Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Sleep and security

Your baby has been in your belly for months. Everything was familiar and warm there. After the birth, your child will end up in this very big world. He’s still very open then, and takes everything in. He can’t protect himself from cold, drafts and all of those impressions yet. As a parent you play a very important part. Because for healthy growth and development, your baby needs rest and security. He relies on you, his parents, completely for this. Organize the life of your baby, keep him warm and offer him restriction if necessary.

A sense of safety

Our world is busy, very busy... Our little ones have to deal with a lot of impressions every day. Enough sleep is important for your child, because all of these impressions have to be processed while he’s sleeping. When it’s sleep time, a lot of babies having trouble giving in to sleep. They prefer to stay close to mom, safe and familiar. They are looking to have that sense of safety again, especially for sleep time. Make sleeping warm and snug for your baby, for example with a cradle or a (swaddling) sleeping bag. The sense of safety will comfort your baby, he will be warm enough and sleep longer and deeper because of this.     When he’s not in bed your child also needs warmth and protection. From cold, drafts and an overload of impressions. A lovely wrap will keep your little warm everywhere during the first few months. After bath time, while he’s feeding, in the car and in the playpen. If you make sure it doesn’t feel unpleasant to your baby, you will avoid unnecessary restlessness.  

At the hospital they wrapped her up warmly right away. What a sweetheart.

Impressions

During the first weeks, a lot of babies have trouble processing all the impressions, which is expressed through shock movements while they’re sleeping. The biggest bother are the flailing arms, that will hit the baby awake. He will wake up too early, before he’s properly rested. This will make new impressions even harder to process. It won’t be long until there’s a vicious cycle of a lot of crying and not a lot of sleeping, with sleep and hunger signals becoming more and more unclear. A swaddling sleeping bag helps break this cycle. The warmth of the soft cocoon provides comfort, and because the arms are restricted they will not wake the baby up anymore. The little one will sleep deeper and longer, and wake up rested. The Sleeper cradle makes the world around your child even smaller. It reminds him of those nine months in mom’s belly. Because of the cradling and the warmth of the soft cocoon, it won’t be long until your baby is asleep. The cradle can be put in a quiet place, so your baby will sleep peacefully, without startling awake.

Rhythm and predictability

The pleasant sense of safety comforts your child, and allows him to sleep longer. But for a good rhythm you should always remember regularity and predictability. Stick to a fixed pattern of sleeping, playing and feeding, and put your child to bed at the first sleep signals. Make sure he has a nice place to sleep and a fixed ritual before bedtime. Your child will start to recognize and trust all of this soon. Then he will surrender to sleep more quickly, and dream good dreams.

We see our son enjoy his cocoon so much every time. We haven’t been bothered by sleeping issues yet, luckily!