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Baby Sleep

When babies discover the world, they need quality sleep in order to recover. Newborns and babies have a different sleep/wake cycle to adults

Mutter und Kind schlafen im Bett

Below you will learn more about baby sleep and sleep routines:

Newborns often wake up because they are regularly hungry and their stomachs are still small. It is normal for them not to sleep through the night yet. Over time, your baby will learn to adjust to the day-night cycle. Every child is different; some babies sleep through the night at an early age, while others take years to do so. If your baby is healthy and has no issues gaining weight, then it is also not necessary to wake them up at night to feed them. As soon as your baby gets hungry and wakes up, you can breastfeed or bottle feed. 

What problems can arise with baby sleep?

In the case of an early childhood regulation disorder, babies experience crying, sleeping, feeding or behavioural problems in phases. This can put a heavy strain on the family and have a negative impact on the parent-child relationship. If your child is not getting enough sleep, you may also be suffering from a lack of sleep. In the long term, this is detrimental to your health. Therefore, do not hesitate to seek support. If you are unhappy with the current family sleeping situation, sleep counselling by a trained sleep consultant can help: overview of sleep counselling contact points

How can you improve the family sleeping situation?

Sleeping in the same room as your baby and bonding: babies have a deep need for safety and security. Besides their small stomach, these are additional reasons why your baby wakes up during the night. This is why newborn babies are usually unable to sleep on their own and need the company of a parent or carer. If you respond reliably to your baby's signals, they will build up a strong bond with you. Over time, they learn that their signals are understood and their needs are reliably met. 

Regular daily routine and sleep routines – a fixed daily routine, regular bedtimes and sleep routines can help your baby fall asleep more easily. Rituals such as a gentle massage, a familiar sleeping environment or quiet bedtime stories create a feeling of trust and security. The child should get enough daylight in the morning and experience darkness in the evening. It is important that you expose your baby to less stimuli in the evening than during the day; everything should be calmer and gentler. From the 2nd month of life, you should minimise stimulation during the night; it is best to avoid nappy changing and turning on lights. After short sleep phases, practise going back to sleep by gently stroking, soothing and rocking your baby.

Recommendations for keeping your baby safe while sleeping:

  • always lay your baby on their back.
  • use a firm and flat mattress in the cot. 
  • avoid soft surfaces, pillows and blankets. 
  • use a suitable baby sleeping bag depending on the season.
  • place the cot in the parent's bedroom, especially in the first 6 to 12 months.
  • make sure the bedroom has an optimum room temperature of 16 to 18 degrees.

Sometimes babies still struggle to fall asleep. The recommendations can then lead to uncertainty. In this case, it is particularly important to consider the needs of the family. A midwife can look at your sleeping situation during a home visit. If the sleeping situation is very stressful, support from a sleep counsellor can also help: search for a sleep counsellor

The Austrian Health Portal offers helpful information on baby sleep and contact points for crying outpatient clinics.

You have the following options to get support: