Location location location: where will baby sleep?

You may have already spent some time thinking about this and preparing a special place for baby to sleep.

If you had your baby in hospital, unless there are any problems, baby will most likely sleep in a portable plastic bassinet in your room. The bassinet looks like a big plastic box on a trolley – we fondly christened it the fish tank. You are also able to have baby in bed with you although it is important to be aware of baby’s safety near the edge of the bed – ask the midwives for help. You will also need to ask for help getting you and baby in and out of bed if you have had a Caesarean birth.

If you had your baby at home, or once you get home, there are a variety of options. Baby may sleep in your room in their own bed (a basket, bassinet, or cot), in your bed, or in another room away from you. You might use any or all of these options at different times. What you decide is really up to you. It’s worth noting that you may have planned for one particular option only to find this doesn’t work (welcome to Parenthood!). For example a friend of mine planned to have her baby sleep in a bassinet in her room but found baby’s night time noises kept her awake, so she ended up moving her to another room. Conversely, I planned for my daughter to be in a cot in her own room but at the last minute didn’t want to be apart from her. It is also worth knowing that having baby in the same room as you for the first six months reduces the risk of SIDS (previously known as cot death).

Initially baby will probably end up sleeping in a variety of places, including but not limited to, mum’s or dad’s arms, a sling or front pack, a buggy, on the floor, in their car seat, in a portable bassinet or basket, or in a cot.

At this early stage babies are not laying down habits so don’t be worried that you’re creating an unsustainable situation. Just do what you gotta do to help the bubba sleep!

Safety Update:

Please note that babies shouldn’t be left to sleep unattended (or at least with frequent regular checks) in car seats or capsules, buggies or other items that put baby in a more upright or slightly curled position. This is because baby’s head can slump forward cutting off their airflow. In fact the neonatal staff at Wellington state strongly that babies should not be left to sleep in portable capsules for more than 45 minutes without getting them up to stretch and be in a different position for a while.

So if your bubba is falling asleep in these please make sure that you don’t leave them unattended. Pop them in the same room as you, check them frequently, and if they are deeply asleep you may want to move them to a cot or bassinet where they can lie flat on their backs.

Coming up… more on safe sleeping…


Posted on July 16, 2011, in Sleep and Crying. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Just wanted to add a word of warning that it is not recommended that you leave babies to sleep in car-seats when you’re not in the car as their heads can slump forward and block their airway.

    • Thanks Corinna – yes definitely! In fact the Neonatal staff at Wellington recommend as well that babies shouldn’t sleep in car seats or capsules for longer than 45 minutes (even if supervised) without getting them out for a bit of a stretch and different position.

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