It's a tough call for any parent, but where should the little one get their shut-eye? Each household would require a unique response. Some parents find comfort in knowing they are near by during the night by sleeping with their infants in the same room. Some households, however, choose to confine the infant to a single room, where they can play and explore freely even as their parents are close at hand. There are a lot of things to think about when trying to figure out what's best for your newborn.
It's common advice to new parents that wherever their baby sleeps best is where they should put them to sleep. There are safer and perhaps riskier settings for your infant to sleep.
When Will My Newborn Start Napping?
According to the National Sleep Foundation, newborns need 14-17 hours of sleep every day. Newborns have been known to sleep for up to 18 or 19 hours a day. Newborns typically awaken every two hours to eat. Feeding intervals for breastfed infants tend to be every 2 to 3 hours. Babies who are bottle-fed typically only have to relieve themselves once every three to four hours. Babies should be woken up to eat every several hours, or more often if they sleep for lengthy periods at a time.
In the first few weeks, you should wake your baby up every three to four hours to feed them until they begin to gain weight healthily.
After that point, you can start putting your baby down for longer stretches during the night. Parents may have to get up several times during the night in the first few months of their child's life. Every infant has its own unique routine when it comes to nap time. Not all babies start sleeping "through the night" until they are around 3-4 months old.
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How Should Babies Sleep?
Some new parents choose to share a bedroom during the infant's first few weeks of life. Your infant can "room in" with you by sleeping in a crib, foldable crib, play lawn, or cradle in your bedroom rather than in a dedicated nursery. This makes it easier to feed, comfort, and check on the baby during the night because the baby is close by. Room sharing, but not bed sharing, is encouraged by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Shared bedrooms are fine, but don't let baby share your bed. The risk of SIDS and other sleep-related mortality is greatly increased when a baby or young child sleeps in their parents' bed.
Keep your baby safe while they sleep by following these guidelines:
- Infants should only sleep on their backs, never their stomachs or sides. Since the AAP made this suggestion in 1992, the incidence of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) has dropped dramatically.
- Choose to sleep on a hard surface. Put a fitted sheet over the mattress. Verify that your child's playpen, bassinet, or cot complies with all current safety regulations.
- Please don't place any additional bedding or toys in the infant's cot or bassinet. To prevent suffocation, your baby's sleeping space should not include soft objects such as stuffed animals, pillows, blankets, unfitted linens, quilts, comforters, sheepskins, or bumper pads.
- Don't let yourself get too hot. Don't overdress your baby for the room temperature. Keep an eye out for overheating symptoms like sweating or feeling unusually hot.
- Your child should not be around smokers. Indirect exposure to tobacco smoke raises the probability of sudden infant death syndrome.
- Use a pacifier to soothe your child to sleep. You shouldn't force a pacifier onto a baby who clearly doesn't want one. No need to worry about replacing a lost pacifier while your little one is fast asleep. Wait until you've established breastfeeding successfully.
Best Places for a Baby to Safely Sleep
Your kid should sleep in the same room as you, but not in your bed. Parents should sleep with their babies in the same room during the initial six months to one year to ensure everyone's safety.
They found that sharing a bedroom could cut the incidence of sudden infant death syndrome by half. Avoiding suffocation hazards can be achieved by keeping children out of their parents' beds.
Car Seat Precautions
A car seat isn't the safe environment for a newborn or infant to sleep, but they probably won't develop any harmful habits from doing so. Infants who died from sudden infant death syndrome were discovered to be in car seats only seldom. However, this does not negate the need to secure your infant in a car at all times. You really need to locate a safer spot for your infant to sleep. Below are some considerations:
- Your baby will probably get used to napping wherever you place her, be it a car seat, a swing, or some other object. Whether it's a bassinet, cradle, or crib, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends using one for baby's sleep.
- Too much time spent in a car seat might increase an infant's chance of positional plagiocephaly, generally known as a flat head.
- There is some evidence linking sleeping babies in car seats to sudden infant death syndrome, but this is not enough to recommend doing so.
What Is Safe Sleep?
Safe sleep refers to the practise of putting you baby to nap in a way that minimises his risk of injury while sleeping, such as suffocating, asphyxiation, or choking. When an infant younger than one year old dies suddenly and without apparent cause, we call it sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Babies typically die of SIDS while they are napping. The infant typically passes away while sleeping in his cot, hence the name.
