Helping Infants Sleep Through the Night

Watching your baby sleep is one of the most peaceful experiences of being a parent. However, many parents have questions about how to get baby to sleep through the night—as it is often easier said than done.  Many parents struggle with getting their baby to sleep or to stay asleep but we are going to share our top three proven tricks and tips to answer the eternal question: how to get a baby to sleep!

SEPARATE FEEDING AND CHANGING ROUTINE FOR THE DAY VERSUS THE NIGHT

We have all heard the importance of a routine for your baby. Routines help babies develop self-control and give security as to what will happen next. So it shouldn’t surprise anyone of the importance of having a separate routine for daytime feedings and changes versus nighttime. By creating set schedules for each situation, your baby will come to learn what is expected and what to do next: whether it be playing or going back to sleep.

For the daytime, we recommend feeding your baby, a diaper change, and playtime so that your baby stays awake for a little longer, nap, repeat. Then when your baby wakes in the middle of the night, we recommend a quick diaper change, a feeding, and back to sleep – the secret here is to not make eye contact. This helps to teach your baby the difference between night and day feedings so that when she wakes in the middle of the night, she knows it is all business. Your baby will learn that at night it is about getting changed, getting fed, and going back to bed.

WHEN TO WAKE YOUR BABY AND WHEN TO LET HIM SLEEP

To let your baby keep napping or do you wake him up? Some babies, if allowed, will sleep all day—causing a deficit in the amount of food in their systems. This leads them to be up all night looking for food, making for an extremely long night for parents. We recommend not letting your baby nap longer than 3-4 hours at a time. If your baby is approaching the 4-hour mark, it is time to wake him up and start the daytime changing and feeding routine. At night we recommend not waking your baby up. