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Check out the answers to the most pressing concerns about a baby's sleep patterns.

Your new role of motherhood begins when your baby is born into this world. The best gift that you can give yourself as a mother is to get a strong foothold on whatever you have to do for your baby. During the formative years of your baby you have to take challenging decisions such as the kind of mattress your baby sleeps on. Once you read the questions and answers below you will gain clarity, on how to keep your baby comfortable and secure.

What kind of mattress is recommended for your baby?

  • It should be firm, made from coir, which is breathable and natural. It is easily available and should be purchased from a trusted source and brand.

How to take care of your baby’s mattress?

  • A mattress protector should be used to prevent any kind of seepage into the mattress.
  • The mattress should be aired every 3-4 weeks to keep it breathable and fresh.
  • It should be exposed to sunlight for a good 3-4 hours. This disinfects the mattress.
  • The mattress should be flipped from time to time to keep it in good shape and increase its longevity.

How to form a good sleep routine for your baby?

  • Your baby should stay active and happy throughout the day.
  • Your baby’s appetite should be satiated and fulfilled.
  • A light massage and a warm bath can do wonders.
  • Comfortable clothing after a warm bath is soothing.
  • Read a book or play some soft music so that your child feels naturally sleepy and is ready to go to sleep instead of resisting sleep.
  • A gentle night lamp can be switched on in case your baby wakes up at night abruptly or let it be pitch dark, if your baby prefers that. Do ensure as parents that your lifestyle is adapted as per your baby’s requirements.

Precautions to be taken when your baby is sleeping:

Make sure your baby does not sleep on her/his tummy, with her/his neck turned uncomfortably on the mattress. This can increase the risk of suffocation and also cause posture problems, which can be very difficult to correct.

Sleep cycles vary between children and adults

  • Adults usually have a 90-120 minutes sleep cycle and babies have a 50 minutes sleep cycle.
  • REM sleep – is Rapid Eye Movement sleep where a person has vivid dreams and tends to wake up at the drop of a hat. Adults spend 20% of their time in REM sleep and babies about 50% of their time in REM sleep. So, they tend to wake up more easily.

Is it a good idea to share your bed with your baby?

It is not recommended to share your bed with your baby, as your baby’s bed requirements are specific and different from an adult’s bed requirements.

What is co-sleeping?

Making your baby sleep on another mattress in your room is called co-sleeping. Definitely you are not sharing the same mattress with your baby.

Advantage of co-sleeping

  • Your baby identifies with his or her own bed and feels settled quickly on his or her own bed.
  • The transition at the right age to move your child to an independent room is smooth, as they are used to sleeping on an independent bed.
  • They will feel confident and ready for the change and will not resist it.

Why should you (as parents) never share your bed with your baby?

  • It is not hygienic to share your bed with your baby, as your baby is just developing her/his own immune system which is not as robust as yours.
  • It is also not safe to share your bed as you or your partner can roll over the baby and can crush her/him.

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