How Much Sleep Does Your Baby Need?
Babies typically sleep for eight hours a day, divided into three or four 3- to 4-hour stretches. That she wakes up to eat every so often hours is the main reason why your baby doesn't sleep for longer stretches. If your baby doesn't receive enough rest, she could become irritable or overtired. Don't be alarmed if your infant only manages two-hour stretches of awake time. Her body settles into a routine sleep schedule over time. She starts going to sleep and staying asleep for longer periods of time, even through the night. If you're worried with your baby's sleep, go to her doctor about it.
Where Should Your Baby Sleep?
In order to ensure your baby's safety, she should sleep in her own bassinet or cot. Put each infant to sleep in his own crib or bassinet. Here are some things you should and should not do to ensure your baby's healthy sleep:
Always ensure that your infant is sleeping on his back, on a flat, solid surface such as a crib mattress with a snugly fitted sheet. The crib mattress should never be used on any other bed. There should be no room for the mattress to move around in the crib. Even when using a mattress protector or fitted sheet, the mattress should maintain its contour. Remember to tuck your infant into his cot or bassinet every night. Never sleep with more than one person. The baby and the parents share a bed.
Bed-sharing represents the most common reason for death in babies fewer about three months old. Don't put too much distance between your bed and the crib, but make sure the baby can hear you if you wake up in the night.
For the first year, but at least the first six months, it is recommended that you and your infant share a room, but not a bed.
Insist on using a bassinet, crib, or play yard, but make sure it complies with all current safety regulations first. If you are interested in product safety regulations or recalls in the United States, I recommend checking out the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Do not leave your infant's crib near dangling power cords or electrical cables. Infants risk choking if they become entangled in them.
Do maintain a pleasant temperature in the room. Overheating can occur in infants whose skin perspires or whose chests feel unusually warm to the touch.
Stay away from sleep aides. Nests or pro pillows are alternative names for these. Baby wedges and mats consist of two pillows sewn together to form a flat surface in the middle. As the FDA points out, sleep positioners pose a suffocation risk for infants. Do not put your infant to sleep in a stroller, car seat, sling, or other similar device. Babies can suffocate if they sleep in one of these products. Do not leave your baby in a car seat or stroller if she falls asleep; instead, remove her as quickly as possible and place her in her cot.
Remember that your baby should not sleep on a pool, sofa, soft mattress, or cushion. Keep nothing soft, including loose bedding, toys, and bumpers, in your baby's cot. They can cause your infant to become entangled, strangled, or smothered.
Avoid using cribs that can be easily disassembled. Never use temporary bed rails with a standard bed. Small children risk suffocation if they become trapped in fences. Avoid the risk of injury to yourself and your baby by not repairing a crib which has been damaged or is missing components.
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How Do You Put Your Baby to Sleep Safely?
When putting your baby down for the night, follow these precautions to help ensure her safety: Every night for the first year of your baby's life, he or she should sleep on their back. Babies should never sleep on their stomachs or sides. It's very normal for a newborn who can roll to sleep on his side, stomach, or back.
Make sure your infant is wearing comfortable sleepwear. Don't cover his head with his pyjamas, and take off any strings or ties.
To keep your infant toasty without smothering him, use a blanket sleeper. Until your baby learns to roll onto the his tummy, swaddling him for sleep is completely safe. Nonetheless, you should stop swaddling him the moment you see him attempting to turn over. There may be an increased risk of sudden infant death syndrome if a swaddled baby is placed on his tummy to sleep or if he rolls over onto his tummy during sleep.
Swaddling here is that when you wrap your infant in a light blanket such that it covers his or her body completely except for the head and arms. If your infant needs a pacifier, please use it. Pacifiers might prevent sudden infant death syndrome.
Breastfed infants should be acclimated to nursing for at least three to four weeks before receiving a pacifier. Do not insist that your infant use a pacifier if he or she refuses to do so on his or her own. If the pacifier drops out of your sleeping baby's mouth, don't worry about it. Do not tie the pacifier onto your patient's clothing or a toy, nor should you hang it around his or her neck. Put your infant to sleep using a pacifier.
The use of cardiorespiratory monitors in the home is not recommended as a means of preventing sudden infant death syndrome. Babies' heart rates and respirations can be monitored with these devices.
And that kind of monitor is usually unnecessary for infants, although some require it for medical reasons. In healthy infants, the monitors have not been shown to lessen the incidence of sudden infant death syndrome.
