Feb 15 , 2020
Families from different cultures all have their own beliefs and practices with regard to helping a baby sleep better. In the West, for instance, families are often recommended to let babies sleep in separate cribs and surfaces rather than the same bed as their parents. On the other hand, parents in Asian families usually prefer to let their babies sleep together with them in the same bed in order to better bond with them and attend to their needs quickly. When making decisions regarding your child’s sleeping arrangements, it’s important to consider you and your baby’s own personal needs and preferences.
Should My Baby Sleep Separately?
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), babies can and should, in fact, sleep in the same bedroom as their parents. What’s important is that they sleep in their own crib or bassinet instead of sharing the same bed as their parents in order to prevent the risk of accidental suffocation. It’s also important for babies to not sleep on any soft surfaces such as couches or armchairs, as these are considered rather hazardous and a huge suffocation risk for babies. While kids and toddlers can easily roll over and move if they ever land face-first on a soft surface, babies might not be able to move and breathe if they ever find themselves in bad sleeping positions.
If you do ever want to share the same bed as your baby, it’s important to take precautions in order to avoid any serious injuries. It’s best not to share your bed with your baby when they’re less than 5 months old, as the risk of SIDS is at its highest during the first 4 months of their life. When your baby is ready to share a bed with you, you should always make sure that they’re safely sleeping on their backs.
If your bed has a headboard or footboard, check for any openings or cutouts where your baby’s head could get stuck and get rid of or cover them as best as you can. You should also make sure that your mattress doesn’t shift or move out of place easily as your baby could roll over and get stuck or trapped in any small spaces. It’s also good to use only minimal bedding, blankets, bumper pads, toys, and pillows as they could turn into dangerous suffocation hazards for your baby.
You should also think about who your baby has to share a bed with. It’s best that they don’t sleep with too many people in the same bed so they can move freely and not get any accidental injuries. Young kids shouldn’t bed-share with frail babies as they can be prone to harming babies by moving too much in their sleep. You shouldn’t also share a bed with your baby if you’ve smoked, drank alcohol, or took any medicines that could cause you to be less attentive to your baby.
What Should I Do If My Baby Is Awake Too Late At Night?
A lot of babies aren’t the night owls we expect them to be. They can be a bit like dogs and cats in that they tend to sleep a lot during the day and be up and about at night. Unlike kids and adults, babies don’t really have a clear concept of night and day either. For them, sunshine and blue skies don’t mark daytime. Instead, they judge time depending on when they’re active and awake, and when they’re tired and asleep.
Setting up a routine can help your baby better distinguish daytime and bedtime. During the day, you can do fun activities with your baby so that they can use up all their energy while you’re still awake and active. At night, you can breastfeed your baby to calm them down and get them ready for bed. Singing lullabies and rocking can also help your baby cool down and get ready for a nice long sleep.
What Position Should My Baby Sleep In?
Professionals and parents alike all agree that babies should always sleep while they’re lying flat on their backs. By ensuring that your baby follows this proper position, you can significantly lower the risk of SIDS in your household. It’s rather unsafe to let your baby sleep on their side as they can end up sleeping face-first and lose precious oxygen as a result. It’s not too difficult to help babies get used to sleeping in a proper position. As long as you make them do it enough times and gently correct them as needed, they’ll adapt and get used to sleeping on their backs in no time.
When your baby is awake you should allow them to change positions and lie on their stomachs as only allowing them to lie in one position could cause their delicate heads to flatten. Just be sure to watch your baby attentively and keep them from staying in any unsafe lying positions for too long.