Help! My baby won’t sleep in the Moses basket
4 mins read
by Becca Smith • @beccasmith_tomlins
As a mum of two and just getting out of the sleep-deprived phase, I can rejoice that my baby now (mostly) sleeps through the night! But there are moments in a baby's first few months which send you into the depths of Google. I remember googling 'how to get my baby to sleep?', 'how long should my baby sleep?' and 'why can't my baby sleep through the night?'!
A question I also asked often was, 'why on earth did my baby not want to sleep in his Moses basket?!' When my first son was born we discovered moKee and loved all of their designs and style, and we promptly bought the Mini Cot and their Moses basket, the WoolNest. It seemed sensible to have a Moses basket for him to sleep snugly in his first few weeks. BUT. He did not sleep in his Moses basket.
The WoolNest is so soft and has deep sides, so he felt cocooned. The cat thought it was the perfect place for a nap, but my son thought differently. He slept everywhere else - the buggy, the sling, on me, the bouncy chair. But why not the Moses basket?!
Being sleep deprived can take its toll, and it's hard to think clearly amongst the baby fog. So, here are my top 3 tips if you are having a hard time getting your baby to sleep in their Moses basket!
How to get baby to sleep in Moses basket
1) Make sure your baby knows the difference between night and day. Doing this can be hard – a sleepy baby in the day and a wide-awake baby at night can have its benefits. You can get so much done in the day! All of that washing and cooking can be finished as baby is asleep, hurrah! But then comes night and you want to kick yourself for allowing baby to sleep all day. So- when you put baby down for a nap remember to put them in a dark room but when awake make sure they have lots of natural light. At night, make sure you have a quiet, serene environment. Make baby aware that it is dark and dark means sleep!
2) Before a nap, make sure they are happy and content. Before putting baby down in a Moses basket, prepare them for nap time. Make sure they have a clean nappy and aren't hungry. Make sure they aren't overtired- this can be difficult to predict but getting them down for a nap before they're almost pulling their ear off will, of course, make it easier for them to nod off. Keep the room dark and have a cuddle before gently putting them down. Talking to them and telling them 'it's nap time now' and doing this consistently will help them realise that the Moses basket is for sleeping.
3) Put baby down in the Moses basket awake. After having a cuddle and soothing them make sure baby is put down awake. Being able to put themselves to sleep is a huge step in establishing a healthy sleeping pattern. As they grow, babies will be able to self soothe themselves without waking you up in the middle of the night.
How long should baby stay in Moses basket?
So, you've got your baby to sleep in the Moses basket. Hurrah! But there are concerns as to how long a baby should stay in a Moses basket. They are only appropriate for newborns and should only be used until your baby is around three to four months old. When placing your baby in the Moses basket make sure they are in the "feet to foot" position, with their feet at the end of the cot or Moses basket.
The mattress in the Moses basket is significant too. The Lullaby Trust, a charity preventing unexpected deaths in infancy and promoting infant health, advise that "it is important that the mattress is firm, entirely flat, and waterproof, with no soft or cushioned areas, particularly around baby's head. Soft mattresses are known to increase the risk of SIDS. They make it harder for babies to lose body heat, which can cause them to become too hot. The surface of the mattress should be firm enough that when your baby is placed on it, their head does not sink in more than a few millimetres.
Safety is, of course, the main priority when it comes to choosing a Moses basket for your baby so make sure its handles are durable and won't break. They should meet in the middle, and you should always carry the basket with one hand underneath to support the baby.
Moses baskets can be incredibly practical, allowing you to be with baby while they are asleep- being able to move them from room to room when getting on with the endless tasks that come with parenthood.
Encouraging your baby to nap in a snug and safe Moses basket will hopefully make for a happy baby.