By the time your baby is three months old, he will tend to sleep more at night and stay awake longer during the day. Rosemary Horne receives funding from the National Health and Medical Research Council of Austalia, the Scottish Cot Death Trust, The Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths, SIDS and Kids, Victoria. In a recent visit to Australia, US Anthropologist Professor James McKenna claimed that under the right circumstances, breastfed babies could safely sleep in the same bed as their mothers. SIDS is the sudden and unexpected death of an infant under one year of age, usually while sleeping, for which no cause can be found. The Reducing the Risks for SIDS public awareness campaign, which alerted parents to these risks and explained how parents could protect their infants, successfully reduced the incidence of SIDS in Australia by more than 80% over the past 20 years. It is true that around the world the majority of babies will sleep in the same bed with their mothers. But babies who are taken into bed for feeding and then placed back in their own cot are not at any increased risk. Sleeping alone makes it harder for mother and child to bond - and damages the development of the brain, leading to bad behaviour as the child grows up, researchers fear.Dr Nils Bergman, of the University of Cape Town, South Africa, says that for optimal development, healthy newborns should sleep on their mother’s chest for the first few weeks After that, they should stay in the mother’s bed until they are three or even four years old.

However, in western cultures the sleeping arrangements are generally very different from those in the developing world. They include being placed to sleep on their tummy, allowing them to get their face covered by bedding and exposing them to cigarette smoke. We usually sleep in a soft bed which is raised from the floor and have pillows and soft bedding such as doonas.
Monitoring revealed the baby’s heart to be under three times as much stress when he or she slept alone.
To learn more about the basics of baby sleep, you may want to first read Newborn Sleep, which includes ways to help your baby put herself to sleep.Moving baby to a cotIf your baby has been sleeping with you for the first three months, you may want to move him to his own cot. If you are lucky, this will go without a hitch and your baby will doze off when you put him into his cot. Some parents find that a feed around 10 pm, just before they go to bed themselves, helps baby sleep longer through the night. You know your baby better than anyone, so you decide.Night wakingAll babies wake during the night as part of their normal sleep cycle.

Once a baby knows how to fall back to sleep by themselves, everybody in the house can enjoy nights of relatively unbroken rest.To help your baby figure out how to put herself to sleep, it is best to put her to bed while she is sleepy but still awake. If she can learn to go to sleep without your involvement, she is more likely to drop off again by herself if she wakes during the night.
This means putting her into her bed before she falls asleep on your lap or on the couch.Nearly 50 per cent of babies under 15 months wake at night.
If regular night waking is becoming a problem for you, try using the tips in the guide to solving sleep problems.

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