You are twenty-four weeks pregnant now. It won’t be too much longer till you are through the second trimester. You may be trying to decide where baby will sleep. You probably have a crib, or plan to buy one. And you may have a bassinet or cradle. What other options are there for sleeping? Is it okay for the baby to sleep in the same bed with you? In this week’s newsletter, we are going to talk about where your baby will sleep. We are going to give you some information about crib sleeping, co-sleeping, and other options for sleep. We are also going to give you safety tips for keeping your baby safe while she is sleeping.
What Is Going on with Mom & Baby
Baby is the size of a cantaloupe!
Baby: Baby’s crown to rump length is around 22 cm. (around the size of a cantaloupe). Your baby weighs about 600-700 grams. Your baby’s eyes are completely developed now and will open soon. Her skin is red and wrinkled looking. More than half of babies born at this age will survive.
Mom: You may be getting more anxious for baby’s arrival. You might be looking forward to having a baby shower soon. If you are having cramps or Braxton Hicks contractions you may be concerned about preterm labor.
This Week’s Pregnancy Checklist
- Verify how much maternity leave you have and how much of it will be paid leave.
- Talk to your employer about arrangements to pump at work if you plan to breastfeed.
- Purchase a belly casting kit or paint your belly.
- If you haven’t written in your journal lately, make an entry.
- Make a list of names and phone numbers of people you want called after your baby is born.
- Take a new belly picture for your scrapbook or journal.
Where Will Baby Sleep?
Newborn infants sleep for about twenty hours a day. Finding the best sleep arrangement for your baby may take a little experimenting. Some babies stay asleep no matter where they are and other babies have a difficult time sleeping if they aren’t in a familiar environment. Where will your baby sleep best?
Crib sleeping - There is more than one philosophy on how to get your baby to sleep in the crib at night. You will want to do what works best for you and what feels right for you and your baby.
If you would like your baby to learn to sleep on her own, you will want to put her to sleep in the crib when she is sleepy but not asleep. The idea behind this is that she will learn to comfort herself and learn to sleep independently. The drawback to this, is that a lot of babies don’t go directly to sleep and your baby may cry for a while before she goes to sleep.
If you are not comfortable with letting your baby cry, you may want to try to get her to sleep first before putting her in the crib. Babies like to be rocked to sleep or nursed to sleep. Once your baby is sound asleep, you can move her to the crib. The disadvantages of putting her to sleep this way is that she may not learn to sleep independently; she may need you to rock her to sleep every night, and she may wake up as soon as you put her in the crib.
Co-sleeping - Both the CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) and the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) warn parents not to put baby to sleep in the bed with them.
The main concern is with suffocation from a parent rolling over onto baby, baby getting wedged between the wall or headboard, or baby rolling over to a face-down position and suffocating. Proponents of co-sleeping, however, believe that babies sleep better, are more closely bonded to mom, and that the sleep arrangement may cut down the risks of SIDS.
Even though there are risks involved, many moms choose to have their babies sleep in the bed with them at night. If you are a breastfeeding mom, you may find co-sleeping easier. If your baby is in a crib, you will need to get out of bed each time you feed her. With co-sleeping, you can feed your baby in the bed, which may help you and baby to get a better night’s sleep. You may also feel closer to your baby by having her sleeping close by.
Other sleep arrangements- If you like the idea of cosleeping but are concerned about the safety of sleeping with your baby, you may want to purchase a cosleeper or bassinet. A cosleeper is an infant bed that attaches to the mother’s bed so that baby is near mom but not sleeping in the bed with mom. There are several types of cosleepers and bassinets that you can purchase to keep baby close by.
Safety Tips for Putting Your Baby To Sleep
- Your baby should be placed to sleep on her back.
- Remove all soft bedding or pillows from your baby’s crib.
- Make sure the slats on your crib are no more than 2 3/8 inches apart.
- Make sure that your crib has a safety certification seal (required on all new cribs)
- Make sure there are no cut out areas on the headboard or footboard of your crib.
- Make sure your crib does not have corner posts over 1/16 inch high.
- Your baby should be placed to sleep on her back as well.
- Do not sleep with your baby if you have been drinking alcohol or are under the influence of drugs.
- Do not sleep with your baby if you are obese.
- Do not sleep with your baby on the couch or with your back to her.
- Do not let other children sleep next to the baby.
- Do not sleep with your baby if you are extremely tired or sleep deprived.