LIVING STYLES - INSPIRATION FOR INTERIOR DESIGN

The return of the baby cradle

Die Rückkehr der Babywiege

KORSINA / Photo: Tobias Stern

The return of the baby cradle

Sleep is a basic biological need like hunger or thirst and is therefore of great importance in our everyday life. The importance of sufficient and restful sleep is already evident in newborns: Babies need a lot of sleep to recover from the strenuous birth, to process the many impressions of a day and to promote their brain development. What is best for a newborn to sleep in - whether in the family bed, an extra bed or their own cot - is controversial. However, one thing is clear: the baby cradle is back – and rightly so.

KORSINA / Photo: Tobias Stern

While there used to be so-called parlors, which whole families sometimes shared to sleep in, it is now the norm for the sleeping people in a household to spread out over several rooms and, above all, beds. The need to sleep alone is not inherent in humans. Rather, we have become accustomed to this over the course of time through various social and general developments. The actual case is that people seek and need closeness to other people even when they are sleeping – especially newborns. Around 1800, with the advent of rollaway beds and bassinets, there was a first turning point in terms of baby sleep. Their mobile nature made it possible for the newborn to sleep in the presence of its main caregivers.

With the later advent of the baby cradle, there was not only spatial flexibility that made it possible to integrate baby sleep into everyday life, but also another essential advantage: the movement characteristic of a cradle. The rocking motion is said to have a calming effect, similar to rocking in someone's arms - a movement experienced from the very beginning of the newborn. The rocking movement thus suggests closeness and has a soothing effect on the baby. Classic baby cradles are designed in such a way that the rocking movement can take place both from the outside through gentle pushing and through the body movements of the child itself. This allows unwanted waking phases to be avoided or shortened by the baby partially rocking itself to sleep on its own.

KORSINA / Photo: Tobias Stern

Due to the proven positive effect on baby's sleep, the baby cradle has made a comeback in recent years after being considered old-fashioned and outdated for a while from the mid-20th century. Today, more and more babies are being rocked to sleep in rhythm with the rocking movement with the words "sleep, baby, sleep...".

KORSINA / Photo: Tobias Stern

Text: Vanessa Schwarkow
Layout: Carolin Epp