your baby if it’s really hot. Switch to a lightweight cotton swaddle blanket or cotton jersey sleep sack. As always, no bumpers, blankets, stuffed animals, etc. in the crib. Not only are they unsafe, they can be stifling when temperatures are high.

 

  1. Use a Firm Mattress

To keep your baby’s crib cool from underside, use a firm crib mattress covered with a high-quality, fitted and waterproof mattress cover. Soft mattresses can increase the chance of suffocation and put your little one at risk. Babies should always sleep on their backs to reduce the risk of SIDS. 

 

As parents, we will do anything to protect and bring comfort to our new bundle of joy. That’s why Colgate Mattress created DREAM SAFE. Through practical tips and expert advice, our goal is to educate and encourage caregivers to adopt lifesaving safe sleep practices. Together, we can ensure both you and baby enjoy sweet dreams.

 

Continue to make safe sleep a priority for your family so everyone can enjoy a wonderful summer!

5 Ways to Be a Happier Parent

As a parent, the day to day responsibilities of life can get in the way of being happy. Taking time to enjoy the moment seemingly becomes less important as you think about the sink full of dishes or the laundry that needs to be washed. It feels like there’s always something that needs to be done and that can distract you from truly being present. 

 

However, over time you’ll realize that most of the things that annoy you as a new parent really don’t matter. You can make a conscious effort to find moments of happiness and let the rest go. 

 

How do you keep joy flowing, even when you’re flat worn out? Here are a few tips to help you find more happiness in your life, and remember, it’s the small things that matter the most.

 

  1. Trust yourself.

Today parents have quick access to enormous amounts of information from experts. This creates an expectation that every problem has a “right” answer. The truth is, even experts struggle with their children. Parenting is not an exact science. Happy parents engage their children based on their experience, judgment and values. They are willing to go against the grain of what everyone else is doing and pursue the long-term gain. They learn to say no when they need to. After mistakes, they regroup and try something else. Use it as an opportunity to model for your child how to fix mistakes.

 

  1. Teach kids to do things for themselves.

People who describe themselves as happier parents typically move from greater involvement when their child is younger to encouraging independence when their child is older. Make parenting an evolution — for example, they wake their child up for school when they are young. When their child is older, they buy them an alarm clock and expect them to get up on their own. If they are a little late for school, so be it. Use this as an opportunity to be a more helpful, calmer version of yourself.

 

  1. Allow your child to experience consequences.

Stop trying to cushion the consequences of our child’s actions. Instead, focus on coaching them through challenges and helping them learn from the experience. It empowers your child and helps you focus on what you can control. Failure, difficulty and obstacles are what create and hone the skills and abilities they need to be successful as adults.

 

  1. Don’t always put your child first.

Happier parents don’t put their child’s everyday needs above their own. When it comes to things like dinner, weekend activities or even vacations, they don’t make their choices solely based on what their child wants. Happy parents have their own preferences, and they prioritize those things. Just because your child wants something, it does not mean you have to drop everything you are doing to make it happen.

 

  1. Look for the joyful moments.

Simply put, try to soak in the good times — like the small, everyday family moments or a beautiful sunset even when the house is a mess. Make it a point to notice the laughter more than the tantrum, and create a familiar path in your mind to focus on the joyful stuff. Stopping to look up is not just a metaphor. When you look up at the horizon, it helps your brain to see the broader picture.

 

Top 6 Newborn Sleep Tips For Your Best Night’s Rest

Of all the skills your baby will learn from you, the first and most important skill you’ll teach your baby is how to sleep. Unfortunately, sleep isn’t a skill babies are actually born with – it must be taught. 

Newborns sleep 16 or more hours a day, but often in stretches of just a few hours at a time. Although the pattern might be erratic at first, a more consistent sleep schedule will emerge as your baby matures and can go longer between feedings.

The first few months of baby’s life is the best time to lay the foundation for healthy sleep habits. This will help them take more consistent naps  – giving you an opportunity to shower, enjoy a cup of coffee or do a little yoga – as well as sleep more soundly at night so you can get your own well-earned shuteye. 

 

Start putting these tips into action right away and they’ll continue paying off for years to come.

 

1) Avoid an overtired state. When babies are awake for too long, they can become overtired. When this happens, the stress hormone cortisol floods their brain and makes it even more difficult for them to fall asleep. To prevent this from happening, offer a nap every 60 to 90 minutes from when your baby last woke up.

