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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.

A happy baby lies on a white GULSPARV blanket on top of a bed with her mother who holds her feet and smiles at her.
A happy baby lies on a white GULSPARV blanket on top of a bed with her mother who holds her feet and smiles at her.

Safe sleep for baby

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

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A young baby lies awake in a cot in a RÖDHAKE sleeping bag which is blue and white and has a small red pattern.
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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 your baby to your chest at any time can be effective in calming and inducing sleep.

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Part of the head and chest of a man who is holding a baby. The baby is wrapped in a dark yellow SOLGUL blanket.
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A cosy nursery in your bedroom

You don’t need to have an entire room for your baby in order to make a space that feels like a cosy sanctuary. You can even make an area of your bedroom just right. Don’t forget things like a glowing night light, a mobile and somewhere comfortable for you to sit and feed your baby.

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A mother is sitting on a chair holding her baby on a LEN nursing pillow. Beside her is a young child who is smiling.
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Everyone sings 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 forward and back motion has a settling effect on all humans – so it’ll calm baby and you, too.

A baby is lying in a SOLGUL cradle with foam mattress looking up at a mobile, near a window in a bright room.

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. Adjustable cot bases allow you to set the cot in a high position for newborns, and then lower the base (and detach one side) as your baby grows and becomes more mobile. You can also add a bumper pad, for example LENAST bumper pad, for extra protection.

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A SNIGLAR cot made from beech wood sits in a bedroom near a double bed on which there is a DJUNGELSKOG tiger soft toy.
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Made with magic textiles...

IKEA children’s textiles are mostly made from sustainably grown 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 to help keep your child comfy.

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A pile of folded GULSPARV bed linen and curtains sit on a box in front of a wall with wallpaper with a forest pattern.
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Create your nursery

When you’re making a nursery space for baby, you‘re just as much making a nursery space for yourself. You need to 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 so you can get at them easily and include a seat comfy enough it can double as a bed when it has to.

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A SUNDVIK changing table sits in a bedroom with two UPPLYST LED wall lamps and some baby clothes on the wall above it.
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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?).

See the guide to better sleep
A man and a woman lie asleep in a bed with black and white SKUGGBRÄCKA bed linen and a white VÅRELD bedspread.
See the guide to better sleep