How Does Breastfeeding Affect Safe Sleep?
The risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) can be lowered by breastfeeding for the first six months of life. Breastfeeding your infant in bed is perfectly acceptable. If you tend to fall asleep while feeding, remove all pillows and blankets from your bed before you begin.
When you wake up from a nap, place your baby in his bed or bassinet. Bed is the safest place to breastfeed your infant, rather than a couch or soft chair.
When babies are full from breastfeeding, they generally fall asleep.
If you think you baby has fallen asleep while nursing, you can wake him up by gently massaging his back, caressing his foot, burping him, or moving to the other breast.
Your baby might nod off if he isn't properly latched on. Putting your pointer finger in the front of his mouth will release the latch.
Contact a lactation consultant for assistance in establishing a secure latch with your baby. To successfully breastfeed, your baby's mouth must "latch" onto your nipple.
Can anything else be done to protect my kid from the risks associated with sleep, especially sudden infant death syndrome? Yes. So here is what people can do about it:
If you have a baby, she needs to have all of her vaccines. She will be protected against deadly childhood infections and, maybe, sudden infant death syndrome, thanks to these vaccinations. Vaccinating children is essential for their well-being and for preventing the spread of disease.
Don't expose your child to secondhand smoke, and don't smoke around him or her.
Babies in homes with smoking are at greater risk for sudden infant death syndrome. Avoid bringing smoke into your home and vehicle.
It's very important not to engage in risky behaviours like smoking, drinking, or drug usage while expecting. Babies born to mums who engage in these practises are more likely to develop sudden infant death syndrome.
Regular prenatal appointments are essential during pregnancy, so don't miss any. Pregnant mothers who do not receive regular prenatal care put their babies at a higher risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
Does Your Baby Need a Bedtime Routine?
Yes. Even if your baby's bedtime schedule shifts over time, maintaining a pattern might help you both wind down for the night. Your kid should have a regular schedule for going to bed by the time he or she is 4 or 6 months old at the earliest.
Follow these steps to get your infant ready for bed:
- Put an end to all merriment.
- Shut down all electronic devices.
- Provide your infant with a soothing warm bath.
- Gently rub your baby's back.
- If your infant needs a pacifier, please use it.
- Put on some soothing music or sing to your baby.
- Put the infant to bed with a story.
Try your best to maintain your baby's regular bedtime routine. In the event that you will be temporarily deviating from your baby's regular schedule—for example, because of travel or a family gathering—it is important to prepare ahead of time. Make the necessary adjustments to his sleep schedule, but return him to his regular routine and habit as soon as you can.
What Is Tummy Time?
Babies can benefit from tummy time by being placed on their stomachs while awake. Strengthening those muscles will aid your infant in the long run. Also, this position reduces the risk of your baby developing flat areas on the right side of the head from sleeping there. During stomach time, you should keep a close eye on your baby or have another awake adult do so.
How to Put Your Newborn to Sleep
Premature infants stick to their routines. Both you and your kid will begin to develop a routine during the next few weeks or months. Put your infant to sleep in a bassinet or cradle if you're having problems getting him or her to sleep in a crib. Newborns and very young infants don't always fit comfortably in a standard crib. When used properly, swaddling can be an effective method for calming and soothing newborns and infants, allowing them to go asleep and stay asleep more easily.
A baby who has been swaddled correctly will feel safe and cosy, and he or she will be less likely to startle or scratch themselves.
The American Academy of Pediatrics warns that putting or rolling a swaddled child into the prone position greatly increases the baby's risk of death and offers the following recommendations. Every time you swaddle an infant, make sure they are facing the back. To prevent the worsening of hip dysplasia, swaddling should be done such that the baby is snugly around the heart but has plenty of room around the hips and knees. Swaddling should be discontinued once a baby shows symptoms of trying to roll over.
Your infant's brain may need a few weeks to fully develop the ability to distinguish between day and night.
Even though there's no way to make this happen any faster, having this going can help keep things peaceful and quiet during those midnight feedings and diaper wipes.
Keep the lights on low and try not to interact with your infant too much. This will reinforce the idea that nighttime is reserved for rest. Try to get your infant to fall asleep in his or her cot every night. This will help your child associate the crib with sleep. Don't force your infant to stay awake throughout the day in hopes that they'll fall asleep more easily at night.
