By Jan Murray
A baby has many different sleeping options but how can a parent make a decision about what is the best option for their new baby?
Over the years I have visited many families that were faced with a variety of challenges after their baby was born. From these I have put together some ideas that are worth thinking about before making a decision on your baby's sleeping area:
1.Do you want them in your bedroom with you? If so, what size bassinette or basket will comfortably fit in your bedroom?
2.How will you teach your child to sleep in a still bed after they have learnt to sleep swinging in a hammock?
3.You have a cot/crib already but it seems too big for a newborn. Consider putting a 'Snuggle Bed' inside the cot/crib until they are bigger.
4.You love the thought of your baby sleeping in the parental bed with you but this is unadvisable if either parent is obese, smokes or takes drugs.
5.The baby's room is a long way from your room and you are afraid that you won't hear them cry. Consider using a baby monitor or bringing their bassinet/basket closer to your room temporarily.
6.Is the baby's room going to be cold because it gets little sun and they are due to be born in winter? Consider another room for the first 3 months.
7.Is their sleeping area bright during the day because it has light curtains and direct sunlight? Babies will sleep better after 6 weeks if the lighting is dim.
8.Is the nursery room is upstairs but you will be downstairs most of the day consider setting up two sleeping areas (one upstairs and one downstairs) for the first 3 months. The downstairs option could be a port-a-cot or pram/stroller.
9.You have animals and other children that will open the door and wake them up. Consider a gate on the doorway or a latch high up to secure the door shut.
10.Often a father can be away a lot for work and the mother brings the baby into her bed to sleep. When the father returns home there is minimal privacy as the baby will no longer sleep in their cot/crib. Consider the sleep associations that your baby is learning to go off to sleep with.
Parents are always learning about parenting issues. By considering these challenges that some parents have had could help you establish good sleeping patterns early for your baby.
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Jan Murray has studied and worked as a Registered Nurse, Midwife and Child Health Nurse for over 25 years. Jan is a mother of 5 and co-founder and director of Settle Petal - http://www.settlepetal.com Through her business Jan provides information and support for parents to develop their knowledge, understandings, skills and attitudes needed to maintain and enhance personal health and physical development of all members of their family.