2) Swaddle your baby. All babies feel most secure once they’re swaddled. Swaddling helps prevent the Moro reflex from startling them awake. As a result, your baby is better able to stay asleep and connect sleep cycles, leading to longer naps and nighttime sleep. In most cases, if your baby is breaking free from the swaddle it means that the swaddle isn’t snug enough. Read our step-by-step guide on how to safely swaddle your baby

3) Use a firm, flat mattress in a safety-approved crib. A firm sleep surface maintains its shape and will not indent or conform to the shape of the infant’s head when placed on the surface. Soft mattresses can create a pocket (or indentation) and increase the chance of rebreathing or suffocation if the infant is placed in or rolls over to the prone (face down) position. Also, the crib should not have bumper pads.

4) Put baby to bed drowsy, but awake. This will help them associate bed with the process of falling asleep. Remember to place your baby to sleep on his or her back, and clear the crib or bassinet of blankets and other soft, loose items. Babies who sleep on their backs are much less likely to die of SIDS than babies who sleep on their stomachs or sides.

5) Offer a pacifier. If your baby has trouble settling down, a pacifier might do the trick. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that using a pacifier during sleep helps reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). If the pacifier falls out after your baby falls asleep, you don’t have to put it back in.

6) Follow a calming bedtime routine. Overstimulation in the evening can make it difficult for your baby to settle to sleep. Play active games during the day and quiet, peaceful games in the evening, especially toward the end of the routine. Many babies enjoy bathing right before bedtime, which calms them down. Keep activities the same and in the same order, night after night.

The Most Breathable, Safe, Certified Crib Mattress

 

Since 1955, Colgate Mattress®, a third generation, family-owned and operated company, has been committed to serving families as an industry leader in safe sleep by constructing the highest quality products and empowering new parents with knowledge. 

Babies spend up to 70% of their time on the crib mattress. That’s why we carefully handcraft our mattresses to ensure little ones are surrounded by the safest materials that our own kids, grandkids and great-grandkids have slept on. 

Made with the finest materials to give parents peace of mind, the CuddleSnooze™ Collection is quickly becoming a bestseller. The collection includes nine thoughtfully handcrafted breathable foam, innerspring and hybrid mattresses. 

 

The CuddleSnooze™ Foam Superior

This post, we’re highlighting the CuddleSnooze™ Foam Superior, a breathable dual-firmness eco-foam crib mattress with temperature regulation and microbial control. The Foam Superior is designed to gently lull baby into a cozy, sound and restful sleep throughout the infant and toddler years. 

  • The infant side features a firm, high-density EcoFoam™ which provides the proper firmness needed for growth and development. This layer is also coated in a layer of KulKote Copper®  which promotes microbial control and temperature regulation. 
  • The less-firm EcoFoam™ provides the  comfort that toddlers prefer. In keeping safety first, the CuddleSnooze™ Foam Superior is handcrafted with an anti-flammability barrier made with chemical-free cloth and a breathable honeycomb mesh spacer to promote airflow.  
  • All this is wrapped in a velvety organic cotton cover with waterproof-backing on top and bottom to ensure the mattress stays dry and non-waterproofed sides for optimal breathability and air circulation. 
  • Like all Colgate mattresses, the CuddleSnooze™ Foam Superior is GREENGUARD ® Gold certified, CertiPUR-US ® certified, CPSIA compliant, and compliant with all federal and state flammability requirements – without the use of fire retardant chemicals. 

 

Your CuddleSnooze™ Foam Superior is proudly handcrafted by Colgate Mattress, the Crib Mattress Specialist ®, dedicated to baby’s safety since 1955. Colgate Mattress uses independent third-party testing labs to ensure health and safety so parents can rest easy knowing they chose the best growth and development environment for their baby. 

 

Benefits of the CuddleSnooze™ Crib Mattress Options

No matter which versatile CuddleSnooze™ crib mattress you choose, each of the options offer some important benefits that you and your baby will love. First and foremost, every Colgate mattress fits all standard cribs. That takes the guesswork out of sizing. 

Additionally, each mattress is waterproof for easy cleaning – a benefit that every parent can appreciate. When you factor in that these mattresses are breathable and eco-friendly, you can’t go wrong picking CuddleSnooze™ for your baby. 

