Baby Care & Child Health Problems

Part I
BABY CARE

IV
Baby Sleep Patterns

Sleeping is an essential and important activity for your baby. In the beginning, your baby will spend the better part of the day sleeping. Growth hormones work most effectively when the baby is asleep. Initially, for the first few months, your baby will continue with his/her own sleep pattern, sleeping as and when he/she likes. As the baby grows older, he/she will slowly learn to adjust the sleep pattern to your daily routine. When the baby is about three months old, your baby will normally sleep for 10 hours at night on the whole, even if he/she wakes up in between. Your baby's daytime sleep can often be divided into two sessions – morning and afternoon.

Everybody has different opinion when it comes to care and upbringing of a baby, therefore sleep is no different. Even the simple task of deciding the length of a baby's nap, or how to put your baby to sleep has become complicated, because of the number of opinions you will get. As a result of the emotional involvement in caring for your baby, every small aspect becomes an issue. Most mothers are more than happy to make adjustments and will schedule their sleeping pattern to fit their baby's sleep pattern. This ensures that the mother and baby sleep together which is ideal. Sleeping together ensures strong emotional bonding between the mother and her baby. Studies have shown that babies who sleep with their mothers feel more protected.

If you feel that your baby should have a sleep pattern that is convenient for everyone at home and that does not interfere with your sleep pattern, you will have to make the baby learn a sleep pattern. One of the most common ways to make a baby sleep, is to use music, either sing to the baby or play some soothing music and before you know the baby is fast asleep. This is a method that has been tried and tested over the years and this wisdom has been passed on from generation to generation, though the type of music used may vary.

Some parents choose a particular song for each child and sing this special song day after day at the baby's bedtime. They begin this when the baby is a few days old. After some time, the baby gets conditioned and will sleep easily once you start singing the song. If you don't want your baby to get used to the habit of being rocked to sleep, you can try using a musical toy. Wind-up this toy and it will play music for a few minutes. Use this toy every time you want to make your baby sleep. Place it close to his/her cot. After sometime, the baby will get accustomed to falling asleep to the sound of the musical toy. This method will help your baby sleep comfortably even if you are away from home.

Today CDs are created with specific music, which help very young babies fall asleep. While selecting music, they use music with the same beats per minute as the heartbeat of the mother, which the baby hears while in the womb. This has a soothing effect on the young baby, helps him/her to relax and fall asleep comfortably. You can choose whatever method suits you or try all of them and decide which one works best for your baby.

1. Baby Sleeping Bags

The concept of baby sleeping bags, though considerably new in many countries, has been in vogue for quite some time. Sleeping bags are specially designed bags that are meant for the purpose of keeping a baby warm, secure and comfortable at night. When should a baby be allowed to sleep in the bags has been a subject of debate and is still controversial. While in some parts of the world, babies are made to sleep in the bags as soon as they are born, in others, they need to be a few months old to be allowed to sleep in these specially designed sleeping bags.

There are a number of reasons why parents opt for sleeping bags for their babies. It is said that the coziness of a baby sleeping bag helps reinforce the sleeping pattern of a baby and gives him/her the security needed by the baby to sleep. There are a number of things that disturb a sleeping baby – a wet nappy, hunger, pain or feeling cold. While all the other causes are grasped by parents, they hardly come to know that the baby is feeling cold. This is where baby sleeping bags come to their rescue.

Choosing the Right Sleeping Bag

 Choose your baby's sleeping bag according to the prevailing season, so that he/she stays comfortably warm. Check the TOG** of the bag carefully.

 When you are buying a new sleeping bag for your child, make sure to check that the design and weight do not add to the heating process, thereby leading to overheating.

 It is advisable to go for a sleeping bag that has deep sleeve holes, so that the air gets room to circulate throughout the bag. This will work to prevent the bag from getting overheated.

 While determining the size of your baby sleeping bag, make sure that it is small enough to prevent your baby from sliding down inside the bag. At the same time, it should be big enough to allow him/her to kick legs freely, without the risk of being uncovered.

 Never ever get a quilted sleeping bag for your baby, as it can get too hot for your baby to handle. If you feel that your baby might feel cold in it, you can always put a sheet on the sleeping bag.

A baby in sleeping bags

2. Co-sleeping with Baby

When we think of a young baby sleeping, the most natural assumption is that the baby will be sleeping with his mother. Babies have slept with their mothers from time immemorial. This was thought to be the best practice as constant contact between mother and baby not only gave the baby a sense of security, but also strengthened the emotional bond between the two. The increase in research and studies done on babies, in the recent times, has given rise to a debate as to whether it is better for the baby to sleep with their mother or alone in their cot. Some mothers prefer sleeping together, while others prefer to put their baby in a cot. There are some precautions which you should take while co-sleeping with your baby.

