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Can I make my child sleep separately?

Q: My baby boy is completing 7 months by the end of this month. For the past fifteen days we have started to let him sleep in a separate bed (in the same bedroom though) whereas earlier he used to sleep with the mother. He is comfortable with sleep now as well. Is it okay to get the baby sleep separately from his mother so early?

A:Your decision seems quite good. If the baby is comfortable and sleeps well in his own cradle or crib, that is fine! One or two points to keep in mind would be: 1. Make sure that the baby is warm and that he does not kick off the coverings. If possible, a zipped up warm sleeping suit is the best thing. 2. Make sure also that the baby is not too hot, as that could also cause discomfort. 3. Be willing to adjust the rules to his health. If he is sick or upset for any reason, he may want more cuddling and comforting. 4. In Western countries, they tend to put the baby to sleep in a totally separate room, if they have the space.(When I was a student in the US, I used to babysit for families in the neighbourhood and it was an amazement to see each child in a separate bedroom, in the rich homes). Every system works, with some plus and minus points. I think that the arrangement that you made, to let the child sleep in his cradle in the same room seems to be sound and it will generally be more acceptable in Indian families. Your responding to the baby's needs for feeds or toiletting will be immediate and that ensures his comfort. Actually there are no rules, only the advice to make the best arrangement under given conditions. What works best for you is OK.


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