Where will baby sleep? Now that your newborn is finally home, it’s time to decide where to put up your little one. In rural India, babies have traditionally been rocked in cloth cradles gathered at the ends and hung from roof beams or trees. The tight embrace of the fabric mimics the security of the womb, lulling baby into a world of blissful sleep. The practice is still prevalent in most homes – and many swear it’s best for baby.
Baby cots, cradles and Moses baskets are widely available today, in a wide variety of designs and sizes. But deciding where baby sleeps is entirely up to you. While some parents insist that baby should sleep in a cot in his own room, others prefer baby to be in a cot or cradle close by in the same room or even prefer tucking up baby in bed along with them. Weigh the pros and cons and make the decision together as a couple.
Read: Preventing cot death
Cradles And Cribs
Whether you are using a traditional cradle or one of those colour-co-ordinated modern cribs, most parents prefer cradles that do help baby sleep safe and sound. If your baby is going to be sleeping in his own crib, pick him up only when he wakes up and cries or wants to be fed.
Do Keep These in Mind When Using Cradles and Cribs
- Use a firm mattress that fits the base of the crib. Make sure there is no gap between the mattress and the crib, to avoid your child’s head from getting stuck in between
- Always keep a soft light on, next to the cradle
- Cover your baby with a light blanket, even in summer, if you are sleeping with the air-conditioner on. But ensure that baby’s head is not covered
- Resist the temptation to place soft toys or stuffed dolls inside the crib
Choosing A Baby Cot – Things To Keep In Mind
When shopping for a baby cot, look for one that can be converted into a toddler bed later on.
- Cots with a side-drop can be very versatile as they can be placed next to your bed if and when the need arises
- Modern baby cots also come with a teething rail that prevents baby from chewing on the wood
- If you are going to use an antique, ancestral baby cot, just make sure it does not contain lead paint, which could harm baby. And, most old cots may not have the safety measures enforced today
Read: How to calm a cry baby
Sharing Your Bed With Baby
Babies have always slept with their mothers, in various cultures across the world. The constant contact between mother and baby not only gives the baby a sense of security but also strengthens the emotional bond between the two.
Recent research suggests that babie’s bodies are designed for close proximity or contact with their parents throughout the day and night until at least six months, and that babies regulate their temperature and breathing better when they are side-by-side with their parents. Breast-feeding is also easier as you won’t have to get up every time to feed baby.
Precautions To Take When Sharing Your Bed With Baby
- Don’t bring your child into your bed if you have drunk alcohol or have been heavily sedated, for any reason
- Don’t put your newborn to sleep on an adult bed with another sibling, especially if the sibling is just a couple of years older
- Don’t cover baby with your quilt, as baby might get overheat