Babies who don't get enough sleep throughout the day often have a harder time falling asleep at night. Rocking, cuddling, and singing can help soothe a restless newborn.
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Parents are often told to put their infant to sleep in the same position each night. Your baby can sleep in a variety of environments, some of which may be more dangerous than others. Newborns require 14-17 hours of sleep every day, as stated by the National Sleep Foundation. There is an elevated risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) when an infant or young toddler shares a bed with his or her parents. Only on their backs, never on their bellies or sides, should infants sleep.
Sudden infant death syndrome is more likely to occur when an infant is exposed to tobacco smoke secondhand. Putting your infant to sleep in a way that prevents common sleep-related injuries including suffocation, asphyxiation, and choking is what's known as "safe sleep." To help your infant get a good night's rest, here are some things you should and should not do. It is advised that you share a room with your newborn for the first year, or at least the first six months, but not a bed. Until they are roughly three months old, newborns shouldn't sleep in the same bed as their parents.
Always put your baby to bed in his crib or bassinet. In the first year of life, it is best for babies to sleep on their backs every night. When shopping for a crib, avoid buying one that can be quickly dismantled. Babies that use pacifiers may be less likely to have SIDS. Keep your baby warm without suffocating him by using a blanket sleeper.
For the first six months of life, breastfeeding reduces the incidence of SIDS. Instead of using a couch or soft chair, bed is the safest spot to breastfeed your baby. Babies born to mothers who did not receive routine prenatal care were more likely to die from sudden infant death syndrome. By the time a baby is 4 or 6 months old, he or she should be following a consistent pattern for going to sleep. Awake tummy time is beneficial for babies.
Using swaddling correctly can help calm babies and infants. When swaddling a baby, always position them so that their back is exposed. Don't try to get your baby to sleep at night by keeping them up all day. A fussy newborn can be calmed with some rocking, snuggling, and singing.
- It can be comforting for some parents to sleep in the same room as their babies.
- For your baby's sleep, you can choose between safer and potentially risky environments.
- During the newborn's first few weeks, some parents opt to sleep in the same bed.
- The use of a shared bedroom is allowed, but you shouldn't sleep with your infant.
- Follow these measures to ensure your baby's safety while they sleep:
- Only on their backs, never on their bellies or sides, should infants sleep.
- Dress your infant in layers, but make sure he or she isn't too warm.
- Get some shut-eye by giving your child a pacifier.
- Baby should sleep in his own cot or bassinet.
- Here are some dos and don'ts for a good night's sleep for your baby:
- Make use of a level, solid surface like a crib mattress with a tightly fitted cover and always put your baby to sleep on his back.
- Baby and parents sleep in the same bed.
- Do not forget to use the pacifier if your baby need one.
- It is quite normal to breastfeed your baby in bed.
- Read a book to the baby before putting him or her to sleep.
- Preserve your baby's regular nighttime routine as much as possible.
- If you're having trouble getting your baby to sleep in a crib, try putting him or her to sleep in a bassinet or cradle instead.
- Putting or rolling a swaddled newborn into the prone position dramatically increases the baby's risk of death, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, which suggests the following precautions.
- When swaddling a baby, always position them so that their back is exposed.
- Every night, you should strive to have your baby sleep in his or her cot.
- If you do this, your baby will begin to associate the crib with going to sleep.
FAQs About Toddlers
For parents these years are exciting, challenging and often a bit overwhelming. Behavioral issues like tantrums and meltdowns, picky eating, trouble sleeping and problems sharing are common during toddlerhood. Toddlers hit developmental milestones at their own pace, and each child is different.
Your toddler's basic needs are the same as yours – food, sleep, clothing, shelter, and health – they just need more help getting these met, of course! For your child to be able to devote energy to learning and growing, they need to be well fed.
Toddler ( 2 - 4 years) As physical growth and development slow during the ages of two to four, motor skills, cognitive development and language take huge strides. In just a few short years, your child will go from crawling and babbling as an infant to running, jumping and excitedly telling stories as a Kindergartener.
During toddlers' cognitive development, they are learning to better process and organize information, to form a baseline of understanding about the world around them. However, between two and three years, language acquisition and logical thought often lag behind a child's curiosity and drive for self-expression.
By the age of three years, most toddlers start to feel emotions like guilt and shame. Listening to your child when they want to talk and giving them plenty of reassurance and support can help your child understand these new feelings.