SafeMotherhood
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SLEEPING

There is a big change in sleep patterns during the second half of the first year, with babies gradually napping less in the daytime and more at night.

According to the charts:

• At six months, daytime naps total about four hours.
• At 12 months, these naps have reduced to 2.5 hours.
• At six months, night sleep averages 10 hours.
• At 12 months, it's 11.5 hours.

Of course, there's no 'average' baby as every one is unique. Just like adults, some babies will sleep a lot more or a lot less than the 'average'. However, from six to 12 months the big advances in physical development mean less sleep and more activity during the day. This means more baby equipment. For example, a change of pushchair, a bigger car seat, highchair, stairgate and, possibly, a cot.

We spent a fortune on a lovely cot and now Anna won't sleep anywhere but our bed. If I was choosing a cot now, I'd get something much cheaper," says Susie.

Even if you're co-sleeping, it can be worth buying or borrowing a cot to pop the baby in during the day. Look out for:

• Drop sides that can be moved one-handed.
• Bases that adjust in height. This will save your back!
• Remember that the price does not usually include the cost of the mattress.

If you're tempted by a cot-bed (a cot that turns into a bed), think long-term. If you plan to have another baby soon, you may need both the cot and the bed in use at the same time.

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