Avoid Drugs

Take care not to sleep with your baby, if you have taken any drug that may affect the pattern of your sleep. If you have consumed alcohol, avoid sleeping with the baby at all costs. Counter drugs, such as cold medicine, also dull your sense of awareness during the night and you may put your weight or roll over on the baby without realising.

Make Enough Space

You need to ensure that there is enough space in the bed to accommodate you and your baby comfortably. A crowded bed is potentially unsafe for your baby. Each one on the bed should have space to move around a bit.

Use Bed Rails

You can use one or two bed rails on the bed, so that the baby doesn't roll off onto the floor. The chances of injury can also be minimised by pushing the mattress flush against a wall or placing another mattress on the floor to give support to the baby in the instance of falling.

Tie long hair

If your hair is very long, it is advisable to tie it back in order to avoid strangulation. Though such chances are very slim, it is better to tie the hair or wear a bonnet, while sleeping with the baby, as there have been instances where the babies have suffocated in sleep by getting entangled in their parent's hair.

Head and Foot Boards

Flushing the mattress against the headboard and the footboard can also ensure that the baby is not entrapped between the mattress and the bed frame. Some babies tend to wriggle themselves to the top, bottom or side of the mattresses.

Siblings and Pets

A baby should not be made to sleep next to the siblings or pets. The baby should always sleep next to the mother, so that she can breast-feed him/her during the night, if required. There is a danger that the pets or siblings may roll over the baby and injure him/her.

Bedding and Pillows

The baby should not be made to sleep with fluffy bedding, pillows or stuffed animals. In fact, babies should not even sleep close to fluffy bedding or pillows. Take care not to cover the baby's face with a blanket, unless it is extremely cold. You can cover the rest of the baby's body with a blanket, but the face should be left uncovered.

A baby sleeping with mother

3. Getting Baby to Sleep in Crib

Patting them, swaddling them, singing lullaby to them, taking them for a walk, and many more things just to make sure the little babies get some proper sleep. However, it is not an easy task. Babies are very choosy and restless when it comes to sleeping. During the first few days, you prefer making your baby sleep next to you. This is good for the baby as well, since he/she will need you around. The problem arises when you are planning to shift your baby to a nursery in a crib. Babies are very particular about their surroundings. They get used to a particular surrounding and then hate it later, when there are any changes in the setting. Sleeping beside their mother makes them feel safe and secure, a feeling they can't experience in a big crib. This is what makes them uncomfortable and they make a fuss about sleeping in a crib alone. This process of making them shift to a crib will take a persistent and patient trial on your part.

Tips to Make Baby Sleep in a Crib

 Relax and don't get anxious. Take your own time, if you are not ready to shift your baby to a crib. Your baby might also be afraid of sleeping alone. It may take some time for this shift to happen.

 Babies don't usually prefer changes because they get used to a particular pattern and feel secured in the same pattern. So, any changes in the new room will make them uncomfortable. Try and keep the setting similar to the room in which the baby was previously sleeping. For example, if a ceiling fan was used in the previous room, run the fan.

A baby crib

 Use the same kind of bedding and swaddle the baby in the same blanket, in which he/ she was sleeping before. This will make him/her get the same feel and he/she will not get affected by the change of place.

 Keep the bedtime routine same. Whatever you used to do before going to sleep with your baby, continue the same routine. If you used to play with the baby before going to bed, continue doing the same even now.

 All babies are different from one another. They might take their own time to get comfortable with the crib. Don't get angry with them if they are crying or refusing to sleep in a crib. You may seek some advice from mothers who were successful in shifting their babies to the crib.

 Make the crib a perfect place to sleep in. Make it cozy by putting rolled blankets in a circle; this will make the bed smaller. Newborn babies like having something close to their heads. Crib can be a scary place for them to sleep, make sure you don't put anything in the bed that can fall over their face.

 Babies are very sensitive to the change of temperature. It is advisable to make the temperature of the room, where the baby is going to sleep, warm and cozy enough for your baby to be comfortable. Before putting the baby in the crib, make sure the crib is not cold. You can use a warm bottle and place it on the crib for it to get warm, but make sure it does not become too warm. Make sure to remove the bottle before putting the baby in the crib. You can even use a sleeping bag, which is more comfortable for your baby. Your baby can enjoy the same kind of temperature throughout.

