Why it is important where your baby sleeps
There is no hard and fast rule as to the ‘right’ place for a baby to sleep. Two major things influence a parent’s decision of sleep space for their baby:
1. What space is available – If you only have a one-bedroom flat, then your baby will clearly be in your room and possibly in your bed. If you have a nursery for your baby, the choice may be to have him sleep there from day one. Both choices are completely fine.
2. Parenting preference – Some moms prefer not being separated from their little one at night, while others can’t get a good night’s sleep with a snuffly baby in the same room. Again, it’s a personal choice and either option works.
In principle, these are the three key components of a sleep space, especially after 3 months of age. A sleep space should be:
• Consistent so that healthy sleep habits are supported.
• Calming, to induce sleep.
• Safe, for peace of mind.
The place and manner in which your baby is settled to sleep has a bearing on his expectations at midnight wakings. So make sure the where he is settled to sleep in the evening is consistent with what you want for the middle of the night.
A soothing sleep space is essential. Use the principles of the womb world to create a world of calm for your baby:
• Dim light
• Neutral warmth
• Soft linen and blankets
• Soothing white noise also helps
Since sleep is a parent’s first real separation from their baby, it creates anxiety about the safety of the little one. A safe sleep space has the following qualities:
1. The baby should sleep on their back or side, never on their tummy.
2. A baby should not sleep in the same bed as a parent or sibling – if you need to share a room or a bed, make sure your baby has his own space and is not near pillows or blankets.
3. The mattress should be firm and new – not used by a baby previously.
4. No blankets, pillows or duvets should be in the cot.
5. The room should be no warmer than 22 degrees.