Every parent that had to deal with a fussy baby knows it’s usually one of three things: they’re hungry, they need to be changed, or they’re tired. Usually, it’s easy to deal with the first two and then let the baby go back to sleep or discovering the world around, but the third problem is more pressing.
A tired baby is cranky, can feature development problems (if he/she doesn’t get enough sleep for a longer time) and will most likely bring down the atmosphere in the entire house. But why and how do babies get tired?
What Keeps a Baby Up?
Before they can speak, babies will communicate through crying whenever something is not according to their needs. So, when a baby is tired, they will cry a lot, and this can make them stay awake for longer, which is never a good thing.
Among the main reasons that can keep a baby up, noise or movement around the crib can be the most disturbing for the sleeping bundle of joy. But, there are other causes that can interfere with the quality of sleep, such as sickness.
If you find your baby has a stuffy nose or gets sick more often, we recommend bringing a humidifier in the room (after discussing with your pediatrician, of course). It turns out this device helps with purifying the room environment and promotes a better sleep.
Finally, the other factor that makes a huge difference in a baby’s sleep is the mattress. Now, it’s important to know that the sleeping surface should change as the baby grows, which is why parents should know a bit more about this.
How to Choose the Right Mattress
First, the mattress used for a baby should be different than the one used for an elder kid (more on this topic here), but in both cases, parents must choose the healthy option versus the one that seems more comfortable.
Back support is a crucial feature for both babies and kids, so it is always recommended selecting a mattress that’s more on the firm side. Babies especially need a firm design, but kids should also be provided with a design that helps shape the spine correctly.
If this feature is not met, a softer design can create spine development problems since infancy. Furthermore, lower back pain can show up in elder kids as well if the design is not focused around back support. So, to avoid any problems, always go for a design that’s created to provide the right feedback for most sleeping positions (young children tend to sleep in all positions and only later develop a preference for one or two).
Now, there are mattresses made specifically for people with discomfort in the lower back area, but producers don’t tend to market them for children. Still, if your child complains about pain in the lower back, these surfaces should be able to provide the necessary release.
When to Make the Change?
Most parents will guide themselves after the child’s growth rate. The first big boy mattress is usually a Twin size after the child has outgrown the toddler bed. Now, since the size is a good fit for a teenager as well, if the mattress is durable, the kid may use it until it’s time to go to college.
But this is not a good practice because, even though it may not show, mattresses get used in time. Even experts recommend a maximum period of 8 years for a regular mattress for adults, so a kid’s bed should be changed a bit faster. Otherwise, the structure will crumble down, and the back support will be completely lost in a few years, leading to back pain and stiffness in the morning.
So, the best time to make the change is in about 5 or 6 years of use. Also, when you’re choosing a bed for a teenager, I think it’s best to take into consideration their preferences and needs. They’ll sleep a lot better on a bed they helped choose.