 Roll down one of your top or any other cloth in the crib where the baby is sleeping. Babies love to get their mother's smell. If the bed will smell of mom, they will feel much better and safer.

 You can also swaddle your newborn baby. Swaddling the baby will make him/her feel relaxed and cozy. In the beginning, you can swaddle the baby completely, but when the baby turns 6 weeks old, your baby's arms should be left free. Babies may use their hands for self-soothing or for communicating hunger by sucking their hands or thumbs.

 Make it a routine to put your baby in a crib to sleep. You need to be patient enough to continue trying. To make your baby shift to sleep in a crib will take time; you need to be persistent in implementing all the methods to make this happen.

4. Sleeping Safely

There is nothing more peaceful than the sight of a sleeping baby. At the same time, there is no thought more terrifying than having to see your baby hurt himself/herself, while sleeping soundly. Unfortunate as it is, there are a few instances of crib deaths. Every parent's main concern is to keep their baby safe and sound, even when he/ she is asleep. Though numerous studies have been done on crib accidents and deaths, no one has been able to pin point the exact reason for the same. This fatality seems to be caused when a number of factors work together and affect the baby in some particular way. Researchers have come up with a few simple rules to be followed, which considerably lower the risk of crib death, while the baby is asleep.

Crib Safety Rules

 Make your baby sleep on his/her back.

 Make the baby sleep in the ‘feet-to-foot’ position and away from the end of the crib. Place the baby in such a way that his/her feet are facing the foot of the crib, but are not touching the end of the crib.

 The right temperature for a baby's room is 18°C (65°F). Babies should never rest in very hot temperatures.

 Do not use an electric blanket or a hot water bottle in the baby's crib.

 They should not be allowed to sleep either in direct sunlight, or near a fire or heater.

 The baby's clothes, sheets and blankets must be usually made of cotton only.

 All that babies need while sleeping is nappy, vest and sleep suit. If it is a hot night, make sure you dress the baby lightly.

 The room in which the baby sleeps must be smoke-free. Do not smoke or allow anyone to smoke near the baby.

 During the first six months, make sure that the baby crib is in your bedroom.

 Avoid sleeping with your baby on the sofa.

 If you smoke, drink alcohol, take medicines or drugs that make you sleep deeply, then do not allow your baby to share your bed.

 Do not cover the baby's head unless it is very cold, as they lose excess heat from their heads and faces.

 When the baby has temperature, his covering should be light and not heavy as is often believed.

 The baby's bedding, mattress, covering should be kept clean, sun-dry and aired.

5. Getting Your Baby on a Sleeping Routine

Rock them, cradle them or wrap them up, whatever you do your baby is not ready to sleep! This situation can occur with any parent. Babies are usually restless and getting them to sleep at night is very difficult, as they are still in an excited mind frame. It is beneficial for this reason to have a fixed sleeping routine for your baby. It will help both the baby and you. It will make the baby aware of what is coming next, it will also give them a sense of time and will help them put their body in a particular pattern. A routine will also make your work easier, but for that you need to keep repeating the same routine everyday till the time your baby gets used to it and no more requires your help. The sooner the better, start moulding your baby's day into a routine from when they are 6-8 weeks old, so that they get used to it and follow it as they grow up. This routine may vary, depending on your family's lifestyle and yours and your baby's comfort.

Tips to Establish Baby Bedtime Routine

Here are some tips to establish the bedtime routine for your baby :

 Give Them a Soak
One of the most popular methods to get your baby follow a bedtime routine is by giving him/her a warm bath. Having a bath just before going to bed is quite soothing and relaxing. Make your baby sit in warm water and clean them up. This will ease them up and make it easy for them to get a good sleep. Bath is also a good way to spend some special time with your baby. If your baby doesn't like having a bath, don't force it upon him/her.

 Feed Them
Another way of getting your baby into a full sleep routine is by sending him/her to bed with full stomach. Feed them just before sleeping. This will help them sleep properly and will let others in the house to sleep peacefully as well.

 Let the Energy Drown
It is better to allow babies to exhaust any pent-up energy out before going to sleep. So feel free to dance with them, play with them and let them bounce in a bouncer. All these activities will help your baby get exhausted completely, which will put him/her to a sound sleep easily.