 

How To Safely Swaddle Baby

Photo credit: Sarah Rodenbush, Colgate Mattress Brand Advocate

For new parents, learning to swaddle a baby can seem like a futile effort when the little tike breaks free in only minutes. While nurses make it look easy having mastered their technique, the key is knowing that swaddling is one of the secrets to a happy, calm baby.   

Swaddling is an ancient method for wrapping newborns in a thin blanket or cloth, which resembles the mother’s womb and helps soothe newborns. Swaddling helps prevent baby from flailing their arms and legs, which can potentially cause them to wake up. A swaddle also keeps baby cozy and warm until they can regulate their internal temperature on their own. 

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says that when done correctly, swaddling can be an effective technique to help calm infants and promote safe sleep. But figuring out how to do it yourself can be a little intimidating, especially when you’re lacking sufficient rest. 

If you plan to swaddle your infant at home, AAP recommends you follow these guidelines to make sure you are doing it safely.

 

Step 1: Find a flat surface.

Spread the blanket out flat in the shape of a diamond, with the top corner folded down. 

 

Step 2: Place baby face-up on the blanket.

Baby’s head should sit above the folded edge of the blanket, and their body should extend straight down toward the bottom corner.

 

Step 3: Straighten baby’s left arm.

Wrap the left corner of the blanket over baby’s body and tuck it between the right arm and the right side of their body. 

 

Step 4: Tuck the right arm down.

Fold the right corner of the blanket over baby’s body and under the left side of their body.

 

Step 5: Secure the blanket.

Loosely twist the bottom of the blanket and tuck it underneath your baby.

 

The swaddle should be snug, but not too tight as babies may develop a problem with their hips.  You should be able to place two to three fingers between your baby’s chest and the blanket, and the blanket should be loose around her hips so she can move her legs freely.

To reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) it’s important to place your baby on their back every time you put them to sleep.

​Parents should stop swaddling as soon as their baby shows any signs of trying to roll over. Many babies start working on rolling at around 2 months of age. 

The Importance of Skin-to-Skin With Baby

Skin-to-skin contact, also called kangaroo care, provides a bundle of benefits for both mother and baby, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). As a new parent, you’re always there to hold baby tight, whether they’re crying or just want to cuddle. Your warm embrace makes them instantly feel better, and we can all agree that there really is no such thing as loving your baby too much.

Further scientific evidence shows that love, attention, and affection in the first years of life have a direct and measurable impact on a child’s physical, mental and emotional growth. Doctors have found that this skin-to-skin contact decreases babies’ dependency on incubators and also reduces mortality rates from 70 percent to 30 percent.

Doctors around the world recommend this skin-to-skin contact to new moms of both premature and full-term infants. The AAP notes that skin-to-skin is encouraged immediately after birth, throughout the hospital stay and well after discharge. 

Newborns should be placed skin-to-skin with their mother as soon after birth as possible, at least for the first hour. After that, or when the mother needs to sleep or cannot do skin-to-skin, babies should be placed on their backs in the bassinet. The AAP recommends skin-to-skin be given as long and as frequently as possible during the postpartum period, which is typically defined as the first 3 months of life. 

There are plenty of reasons why you should consider the bonding method with your premature or full-term infant. The surprising benefits of kangaroo care for the infant include:

  • Warmth
  • Decreased crying
  • Increased weight gain
  • Increased breastfeeding
  • Stability of heartbeat and breathing
  • Increased time spent in the deep sleep and quiet alert states

These benefits are apparent even when skin-to-skin care occurs for only a few minutes each day. Skin-to-skin care has also been associated with improved mental development, healthy weight and more. Best of all, those perks last long after baby is big enough to run and play on their own. 

colgate crib mattress box in a baby nursery

Choosing the Safest Crib Mattress: The Complete Buying Guide For Parents

colgate crib mattress box in a baby nursery

A quality crib mattress plays an important role in ensuring that your baby sleeps safely and soundly.

As parents, we will do anything to protect and bring comfort to our new bundle of joy. A quality crib mattress not only makes bedtime something to look forward to, but it also ensures safety while sleeping.

Colgate Mattress® has been family-owned and operated for over 65 years and we know that selecting your baby’s first mattress can be an overwhelming task. That’s why we pride ourselves on helping you understand the differences between mattresses and what features are most important. Take a look at these important tips as you begin to determine how to choose a crib mattress that is just right for your little one.


