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Better sleep for your baby

Is it difficult to get your baby to sleep? This can be caused by various factors. First, try reducing its activities during the day; maybe a calmer life would suit your infant better. Babies are individuals right from the start.

Some are more affected than others by factors in their surroundings. Others can sleep through the noise of twenty 1-year-olds having a birthday party. Everybody is different.

Does your baby seem to have difficulty relaxing in the evening? Try reducing its activities for a while and see if it helps. Many babies find it hard to handle too many new experiences.
Check out our short video with tips on putting your baby to bed.

If your baby is overstimulated
As your baby gets older, its personality gradually takes shape. Some infants enjoy all sorts of children's activities, socialise with their parents' friends, come along on shopping trips and can fall asleep anywhere. Others become overwhelmed and can't settle in the evening after a day packed with activities, new surroundings and people. What is your child like?

Find a workable compromise
If your child likes peace and calm, it might be over-optimistic of you to try and get them used to more hectic environments. But you can find a compromise between your own needs, which are also important – such as meeting friends – and your infant's need for peace and quiet. If your baby gets stressed out going to cafés, you might invite friends to your home instead. Or you could arrange to meet friends out but in calmer environments.

It won't always be like this. Babies grow up and gradually learn to deal with more stimulation and activity. But their personality remains the same.

How to tell if your baby is happy
Many new parents may feel unsure whether their baby is happy and contented. Once you get to know your baby, you'll discover that although it can't talk, it still has an incredible ability to express itself. An infant that calmly falls asleep after a meal or lies calmly looking around is a happy infant. You will quickly learn to interpret your baby's signals and what to do if something is wrong. Trust your judgement and use your common sense. If in doubt, ask your paediatric nurse for tips and advice.

Your baby can be asleep or awake to varying degrees
• Deep sleep: Your baby is so soundly asleep that it's almost impossible to wake it up.
• Light sleep: The smallest sound wakes your baby
• Awake but sleepy: Your baby is awake but introspective and does not interact with its environment.
• Awake and alert: Your baby interacts with you.
• Awake, worried and dissatisfied: Your baby is about to start crying and it may be unclear what it wants. Does it want comforting, a diaper change or cuddles and affection? Maybe it is just tired and wants to sleep.
• Crying: There are different kinds of crying, depending on what the infant wants and needs.

More about sleep
When your child is in harmony and sleeping well, it's good for everyone. Here are some more tips and advice.

Short videos:
Putting your baby to bed
Comforting your baby

Articles:
Good sleep habits
Create routines for your baby
Helping your baby to sleep soundly 
Baby's sleep, 3–6 months 
Baby's sleep, 6–8 months
SIDS/cot death
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