 Send Them to Bed Clean
Getting ready for bed routine can also include washing your baby's face, wiping or brushing gums and teeth, changing his/her diaper, etc. Send him/her to bed clean, so that he/she feels fresh and ready to doze off. It is important to develop the habit of brushing before going to bed at a young age, so that they get used to it as they grow up.

 Chat with Them
You can even chat with your kids before sending them to bed. It is the best time also for the parents and kids to bond along well. Just speak to them about the entire day. No need to wait till your child is big enough to speak; you can chat with infants as well.

 Sing a Song
You can sing a song for your baby. It can be any song and not just a lullaby. A slow soothing melody can put things on track. It can relax your baby and put them in a calm state. It can also be a signal for them that it's time to sleep.

 Play Some Music
A soft slow music can ease the transition of your baby from a tiring day to a good night sleep. A slow soothing music from a radio or a stereo can calm even the crankiest of babies. Music will relax your baby and carry them to sleep. If your baby is really screaming and too tired, use a hair dryer or a vacuum to create noise to distract the baby.

 Play with Them
Playing a quiet game with your baby in the room is a good way to spend some quality time with him/her. You can play any game that your baby enjoys, but not the one that gets them too excited. Playing a game will extract the leftover energy in them and will give them a sound sleep.

 Say Goodnight Ritual
Many babies like roaming about the entire house and wishing goodnight to all the members and their favourite toys and belongings. It can be added on to the normal routine as a daily ritual, if your baby is pleased at the end of it and goes to bed with a smile.

 Read a Bedtime Story
Another common and all time ritual is to read your kids a bedtime story. This will not only put them to sleep but will also help them to recognise and relate with words. It is an educative way to put your baby to a sleeping routine.

 Take Them Out
Take your baby for a long walk. Make sure the stroller is positioned such that the baby does not face you. A walk with your infant in fresh atmosphere will prove to be really effective.

 Get To Know Where Your Baby Sleeps Well
Get to know where your baby loves to sleep. There is no right or wrong place as such. Some babies like to sleep in their own crib in their own room, some like to sleep in their crib in their parent's room; some of them like to sleep on the parent's bed with them. This habit of your baby may also change with his/her age. Be adjustable to your baby's changing style, and make him/her sleep as he/she wishes.

 Dancing
Hold your baby and slowly dance around a low lit room. This will exhaust your baby a bit and help them have a good relaxed nap.

 Massage Your Baby
Massage is an excellent way to relax a tensed baby. Use a little lotion or oil and rub it all over. It will relax the muscles and soothe them after a day full of activities.

 Avoid External Aid
Many parents get exhausted after a day's long work and they prefer resorting to external aid to get their babies sleeping, for example using a pacifier, taking your baby for a drive, or rocking or nursing your baby to sleep. Though your baby might initially fall asleep quickly with these external aids, but this is just making your job more difficult. The problem that you will face is that your baby is not learning how to sleep alone. Instead, take some time off to get your baby to sleep without any help.

 Be Flexible in Approach
Stay flexible with your sleeping program. A single approach may not work with all the kids. Don't stick on to a failing experiment. Use some other night time parenting style. Babies have different temperaments and families have different lifestyles. Adapt a night time strategy that will suit your baby's disposition and family's lifestyle. If the style is working, continue it, if not, drop it and be open to change in style.

 Let the Baby Learn to Sleep Alone
Whenever your baby is going to sleep, be it day or night, take it as an opportunity to help your baby learn how to sleep without any help. It is a process which will take time to show result. It is not an overnight miracle, so there is a need for regular, patient approach.

 Don't Get Upset
It may so happen that you try all the tactics to put your baby into a sleeping routine and they may not get used to it. Do not get boggled or impatient if something like this happens, as it is quite common and the kids take their own sweet time to fit into a routine.

Tips to get Baby on a Sleeping Routine

6. Baby Sleep Problems

Nothing can be more pleasing than to see a newborn sleeping peacefully. A newborn needs 14 to 20 hours of sleep a day. It is essential for a baby to complete his/her cycle of sleep; otherwise, lack of sleep may affect his/her health adversely. Some kids get up from sleep, feed and go back to sleep. However, there are some that do not get a peaceful nap. Whatever the parents do to make them sleep, they will wake up in a few minutes and start crying. This is one of the common problems faced by parents of a newborn. The baby's sleep pattern can vary and parents may take some time to understand it. Their sleep patterns are subject to change at different places and time. The only time any parent can rest or do some other work is the time when babies sleep. But there are many problems that babies can face when it comes to sleeping.