Why is crib mattress safety so important?

The crib mattress is where the majority of your baby’s  growth and development will occur in the critical early years. In fact, baby will spend up to 70% of their time on the crib mattress – and a toddler, up to 50% of their time. So, it’s extremely important to ensure that they’re sleeping on a quality mattress made from superior components that meet all federal government regulations.

 

What should parents look for when shopping for a crib mattress?

Examine the Label

A great place to start is the label. Manufacturers are required by law to reveal what a mattress is made of. Don’t buy a mattress from a manufacturer or retailer that doesn’t tell you this information through the label, online specifications or in-store displays. In fact, you should be able to find out the components of each individual layer, from cover to cover. To ensure the absence of harmful chemicals, look for GREENGUARDTM and CertiPUR-US® certifications. All Colgate products not only meet, but exceed federal and state flammability standards

 

Look for a Firm Mattress

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends a crib with a firm crib mattress as a safe sleep environment for infants. So whether you’re searching for a foam or innerspring mattress, look for firmness. For both types of mattresses, the general rule is: the firmer, the better. Newborns develop rapidly over the first two years, which is why you need to find a mattress designed specifically to cater to an infant’s growth. A firm and flat mattress base provides the resistance necessary for developing and strengthening muscles as an infant begins to push up, turn and eventually stand in the crib. 

 

You Can’t Tell a Mattress by its Cover

With a mattress, it’s what’s on the inside that counts. Understanding the different components inside the mattress is essential for your baby’s safety and comfort. For instance, are there any cushioning layers? What materials are used? Is there a flammability barrier? Is there waterproof backing? There’s much more to a mattress than just a cute cover. Consider an all-natural option, like the Colgate Natural I, created for the parent wanting a mattress for their baby that is made with 100% non-synthetic components for the healthiest and most comfortable sleep environment possible.  

 

Get the Right Crib Mattress Size

Make sure the mattress will fit snugly inside the crib. This means there shouldn’t be any gaps in-between the mattress and the corners or sides of the crib. The goal is to have the crib mattress fit either very snug or moderately snug in the crib. A good rule of thumb is that no more than two fingers of space should exist between the side of the mattress and the crib frame. Any more than that, the crib mattress is too small and could be a suffocation and entrapment hazard.

 

Buy New

If possible, buy a new crib mattress. Not only does it ensure the mattress is sanitary, but you also won’t have to worry about how it was previously used or stored. One exception to the rule: if you buy a new mattress for your first child, keep it clean and store it in a clean, dry environment (consider Colgate’s storage bag) – then you can use it for your next child.

 

What should be placed on top of the crib mattress?

Once you choose your mattress and put it in your crib, it should be covered with a fitted sheet only — no blankets, pillows, stuffed animals and bumpers which increase the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). SIDS is the unexplained death, usually during sleep, of a seemingly healthy baby less than a year old. Although the causes of death in many of these infants cannot be explained, statistics show that as many as 80-90 percent are the result of unsafe sleep practices. 

Our DREAM SAFE campaign educates caregivers about lifesaving sleep practices.

 

DREAM SAFE Sleep Practices:

D ~ DO place baby on her back to sleep. Always place your baby on his or her back to sleep, for naps and at night.

R ~ REMEMBER a firm crib mattress is always best. Firmness aids in development of baby’s muscles and bones. Soft beds naturally give and contour which can impede a baby’s breathing and trap heat, which can also be dangerous.

E ~ ELIMINATE clutter. Do not put anything soft, loose or fluffy in your baby’s sleep space. Only a fitted sheet, mattress pad or waterproof pad should be used under baby.

A ~ ALWAYS place baby in the crib to sleep. Never place your baby to sleep on top of any soft surface. This includes adult beds, couches, pillows, cushions, comforters and sheepskins.

M ~ MONITOR air flow and temperature. Make sure your baby doesn’t get too warm during sleep. Use lightweight sleep clothing and keep room temperature at what would be comfortable for a lightly-clothed adult. For newborns, consider swaddling.

 

Bringing home a new baby can feel overwhelming, but by integrating these safe sleep habits, you will help ensure the safety of your baby every time they rest. It is important to ensure that everyone who cares for a baby is following safe sleep guidance and has access to a healthcare provider if questions arise.

 

For more safe sleep tips, please visit the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association’s Safe Sleep Center.