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Create sweet dreams in your baby's bedroom

10 SEPTEMBER 2012

It's every mum's dream to have her child sleep through the night.

Although it won't happen when your baby is very young, it hopefully will sooner rather than later.

Here are some tricks to help you and your baby have sweet dreams all night long.

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The right bed
A cot will probably be your baby's bed until the age of two or three, so it needs to be strong, safe and comfortable. Make sure there are no broken slats or jagged edges, and if you are buying second-hand invest in a new mattress to make sure it is clean and firm. When it comes to bedding, cotton shoes are easy to layer and take away, helping to keep your little one at the right temperature. Alternatively, baby sleeping bags are very much in vogue at the moment – babies can't kick them off and are therefore less likely to wake up because they feel cold. If you are thinking of following the trend, make sure you buy a sleeping bag suitable for the season – a low tog for summer, and a 2.5 max tog for winter.

Setting the right mood
Light is important for regulating your baby's body clock, but it can also keep your little one awake. For daytime naps, always make sure the curtains are drawn; blackout blinds will also help darken the room so baby knows it's time to sleep. At nighttime, your baby might find total darkness a little bit scary so consider buying a nightlight or leaving on a dim lamp.

Taking the temperature
A baby can't regulate their own temperature, so it's down to Mum or Dad to keep an eye on it. Ideally a baby's bedroom should be between 16 and 20ºC; for peace of mind you can buy a room thermometer, but your own body is a good guide; if you feel cold in the room then so will your baby.

Toys, toys, toys
As well as your baby's bed, the cot will probably double up as a home for a host of cuddly toys. Come bedtime, make sure there are no soft toys that could obstruct your baby's breathing. And if you have a mobile securely fitted to the side of the cot, ensure it is without long cords that could pose a choking hazard.

I hear you!
If your bedroom is some distance from your baby's nursery, or you are spending time downstairs, invest in a baby monitor. That way you can respond to your baby's cries before they reach fever pitch!

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