Noise

Babies are very sensitive and even the slightest of disturbance or noise can wake them up from their sleep. Babies get restless and stressed if their sleep cycle is hampered. It is better to shut down all the disturbing noise when a baby is sleeping. Make your baby's room soundproof; so that nothing can spoil his/her sleep. A simple way to do that is to shut all the doors and windows.

Time

Your baby may sleep at any time. However, it is always helpful to have a fixed time schedule for the baby. Keeping the time of baby's sleep fixed will help the babies to get in a routine and once they are in a routine, it will become easier for you to plan out other works for the day. Nevertheless, there may be days when your baby refuses to sleep till he/she is too tired.

Bedding

Babies are not prone to changes and they love to stick to their routine. Any change in the discipline around them may make them unhappy. Similarly, the bedding on which a baby sleeps should also be the same. Try to have similar kind of bedding for the baby. This will make them comfortable and sleep peacefully.

Touch

It is nice to comfort the babies. So lie down with them and stroke them to make them go to sleep. However, do not make it a habit. If you make it a routine, the baby will expect the same routine by the same person every day, and if that will not happen it may lead to restlessness affecting his/her sleep. Babies tend to get dependent on one person (usually the mother) and feel protected and always want the same person around while sleeping.

Lights

Some babies may get used to sleeping in dark, while for some any condition is just fine for sleeping. Try to minimise the use of lights when a baby is sleeping.

Teething

If your baby is teething, it will be very painful for him/her and the pain will not let them sleep. Take advice from your doctor and use all natural remedies to ease the pain.

7. Getting Twins to Sleep

Baby twins sleeping

Twins are double delight, but this fun can also translate into problems and responsibilities as well. Having twin babies is quite lucky and can be a great fun only if you know how to handle them together. It becomes troublesome at times for parents to take care of twins, especially when both are as demanding and as fussy. There are a number of problems which the parents of twins might face. One such problem can be to make both the crying babies to sleep peacefully. It can get a bit difficult with twins, to make them get the required amount of sleep. They may be too restless and playful together and may just refuse to sleep. Here are some tips on getting your twins to sleep without any difficulty.

Put Them to Bed Gradually

Your babies should learn to sleep on their own the moment they get on bed. One of the ways to do it is to gradually and slowly help them get to sleep. Making them tired will not help much, as they may tend to get restless.

Take Them to Bed Together

You need to decide what is simpler? Your twins going to bed at the same time, or at different times! It is better and simpler for you if you develop a same time schedule for your twins. Keeping your toddlers on same sleep schedule is the key for developing a healthy sleeping pattern for them, and also giving you some time off.

Establish a Bedtime Routine

Toddlers love to have a fixed routine. Develop a simple and useful bedtime routine to help them get sleep easily. A warm bath, a bedtime story, cuddling, back rubbing and little talk can prepare your babies well for a good sleep. Sticking to the routine will also act as a signal for the toddlers that it is time for them to call it a day.

Be with Them

Along with soft music, if they have you next to them, nothing will be as soothing to them as that moment. Your presence will help them feel secure and will put them at ease. Try and sing some lullaby or a rhyme or read a book to them. All this will make them sleep faster.

Discourage Playing

When babies are together, they have many things to do. Discourage any night time play between the twins. You can keep them quiet as night. Let the room be dimly lit, do not encourage much playing. You can also provide self soothers like a soft toy, or a blanket to sleep with. These objects will divert their attention from each other and help them go off to sleep.

Attend to the Calmer One First

You may feel obliged to attend to the naughty one first and then go to the calmer one. but the truth is that you should always attend to the calmer one first, make him/her sleep and then go back to the brat. If you will always attend to the naughtier one at first, the calmer one will lose all attention which he/she should get, because all your time will go in calming down the noisy one.

8. Positional Asphyxia in Infants

Newborns need a lot of sleep. While this helps the child in his/her overall health and growth process, it also gives a little rest to the new mother. However, you need to consider if your child is safe while sleeping. This may sound a bit strange and out of place, because a baby can't be safer than when he/she is sleeping soundly. You might be thinking how your baby can not be safe while sleeping. What you miss here is that the position in which you make your baby sleep, which is of utmost importance to his/her safety. If your baby is not lying down in a correct position, it may add on to SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). Infants are fragile and sensitive, so any kind of compromise with their sleeping position or sleeping place may cause them to suffer in future. It is important for the parents to get to know the right position for their babies to sleep, in order to save them from any risks whatsoever. Babies can pose a great risk to their life, if they happen to sleep in a way that might suffocate them. This leads to positional asphyxia, also known as postural asphyxia. It is a state of lack of oxygen to breathe, due to the sleeping position. Positional asphyxia happens mostly in infancy, when an infant is found dead with his/her mouth and nose blocked or their chest unable to fully expand. It can just happen suddenly, so parents need to be extremely careful while making their babies to go to sleep.

