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The secrets of baby sized sleep

Babies usually get enough sleep. They’re built for it and can do up to 20 hours a day in the first six months. It’s when they do most of their growing – both physically and mentally. Sleep is a natural state, but that doesn’t stop babies keeping their own crazy schedule, which is likely to take no notice of night and day. It means you need to keep an eye on how many hours you’re getting, too. After all, baby needs you at your best.

Want to get baby in the mood to snooze? Try our 4 tips below…

Mother holding her baby by the toes and smiling as the baby lies on yellow bedsheets with a cot in the background.
Mother holding her baby by the toes and smiling as the baby lies on yellow bedsheets with a cot in the background.

Tip 1: Safe sleep for baby

New born babies don’t sweat. Their glands are still developing, so they can’t regulate their temperature. We developed the sleeveless, 100% sustainably grown cotton baby sleeping bag, such as RÖDHAKE, as a safe and healthy way for baby to maintain an even body temperature free from the risks associated with loose fabrics.

See all our baby textiles

Tip 2: Skin-to-skin

There is growing evidence of the benefits of skin-to-skin contact – laying a baby on their mother's chest (especially shortly after birth). This has a calming effect on both baby and you, as well as having a regulating effect on many biological activities. Holding baby to your chest at any time can be effective in calming and inducing sleep.

Tip 3: A cosy nursery

You don’t need to have an entire room for baby in order to make a space that feels like a cosy sanctuary. You can even make an area of your bedroom just right for baby with a glowing night light, a mobile, some soft toys to keep baby company and warm, tactile fabrics (though we recommend keeping the cot quilt-free for young babies).

Share your room with baby

Skin-to-skin contact is vital in helping parents bond with their baby, as well as supporting better physical and developmental outcomes.

UNICEF The Baby Friendly Initiative

Tip 4: We all sing lullabies

The rocking melody in lullabies is universal, from America’s ‘Rock-a-bye baby’ to Sweden’s ‘Mors Lilla Olle’ and China’s ‘Shi shang zhi you mama hao’. The back and forward motion has a settling effect on all humans – so it’ll calm baby and you, too.

A cot that grows with baby

The safest way for newborn babies to sleep is alone in a cot with no pillow, toys or bedding. Our adjustable cot bases allow you to set the cot in a high position for newborns, and gradually lower the base (and detach one side) as baby grows and becomes more mobile. You can also add a bumper pad, such as LENAST, for extra protection.

See all our cots

See all our baby bed linen

We use magic textiles!

All our cot textiles are made from cotton or lyocell, both natural materials that are soft against the skin. Lyocell is a fibre made from wood pulp and has magical properties: it draws moisture away from the skin in order to help baby maintain a comfortable sleeping temperature all night long.

More children’s textiles

Super-snuggly textiles

Create your nursery

Don’t forget that when you’re making a nursery space for baby, you‘re just as much making a nursery space for you. Consider your practical needs. Make sure a changing table or space is easy to access and at a comfortable height for you. Place nursing and clothing essentials in accessible drawers and include a seat comfy enough it can double as a bed when it has to.

See our nursery furniture range

Getting enough sleep?

Koalas are world champion sleepers. They like up to 22 hours a day. Your baby might well be on the podium, too. But while every carer has a busy schedule, try to make sure some of those nap times are for both of you. You might not be a koala, but you’re not a giraffe either (they like a world-beating couple of hours per day, taken in tiny chunks – sound familiar?).

How to get better sleep

In our European and Asian markets, we test our cots by dropping a 10 kg weight into them 1,000 times from five different positions. It’s just one of 28 safety and stability tests that we carry out.

Jessica Bondesson, Children’s School Manager, IKEA of Sweden

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