Sleep is crucial for your baby's healthy development. And the right surroundings may help your little one nod off more easily and may even encourage a better night's sleep. Follow these tips:

Feel the room. Aim for a temperature that's ideal for a lightly clothed adult. A room that's too warm isn't a good sleep environment for anyone, and it isn't a safe choice for your baby (too much heat may raise the risk of SIDS, sudden infant death syndrome).

Dress your baby lightly. Too many layers can leave your baby sweaty and cranky, which does little to promote sleep. Babies usually need just one more layer than adults, so an undershirt with a cotton sleep sack should be enough for most climates.

Furnish the floor. A soft rug or wall-to-wall carpeting will help to warm up the room and create a nice play space on the floor. Rugs or carpet can also help to muffle noise, helping to create a more quiet sleep space.

Keep the room dark. Hanging blinds or darkening shades will keep out the early morning light. Installing dimmers in your baby's room is another way to maintain a soothing atmosphere. Dim the lights when you're getting your baby ready to sleep, lowering them more and more as bedtime approaches.

Leave on a little white noise. Not all babies like to sleep in a silent space. Some babies sleep better with the washing machine or the vacuum running, so feel free to go about your regular routine during naptime or after bedtime.

You don't need expensive decor or fancy gadgets to create a cozy sleep haven. Simply focus on the basics and follow your baby's cues. Your little one will soon be dreaming.