Getting a baby to sleep is a real challenge for parents. However, the horror of sleepless nights may pass us by. Many children have been sleeping well through the night since almost the first weeks of their lives. This is not determined by the child's happiness or extremely calm nature, but by the right conditions and habits shaped by the parents. Just follow a few rules and the nights will become a time for rest. 6-7 hours of sleep from the first days of the child's life is a dream for many parents that seems unattainable. However, it is possible and not so difficult.
Where to put the baby to sleep?
From the first days of your child's life you should get used to your own place to sleep. This can be your own room, but also the parents' bedroom. It is important that it is a secluded place, far away from the hustle and bustle of everyday activities. In this way we provide the child not only with comfort, but also teach him/her to calm down and stay alone, and more importantly to fall asleep without adults.
A cot or a parent's bed?
Many parents like to take their child to their own bed. This closeness to the child, although charming and comfortable, can be very dangerous. There are still disputes about whether to sleep together with your child. Apart from the question of safety, there is another problem - how to wean a baby from its parents' bed later? So, do we have a cot left? It is safer for the baby, but less comfortable for the parents, especially a breastfeeding mother. Portable cots, cradles and cots with a folding side, especially during the first months, are a good solution. They can be placed right next to the parents' bed, which guarantees us proximity to the baby without unnecessary risk.
It can't be too high. The ideal temperature for sleeping is 18-20 degrees. A higher temperature can cause overheating, increases the risk of sudden cot death, and also causes the nasal mucosa to dry out. This is discomfort for the baby and also increases his susceptibility to infections. Remember to ventilate the room, and in the summer to cover the window and possibly turn on the fan to avoid overheating the room.
What kind of bedding?
For a small child the best one is 100% cotton. For the first year we can put all pillows in the wardrobe. The child does not need them, and they are not recommended due to the spine and the danger of suffocation. To deal with mites, bedding should be washed at 15 degrees and the mattress vacuumed.
What to do when a child cries?
You have to cuddle up to make it feel safe. You can take it on your hands for a while, stroke it, and when it calms down, put it to bed and let it sleep on its own. If the baby starts crying again, we repeat the action until the end. As time goes by, these repetitions will be less and less, until you will get to sleep alone, without crying. It is important to always put your baby in bed and let him fall asleep by himself. We shouldn't put him to sleep while carrying on our hands. It is easy to get used to this blessing and we will have to accept this pattern for months, years and kilos...
When to put the baby to bed?
It's important that it's there just before bedtime. The signal for us should be yawning. Do not miss the moment when the baby becomes sleepy, because then it will be tired and will only fall asleep when it is exhausted by crying. Remember that the baby needs about 20 minutes to fall asleep quietly, and this process should not be accelerated.
Effective wrapping and soothing sounds
For the first six weeks, it is advisable to wrap the child so that it is not awakened by its own hands. The tight position is well known to him and he feels safe then. The noises that the baby knows from the life of the fetus are also useful, such as the sound of a heartbeat or the sound of overflowing water. Some cradles and toys are equipped with such sounds.
The importance of rituals
Children like patterns, which is why it is so important to ensure that their daily activities are repeated. Bathing at close quarters of the day, a dimmed light before the night's rest, the same melody or other fixed elements allow the child to associate these events with the approaching time for sleep.
Eating - activity - sleep
The road to sleep should be this way. We don't put the baby to sleep right after feeding. Before putting the baby to bed there is time for activity - looking around, smiling, "talking" to his parents, looking at his favourite toy, etc. When we see that your baby is starting to get sleepy, we carry him to bed.