Sleeping babies, the rules for a "perfect sleep"

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Catherine Le Nevez
@catherinelenevez
Author and references

Contents

  • 1 Sleeping newborns: sleeping positions
  • 2 Sleeping babies: where to sleep 
  • 3 Sleeping babies: pillow yes or no?
  • 4 Sleeping babies and cot kit
  • 5 Babies sleep and room temperature
  • 6 Sleeping babies: find the right routine

Nanna and babies: very hot topic. Often, already in pregnancy, a sort of "psychological terrorism" begins towards future mothers: "Sleep now because when it is born it will be impossible!", "I forgot what it means to sleep 5 hours in a row!", "My son does at least 7 awakenings a night! ". I mean, horror movie stuff. But is the sleep of babies really always so complicated? 



Obviously the answer is no. There are children who sleep for 7-8 hours straight immediately and others who, after a somewhat “stormy” start, soon settle down. As in most things it is all very subjective and depends from child to child. It is true that very often we have to arm ourselves with holy patience but, sooner or later, we will go back to sleep peacefully. 

So let's see the "golden rules" for a sleep of newborns (and therefore parents) that is peaceful, but also safe.

Sleeping newborns: sleeping positions

The title is deliberately wrong. For the safety of our little ones, there are no more sleeping positions, but only one: the supine one. All specialists recommend that babies stay on their stomachs because repeated scientific studies have shown that she is the only one who can make us feel safe. 

One might think that, in the event of regurgitation, the supine position may favor the suffocation of the newborn. Research on human physiology, on the other hand, says exactly the opposite. There is no increased risk that the baby could choke due to a rising milk. The lateral position is not considered safe either. 



"Oh well but we all grew up sleeping on our stomachs!". Very true. But she died much more from cot death because not many things were known. However, the temptation could be strong. If you notice even the little ones who find it hard to sleep if they are on their stomachs "snore" which is a beauty. Probably the contact of the tummy with the mattress makes them feel protected, a bit like when they sleep on their mother's chest after eating. But better to avoid.

Sleeping babies: where to sleep 

Nice dilemma! There are various ways: Latvian with mum and dad (the most comfortable), a cot next to mum and dad (the most loved), a personal room away from mum and dad (the least popular). As in all things, this is also an extremely personal choice that depends on many factors. 

Co-sleeping, that is the habit of sharing one's bed with children, has various advantages, first of all the fact of not having to get up to breastfeed, as well as favoring physical contact with the newborn. Yet, there are still some specialists who advise against this practice for safety reasons. This is especially true in the case of parents who are obese or who use drugs. 

The solution of the cot in the same room as the parents, perhaps choosing a cot for co-sleeping, is a good compromise. Mum and dad maintain their intimacy (also understood as physical closeness), but the baby is right next to them and they are ready to satisfy their needs at the first "uè". 


However, there are also those who prefer to keep the children in their room immediately or almost immediately. There aren't many couples who do it, but there are. As mentioned, it's just a matter of choosing what you prefer. 

Sleeping babies: pillow yes or no?

The answer is no. Infants do not need to keep their heads raised. On the contrary, it can be deleterious. Furthermore, the pillow does not give any additional protection against cot death. If the baby is suffering from regurgitation or reflux, it may be helpful to try to keep him relieved. But you don't need a pillow to do this. Rather, the mattress should be tilted a little, placing something under it.


Just as the pillow is useless and harmful, even the bumpers should not be used. This is because a newborn's bed should be totally free of anything that might somehow land on his face, preventing him from breathing. So what to do to ensure that the feet do not end up between the bars of the bed? If you really can't do without it, choose a rather flat model, which is less bulky as possible. HERE you can find an example.

Even if you love them, no stuffed toys in the bed. They take up space, they could cover the face and also tend to accumulate very poor. Limit yourself to the dou dou, an excellent bedtime friend.

Sleeping babies and cot kit

At this point you may be wondering what to do with sheets and blankets, since we said that the bed should not be filled with objects. It is a good rule not to overdo it and above all try to put the laundry in so that it is not easy to move it. It should therefore be well wedged under the mattress. Speaking of mattress, it's not an object to save on. Buy it of good quality, remembering that the baby must sleep on a hard surface.


Remember never to make your bed too heavy, even in winter. If the baby feels warm, the quality of his sleep suffers. He will wake up more often, move around a lot, probably moving the covers. With the result that you will be awake to check it! One solution can be the sleeping bag, a kind of soft padded suit in which to keep the baby without having to cover it further.

Babies sleep and room temperature

The room where the baby sleeps should have a temperature of around 20 degrees. Neither too hot nor too cold. In addition, the child should be kept away from heat sources, such as radiators or stoves. Choose pajamas that are not excessively heavy and always made of cotton, at most chenille. Wool or flannel is excessive.


If the child has a fever, it should not be covered too much. On the contrary, he must be exposed as much as possible. Especially if it is very tall, keep it even only with a bodysuit and diaper. The temptation is to do the opposite, but it is potentially dangerous.

Sleeping babies: find the right routine

Helping babies sleep is not an impossible task. Of course, for some children it is much easier and they seem "programmed" to fall asleep at the same time all the time and sleep peacefully until morning. For others, however, this idyllic moment seems very far away, but slowly it will arrive. 

Defining a routine is a first step towards a peaceful sleep. Being such small children there is only to organize baby food, bath and sleep. For many babies, the bath is an opportunity for great relaxation: hot water and cuddles with the mother prepare them for the bed in a natural way. But not for everyone: other little ones get very nervous and the bath turns into a boomerang with tears and stress that do everything except reconcile sweet dreams. In this case, it is better to choose another time of the day.

Make sure that the evening is always marked by the same moves and, as far as possible, by the same times. It is not impossible: you will soon realize that newborns are very methodical and routine. And sleep will also be calmer.

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