Keeping them Safe

 Provide a firm and proper bedding or mattress for your child to sleep. The bed or the crib where your baby is going to sleep should be properly and firmly laid down without anything loose lying on it.

 Make your baby lie down on his/her back and not on their stomach while sleeping. Research has proved that making your baby sleep on his/her back may lower the risk of SIDS.

 Remove unnecessary pillows, quilts, stuffed toys and other soft or furry items from the area where the baby is going to sleep. These items may lead to choking or suffocation for the baby.

 If your baby is a preemie, consult your pediatrician to know about any other sleeping position. If your baby went through any health hazards like respiratory distress, consulting a doctor will be a better option, to decide the right sleeping position for him/her.

 Purchase a newborn sleeping pillow to keep your baby from rolling down the bed, or to keep him/her from changing their position and moving from his/her back to stomach, which may cause breathing problems and choking.

 Use a sleeping suit rather than a blanket. It will remove all risks of suffocation and will also keep your baby warm. Blankets may make your baby grasp for breath. While the baby is sleeping, his/her face should not be covered by any quilt or blanket. The baby should also not be sleeping against any soft materials, such as toys. He/she should have enough space to breathe properly.

 Do not place your baby on a waterbed or sofa or any other soft mattress, soft surface or pillows for sleeping. This may lead to suffocation.

 Cribs though safe can also be dangerous, if you have not chosen the right one for your baby. The cribs should be of exact size with no loose ends. The mattress should be properly laid down. The bedding should be a perfect fit.

 The crib should also not contain any soft toys, sheepskins, quilts or any such material that can choke the babies during sleeping. There is also a risk of your baby getting some allergy or infection. The crib should be empty with the bedding properly laid down.

 Babies may love to share the bed with you. It can be dangerous at times and so, it is better to develop a routine for them to get sleep in their crib.

 Sleeping sideways or sleeping with the face down is a wrong sleeping position and can kill your baby. The ideal sleeping position would be sleeping on the back. Any other sleeping position just increases the risk of suffocation and choking.

Right position of sleeping

Wrong position of sleeping

FAQs

Q-1. Why does my baby keeps waking up at night?

Ans. Generally newborns sleep for 14-18 hours but they keep waking up every 2-3 hours. They would take their feed and the sleep again after some time. This may cause a lot of worry and anxiety for the mother who herself feels deprived of sleep due to this sleeping-waking-sleeping routine. But this routine changes by the time your baby is 2-3 months old. Once the baby keeps awake for longer periods during the day, he/she will begin to sleep for longer periods at night.

Q-2. What is swaddling?

Ans. Swaddling is the process of bundling up the baby in comfortable clothes. Newborn babies get startled frequently during their sleep. By swaddling, mothers can minimise the baby's unwanted movements allowing the baby to sleep for longer period.

Q-3. What is the best way to put my baby to bed?

Ans. Although each baby develops his/her individual sleep pattern, but you may try the following pattern to help the baby to go to sleep. When the baby seems drowsy, darken the room and comfort, rock and cuddle the baby till he/she is drowsy. Then place the baby down in the bed and let him/her doze off.

Q-4. I put a curfew and do not allow any noise in the house when my baby goes off to sleep, which other members find very uncomfortable. What should I do?

Ans. If your baby is sleepy then he/she will doze off despite the sounds around. There is no need to impose a total curfew on all types of sounds in the house and disturb all the members of the house. Let the baby get used to the routine household sounds. However, loud, sudden noises should be avoided as they tend to wake up the babies from sleep.

Q-5. I am confused as to where to put my baby to sleep – in the crib or with me in bed?

Ans. Being close to mother is most comfortable for a baby. They definitely prefer to sleep in bed with their mothers. But there is a chance of accidental suffocation if the mother accidentally rolls over on to the baby. So only sleep the baby with you in your bed if you have a big bed. Otherwise put the baby to sleep in the crib in the same room near your bed.

** Sleeping bags are given a TOG rating according to the warmth they provide. The higher the TOG figure, the warmer will be the bag. In winter, a baby sleeping bag should have a rating of 4 TOG – 2.2 TOG. In summers, you'll need a sleeping bag with a lower TOG rating.