As a gift in honor of National Parents’ Day, I’ve rounded up my top sleep tips designed to help parents eke out more sleep on any given night. When I was expecting my first born, I remember all the gentle teasing my husband and I would get about banking sleep. We’d laugh along, but privately wondered how tough it could really be. We had no idea. Even having read up on the topic, we really fumbled around trying to figure out what worked. By the time our second arrived, we were sure we were experts on the whole baby sleep thing. That was yet another humbling lesson! We soon learned that every baby is unique and might require a slightly different routine to help them get to sleep and importantly stay that way so that mom and dad can recharge.  Thankfully, we mixed and matched and found our ‘must do’s’ so that by the time each baby was six-months-old they were sleeping over 10 hours at night, and naps ranged from 1.5 to 2 hours.

Establish a Great Bedtime/Naptime Routine

Babies thrive on routine, structure, and predictability. Once you create a consistent routine to settle and soothe your little one, it will help them stay that way all night long. Consistency before naptime and bedtime will be a strong signal so that they know what comes next: a deep, delicious sleep that helps them thrive and leaves them refreshed and happy. Our bedtime routine starts with a bath, then a diaper change into Huggies OverNites Diapers, then into a sleep sack, read books while we cuddle, a final nurse, a hug and a kiss, and then into the crib.  Following the same routine as consistently as possible makes them feel settled and secure while signaling that it is time for sleep. In time they’ll know exactly what comes next.

Use the Right Diaper 

The right bedtime routine includes the right diaper choice. Once your baby is sleeping for longer stretches, it makes sense that they’d need a diaper that can keep them settled and soothed for the entire night. You’ll want to make the move to a nighttime diaper that is designed specifically for sleep to get your little one to stay settled and soothed for longer nights. We discovered that Huggies OverNites Diapers helped our guys stay dry all night for a sounder sleep and switching them to these diapers actually let them sleep longer. Hurray!! Nighttime diaper needs are different from daytime diaper needs because diapers are on longer and babies move differently while they sleep. Huggies OverNites Diapers have 12 hours of leakage protection as well as a SnugFit waistband which helps the diaper stay in place all night no matter how baby tosses, turns and rolls in the night. I also like that they have a breathable outer cover that keeps baby comfortable and lets their skin breathe. Visit Huggies.com to learn more about their sounder sleep guarantee.

Limit Naptime

This was SO hard for us to learn. It is so tempting to let your little one sleep. It is intoxicating to watch them sleep and sleep as you get more done and enjoy some downtime of your own, but invariably you will pay the price later. I recall letting my first little guy sleep endlessly one Sunday afternoon –well into dinnertime. It was followed by a sleepless night while I tried in vain to get my son to sleep. Of course, I had already gone back to work so that Monday was beyond brutal. Sleeping for too long during the day really can rob nighttime sleep. Breaking up sleep during the day will help your little one sleep better at night. If they need a little extra, extend naps by half an hour but avoid the temptation to let naps go on and on and on.

Strategic Diaper Changing 

Changing into a fresh nighttime diaper just before the last night feeding might help prevent your baby from waking up too much which can often happen during a post feed diaper change. It works like this: Change your baby’s diaper and get them all clean and fresh with Huggies Natural Care Wipes, which are fragrance, paraben and alcohol-free, then put on comfy clothes to that you prepare your little one for sleep. Huggies OverNites Diapers work perfectly for this strategy because they offer up to 12 hours of protection, so baby stays dry and comfy. Changing your baby just before putting them down might actually make him,/her more alert and make settling back down even more challenging.

Set a Schedule and Stick to It

Before I had kids, I remember thinking that my friends that were slavish to their kids’ naps schedules were crazy. Then I had kids of my own, and I realized how much better the boys slept at night if we were religious about getting them settled and soothed for a good nap at the same time each day. Yes, it can be annoying to work the fun around naptime, but it is so worth it when the whole family gets enough sleep each night.

Lay the baby down awake, but drowsy.

One of the most important lessons for great long-term sleep habits is to teach your baby to fall asleep independently. If you must, stay in the room until they drift off. But as baby gets older start leaving the room before they fall asleep, that way they’ll practice drifting off on their own.

What sleep tips worked best for you and your kids?

This post is sponsored by Huggies OverNites Diapers.

Huggies OverNites Diapers are designed for sleep and 25 percent more absorbent, so you can give them a hug that settles and soothes without worrying about nighttime leaks. Try Huggies OverNites Diapers at nighttime to experience a sounder sleep, guaranteed. Learn more at Huggies.com. #HugThemAllNite #adGuarantee Legal Language: Purch. by 11/5/17.  Mail in by 11/30/17.  Online access req.  Limit 1 per HH.  Restrictions apply.  See huggies.com/mbg for details.  US only.