What babies don’t know

Babies don’t know it’s night

‘Please sleep! Please. Mommy’s so tired, and it’s the middle of the night.’

But your baby is born blissfully unaware of the difference. In fact, some babies seem to naturally prefer being lively and awake at night, and sleep the day away.

You can help instil a sense of night and day in your baby. During the day, open the curtains and spend time outside with your baby so that she is exposed to the natural daylight. At night, keep the room dim when you feed her, and resist the temptation to play ‘where’s the baby’ at 1am.

Babies don’t know you’re gone

You are torn in two. It’s your best friend’s wedding. But you have to leave the baby for the first time. Won’t it break his heart? Won’t he feel abandoned, left with only his doting grandparents to save him from everything horrible that could happen?

Nope. He doesn’t know you’re gone. When a baby of two months can’t see you, he simply doesn’t miss you. As long as his physical needs are met and there’s a kind person to cuddle him, he will not lie there pining for you.

Babies don’t know you’re ‘spoiling’ them

Newborn babies have no expectation of how you’re going to behave.  Picking up a crying newborn doesn’t set up a pattern of behaviour. Within a month or two, it’ll be up to you to break YOUR habit of rocking her for an hour at night.

A baby that is carried around is less likely to cry and will sleep better. And for premature babies, being carried and held on the parent’s chest is even good for their health.

Babies don’t know you’re breaking the rules

You’ve read the books, and you’ve planned to follow a careful routine of feeds, baths, playtime and naps. But on this day, you woke up and your boobs were sore. The bathroom was a mess, and by the time you’d tidied up, the baby was crying hungrily. And you couldn’t seem to settle him. In fact, before you knew it, it was lunchtime and you were still wearing the milky feeding T-shirt you slept in.

So you burst into tears. Not to worry. The baby is not judging your failure for not bathing him on time. Your nosy neighbour, though, she’s another matter...

What is your opinion on when a baby should be set into routine?

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