Becoming a parent is one of the greatest blessings in an individual’s life. However, this awaited period comes with its own set of challenges. Every parent would regret committing any blunder while bringing up their kids. Hence, it is important to have the right knowledge right from infancy to childhood and adolescence.
One of the important aspects of the development of your baby is their sleep. Having quality sleep helps infants to grow faster, it enhances their memories, and also prepares them to respond in a better way to the surroundings. Unlike humans, the sleep cycle of babies is very brief which is approximately 50 minutes until 9 months of age. Therefore, they are more likely to wake up quite often. Hence, it is important to provide an ideal environment that doesn’t disturb their sleep.
Does Your Baby Need A Blanket And Pillow To Sleep
The most secure place for the baby to sleep is in the cot along with their parents, according to the American Association of Pediatrics (AAP) and NICE guidelines. However, unlike humans, babies don’t require a blanket and pillow while sleeping. Even though babies are a miniature version of adults, they are quite different from adults in many aspects. In adults, the objective of using a pillow while sleeping is to orient the head and the neck with the rest of the body in and that behind using a blanket is to provide comfort. However, introducing a pillow or a blanket in the sleep space of your baby is likely to cause more harm than good. Studies indicate the chance for a potential complication such as suffocation, which could thereby lead to SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome). This is because babies have poor motor coordination and cannot detect potential danger. Hence, even if they get smashed on the pillow or blanket, they may not be able to move their head off or push away the object.
Horrifying right? Well, parents must educate themselves about the right sleep space environment for their baby.
What Is An Ideal Sleep Space For Your Baby
- It is advised to put the baby to sleep on their back on any stiff and rigid surface such as cribs, cradles or bassinets. Babies can continue sleeping in cribs well until a few years. Cribs are generally a good choice because they are a smaller version of a cot. They have enough space to freely allow the movements of the baby. They also have tall hand railings which can be helpful to prevent any accidents. However, they are on the costlier side, unlike cradles and bassinets.
- The sleeping space must be completely free of any toys or even pillows and blankets.
- The crib of the baby must be in the same room as that of the parents.
- The sleeping space should be well ventilated, to reduce the risk of developing SIDS. Studies indicate a decrease in SIDS in a well-ventilated environment.
- The sleeping space should have a tall hand railing, to avoid any falling.
- Hangings if any should be kept at a sufficient distance from the baby. Also one should take care to avoid the hanging from falling over the baby.
- Make sure to maintain a dim light in the sleeping space.
- Also, make sure that there, not much interruption and disturbance when the baby wakes up in the night, so that the baby may fall asleep sooner.
When Is The Right Time To Introduce Pillows And Blankets
New parents are more tempted to purchase those stuffed and fluffy lovey-dovey and the best type of pillows for their babies which they had dreamt of. You are free to introduce a pillow into the sleeping space of your baby after 12 months, which is after the first birthday. As for babies, gel pillows are the best type of pillow. These pillows have excellent cooling properties and this helps to avoid the heat buildup. You could better plan to give a baby pillow to your baby on her first birthday.
The ideal age for introducing a blanket into the sleeping space of your baby is 18 months. There is a wide range of blankets manufactured from different materials and having a variety of designs available in the market.
However, you must take care of the dimensions of each blanket before purchasing. A crib blanket shouldn’t measure more than 40 inches by 60 inches.
Make sure that the blanket is not too big for the baby to avoid getting strangled. Also avoid wrapping the baby tightly in the blanket, as this may restrict the movements of the baby. It is always good to provide some room for the baby to move around. However, these realities would have lowered their spirits. Well, this is for them!
Before purchasing any kind of stuffed toy, you can easily carry out this test in your home to judge whether it is the right time to introduce one. Take any stuffed toys and stroke them lightly across the face of your little one. Notice the reactions of your baby. Is she able to move or slide her face away from the toy? Or is she able to lightly push away the toy from its face?. If yes, then you can consider purchasing. However, do not purchase any toy which is too long to avoid the risk of getting strangled. Keep in mind that your little one’s motor coordination isn’t still fully developed. Also, make sure that the toy is quite simple with no detachable part which the baby could accidentally swallow.
The most awaited time has finally come. Do not be upset that you are not able to give your baby whatever you had dreamt of. As new parents, it is very important to educate yourselves so that you have the right knowledge regarding bringing up your baby. Selecting the right thing has become a difficult task now with a wide range of baby products available in the market. However, before deciding anything major, try to speak to the paediatrician. Educating yourself with the right knowledge is important as there is a sea of wrong information put up on the internet. In addition, speaking to the manufacturers of the products can also be helpful.