Sleeping arrangements of newborn babies are the various options that are available for babies' sleep. There are four main options available for baby sleep, i.e. the baby cot, co-sleeping, hammock, and bassinet. The above mentioned sleeping arrangements are influenced by parental values, social-economic variables, and cultural diversity. Some parents believe that for their children to be safe, they have to sleep with them. In some families, there might not be enough room for the children to sleep in their rooms or have the resources to wet up different beds for their children, so they end up sleeping together with the children. Further, in some cultures, children are believed to sleep alone in their beds, whereby the bed can be in the same room as the parents’ bed or can be in a different room, but the mother or father can keep checking on the kid from time to time. There are also some cultures where it is mandatory that newborn babies must sleep with their parents up to a certain age. Most parents prefer their kids to be six months and above before they start sleeping alone. The purpose of the current paper is to discuss how children should sleep-trained, evaluate the sleeping arrangements of children in UAE and compare it with Japan, and give sleeping arrangement recommendations to the family, community, and school.
Sleep training is the procedure by which babies are aided in learning to fall sleep and stay asleep all through the night. Babies are different from one another, and so for this reason, some babies get sleep trained quickly and easily while others have trouble settling down and sleeping or some get difficulties in going back to sleep after they wake up in the night. Professionals and experts recommend that children of between four and six months should be sleep trained as this is the age at which children develop sleep and wake up patterns and they can be monitored. Children can be prepared for sleep training via the following guidelines; first of all, a bedtime routine should be introduced to these children. Secondly, a consistent bedtime should be selected (experts recommend between 7 and 8 o'clock so that they baby doesn't get too tired and fight sleep). Thirdly, parents who are sleep training their children should abide by a predictable daytime schedule in which these children should be awoken almost the same time every morning put down these babies for several naps during the day to ensure they are relaxed. Lastly, the parents should ensure that the babies do not have any medical condition whatsoever that could affect the child in their sleep.
The babies who are ready to be sleep trained can be trained using the following techniques; the first is the cry it out technique whereby experts say it is okay for the kids to cry when they are put down to sleep, and the caregiver leaves the room. The second technique is the no tears approach which advocates that caregivers should check on the kids immediately when they cry especially after left alone to sleep. The caregivers should then soothe the kids until they sleep. The last approach is the fading approach which is also referred to as camping out. This approach is made by parents who lessen their bedtime so as to sit next to the bay's bed until the baby falls asleep, or the parents keep coming back to check on the baby after every five minutes until he/she sleeps.
Sleeping Arrangements in the UAE as Compared to the Japanese Culture
In UAE, it is believed that it is very important for mothers and the children to sleep together until when the child is six months old. Sleeping together which is also referred to as sleep sharing or co-sleeping is often believed to bring about Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and so some parents are against it, but when all precautions are taken, it is the most enjoyable sleeping arrangement between a mother and her child as it creates strong bond between the two. In the UAE, the culture is against putting babies in seats, prams and cribs as the culture believe that the close contact between mothers and children and the human touch to the kids is the only soothing experience to the newborn children of the outside world are foreign and frightening to them. The Piaget theory on child development and other studies have also shown that during the development of the children, children who were deprived of physical contact grow up into becoming aggressive adults. The UAE culture believes that when the skins of the mother and the child are in contact, both of them get comforted.
The sleeping arrangement that is widely practiced in the UAE is the co-sleeping which encompasses room sharing and bed sharing. Room sharing is when parents have a baby crib in their room that is attached to their bed. On the other hand, bed sharing is when parents share their bed with their child. Co-sleeping is beneficial to both parents as it helps in the bonding process. The parents can be able to register the sleeping patterns of the baby and also play with the baby before it sleeps and when it wakes up.
In Japan, the sleeping arrangements for the newborn children has evolved over the years. During the 1960s and 1980s, mothers slept with their children either in the same bed or the same room. In the contemporary Japan, the women have advanced to their education level and are also working class women who come home tired. These mothers want to relax hence put the children in their beds in separate rooms where the caregivers such as nannies can keep checking o them through the night. According to the Japanese culture, they believe that when children sleep on their helps in the child development into becoming independent adults. The Japanese culture takes into account Greenfield's multilevel theory of human development that states that the environment in which a child is brought up affects the child's behavior. For this reason, they believe that co-sleeping will make the children dependent, so they prefer the children to sleep on their own.
Conclusion and Recommendations
In my opinion, I would recommend and advise families to for co-sleeping for the first six months of the newborn, and then from there the child can be sleep-trained to sleep on his/her own. Co-sleeping helps in the bonding process between the child and the parents. To the community, I would recommend that the cultures should not be too harsh such that they don't allow children to be sleep-trained to become independent. The community should be involved in helping to advise the young mothers on the different sleeping arrangement for children. Finally, to my school, I would recommend that the teachers should take it upon themselves to guide the students on the pros and cons of different sleeping arrangements and in turn, these students will enlighten the society. In conclusion, the sleeping arrangement among children is fundamental as this ensures the child safety and also helps the child to become independent. In the UAE culture, co-sleeping is essential for the newborn babies while in the Japanese culture, co-sleeping is slowly fading away.