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Heart & Hands Blog

News and insights for you and your family


The best Christmas present: How Rudolph’s red nose could help your newborn sleep

Navigating the challenges of the fourth trimester often feels like being in the trenches. I know that it did for me! And challenges can be on rapid fire! From addressing breastfeeding challenges and recovering from surgery to pondering the seemingly endless supply of dirty nappies courtesy of your newborn, it really is a whole new chapter. 

This might all seem somewhat manageable if we've had a restful night's sleep.Yet, the likelihood of enjoying a substantial amount of sleep during this period is slim.

During this time of uncertainty, it’s easy for you to overlook certain considerations, to be overwhelmed by all the information about what you should be doing, or not doing and many suggestions are weird and wonderful to say the least.

For instance, the idea of incorporating red light into your night time feeds may not have crossed your mind during those 2 a.m. breastfeeding sessions. In these quiet moments, you are more likely thinking about what you still have to organise for Christmas or just simply wondering if you are the only one awake at this ungodly hour, the thought of red light might seem unconventional but is worth some contemplation…

The Science Behind the Glow:

Illuminating the facts about Melatonin Production:

Melatonin is the sleepy hormone that your brain produces in response to darkness. It helps with the timing of your circadian rhythms , your 24-hour internal clock. 

During pregnancy, your baby will receive your melatonin through the placenta, with each passing trimester seeing a steady rise. When your baby is born they will have received a surge of this sleepy hormone that will carry them through a generally snoozy first 3 weeks of life. As the fourth trimester concludes, your baby starts producing their own melatonin, marking a crucial phase in the establishment of their own independent sleep-wake cycles.

Setting the Stage for a Lifetime of Sleep:

The Early Sleep Habits:

Thinking your newborn is going to exit the womb and fall strait into a wonderful sleep routine is like expecting them to also emerge fluent in 5 different languages SPOILER ALERT!! Its not happening.  But setting some good sleep habits from the get go can make a world of difference in the long run. It’s during the first few months of life that sleep habits begin to take shape. So how does red light influence sleep for you and your baby during your time in the trenches?  

Red Light vs Blue light

Red light helps regulate melatonin production for both you and your baby. Some colours of light –especially blue light, like the kind emitted by phone and TV screens – suppress the production of melatonin, making it harder to sleep. Even white light can play its part in suppressing this sleepy hormone!

Red light, on the other hand, does not hinder melatonin production and can help block out other light frequencies, helping to regulate the level of melatonin your baby’s brain produces. As melatonin levels increase, our bodies naturally start to feel drowsier and more ready for sleep. This is especially important for infants because it’s a key way that your little one will begin to develop their circadian rhythms.  

Practical Tips for Implementation:

Red Light in your Sleep Space

Integrating red light into your nighttime routine extends beyond creating a cozy ambiance—it actively fosters an environment conducive to both immediate and future sleep, for both you and your baby. Consider the inclusion of red nightlights or softly dimmed red lamps throughout the night. This thoughtful addition not only aids your baby's sleep but also facilitates your own seamless return to slumber after nighttime feeds.

As your baby learns to associate the soothing glow of red light with bedtime, it becomes a powerful sleep cue. This connection may contribute to the establishment of a bedtime routine, creating a sense of security and predictability for your baby.  

Heart & Hands Recommends

Tommee Tippee Dreammaker Light and Sound baby sleep aid. $59.95 from @sleepstore. 

Why I like this...

  • Versatile Lighting: The Dreammaker night light is the epitome of sophistication in the realm of night lights. It goes beyond the basics by offering not only the recommended red light but also allowing you to choose from three different brightness levels. The maximum setting of 200 lux is particularly impressive, as it is recommended as the brightest setting for minimal impact on sleep.

  • Pink Noise Magic: The standout feature for me is the addition of pink noise. Tommee Tippee has carefully selected pink noise that mimics the natural sounds of the womb. This not only helps in the process of falling asleep faster but also ensures a deeper and longer sleep for your baby. The comforting and familiar background noise is a game-changer compared to other options or having no noise at all.

In conclusion, the Tommee Tippee Dreammaker Light and Sound baby sleep aid has exceeded my expectations. Its thoughtful design and inclusion of features like versatile lighting and soothing pink noise make it a must-have for any parent aiming to create a serene and comforting sleep environment for their little one. At $59.95, it's a worthy investment for peaceful nights and happy mornings. 

Glow Sleep Easy $154.95

Why I like this...

  • Smartphone Control: The ability to control the device using a smartphone through the Glow Sleep Genie app is a standout feature. This app not only allows for remote control but also helps schedule the day and offers one-touch customised sleep settings.

  • Manual Control Options: For those moments when you prefer a hands-on approach, the Glow - Sleep Easy offers manual control directly from the unit. This versatility ensures that you can tailor the sleep aid settings to your liking, whether it's through the app or by adjusting the unit itself.

  • Humidifier with Cool Mist: The inclusion of a humidifier with a 500ml capacity is a thoughtful addition. It supports an entire night of sleep, running for 10-12 hours with a cool mist. This feature not only soothes dry nasal passages but also eases breathing and reduces congestion, promoting a comfortable and uninterrupted night's sleep.

  • Pink Noise for Serenity: The incorporation of pink noise is another noteworthy feature.

In conclusion, the Glow - Sleep Easy definitely deserves a place in the top three night lights. Whether it's the convenience of smartphone control, the versatility of manual adjustments, or the soothing effects of the humidifier and pink noise, this sleep aid has exceeded my expectations.

Red Plug In Night Light for Sleep. $39.95 

Why I like this...

  • Budget-Friendly: If you're looking for a cost-effective solution, this night light fits the bill. It's a much more budget-friendly option compared to high-tech alternatives.

  • Simple Plug-and-Go Operation: No need for complicated setups or programming. Simply plug in the night light, and you're good to go. The straightforward operation makes it an excellent choice for those who prefer simplicity

In conclusion, if you're on a budget and looking for a hassle-free solution to enhance your sleep environment, the Red Plug-In Night Light for Sleep is a fantastic choice. It offers simplicity, effectiveness, and affordability, making it a practical addition to your sleep routine.  

In Summary

It’s not only Santa that can benefit from the warm red glow of Rudolphs’ nose this Christmas. Why not consider switching to a warm red glow for your night time breastfeeds. It’s a firm fact that red light as opposed to white or blue light contributes positively to a restful nights sleep for both you and your baby. So, if you're yearning for a peaceful night's sleep on Christmas Eve, harness Rudolph's magic by making the switch to a red night light!


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