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Bumps and Babies

Advice on baby sleeping habits

Amy Vogelaar of Love Parenting UAE says babies’ sleep is different to ours. We just have to learn to adapt

© ITP Images

1 You aren’t doing anything wrong. Night waking in infancy is common. Scientists have theorised that it may protect small babies, as those who feed during the night or sleep close to their mothers and don’t sleep deeply, seem to be at less risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

2 Waking is natural. Young children have different sleep cycles. Adults’ cycles last around 90 minutes, while theirs last only around 45 minutes.

3 It won’t last forever. Sleepless nights with small babies is exhausting, but eventually, they will sleep through the night!

4 There’s no need to feel guilty. Most parents who feel they have a problem tend to feel guilty about it, convinced they are doing it all wrong, or have allowed their child to learn bad habits. But if you are up in the night you are a good parent. Simple.

5 Even good sleepers will have sleep problems. Just when you think your child is sleeping all through the night, something will throw them off again. Jet lag, illness, teething, growth spurts, visitors, starting nursery and more can all disturb sleep patterns. Everyone goes through it.

6 Babies and toddlers are not manipulative. They don’t have the cognitive ability to understand anything from another person’s perspective. They simply have a need, and you are the person who meets their needs, that’s all.

7 Create sleep associations. Routines are crucial. Babies are sensory people so using scent, sound and touch can help them understand it’s time for sleep.

8 Take care of yourself. The advice to “sleep when the baby sleeps” is not just a friendly tip. It’s a survival skill.

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By Victoria Bentley
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