Baby guide week seven
Your baby is now seven weeks old!
Although your baby will still be spending a large part of their day sleeping, you may have found that his or her awake periods are growing longer, or that he or she is taking longer to settle back to sleep after waking. All babies have different sleeping patterns, some babies are night owls who prefer to be awake well into the night, whilst others are morning larks who rise early in the morning, but have an early bedtime.
At around seven weeks, some babies learn to sleep through the night, although many do not do this until they are several months old. You can help your baby learn to sleep through the night by offering extra milk feeds during the day to ensure he or she is full when they go down for the night, and by making night feeds as boring and fuss-free as possible. Feed in the dark, and speak to your baby in a soft voice. Avoid eye contact with your baby, as this can be a sign to him or her that you want to play!
Make daytime feeds and awake times more interesting for baby by reading or playing with him or her, by offering floor time, or time in the bouncinette, or spending time outside in the pram or front pack.
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is when an otherwise healthy baby stops breathing in his or her sleep. Although no one has yet discovered exactly why SIDS occurs, the following tips can help keep your baby safe when he or she is asleep:
• Don't smoke during pregnancy, or while you are breastfeeding. Make your home a smoke free place, and avoid taking baby to smoky places.
• Put baby to sleep on his or her back, with their face clear of the blankets. In a cot, it often helps to sleep baby in the middle of the cot, with his or her feet only a couple of inches from the foot of the cot. This helps stop baby from sliding underneath the blankets whilst he or she is sleeping.
• Dress baby warmly, but don't let him or her overheat. Keep the room at a comfortable temperature, not too hot or cold.
• Some experts believe that breastfeeding helps lower the risk of SIDS, but this has not yet been proven.
For more information on SIDS and safe sleeping, see here.