Baby in Wool

A silk wool newborn set, honey-coloured sheepskin, and fleece baby blanket

Sleep serves a purpose

Newborns may sleep up to 16–20 hours per day. A regular sleep-wake cycle, which means longer periods of sleep at night, starts to develop during the baby’s first months. The function of sleep is to allow the baby’s mind to process what has been learnt while awake and promote new skills. Babies can sleep little or irregularly, or the most inconvenient time for the rest of the family. In such cases, it is important to calm down both the baby and the parents. Calming movements, speech, or humming can work for babies, and you can soothe yourself with accepting self-talk. Remember not to be hard on yourself: you can’t always be an exemplary textbook parent, and an average performance is completely fine. One third of babies suffer from mild to severe colic during their first three months. Baby massage and by changing the mother’s diet can relive colic. If the birth was difficult, or delivery was by caesarean section, the baby may have an irregular posture or muscle stiffness which can cause restlessness. In such cases, relieve can be found from osteopathy, zone therapy or baby massage. By dressing the baby to sleep in breathable natural fibres, you can ensure good sleep without sweating or feeling cold. Clean natural fibres do not shed on the skin or into the airways. Many parents also put their babies down to sleep on sheepskin as a German study indicated that it might protect the child against subsequent development of allergies and asthma.

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