Good sleeping habits
The recommendations have been prepared in collaboration with Sine Ditlev Bihlet, Søvnplejersken, February 2020. @soevnplejersken
Sleep is an essential physiological process with importance for your child's mental and physical health. Good sleeping habits and sleep quality early in the child's life are significant in relation to the child's development and well-being. Children who are supported early in life in a good sleeping rhythm have a significantly greater probability of good sleeping habits for the rest of their lives.
The child thrives with fixed frameworks and routines. Doing something specific and the same every time the baby needs to be cuddled provides predictability for the baby. The child thereby knows what has to happen and this creates security for the child.
A predictable, shielded, quiet, cozy and safe place to sleep with minimal noise, dust and toys is important for the child's sleeping habits. A fixed, recognizable and cozy cuddling ritual is also very important, so that the child is prepared to sleep.
If from an early age the child associates falling asleep with something pleasant, then he will more naturally and positively look forward to going to sleep. Furthermore, research shows that creating predictability and recognisability can help to shorten the time it takes for the individual child to fall asleep, and can improve the child's sleep quality.
Having a predictable sleeping place and cuddling ritual, both when the child is put down for a nap during the day and when the child is put down for the night, is therefore important. Eg. can swaddling and rocking the infant be quite suitable elements in a cuddling ritual. Swaddling and rocking the baby creates security and is calming for the infant.
The rhythmic movements the baby experiences when it is cradled are reminiscent of the movements from its time in the womb. The rocking movements calm the infant's nervous system so that it finds peace. Swaddling the baby gathers the baby, which has a calming effect because it reminds of the time in the womb and reduces the baby's involuntary movements.
There are of course many elements you can use in your putting ritual. It's all about finding the ones that you think work best for you and your baby. Perhaps you start the cuddling ritual by changing the nappy, giving the child night clothes, etc., so that the child senses already in the run-up to cuddling that it is time to sleep, and in this way is prepared for sleep. It could also be that you start by giving your baby a nice, warm bath or maybe you give your baby some bild baby massage.
Other examples and put tools can be:
Bedtime story/reference book
Goodnight songs - preferably the same ones, so that your baby associates them with bedtime
Sleep meditations, e.g. Tjugga the night bear
It is not certain that mum and dad have the same cuddling rituals, which is perfectly fine.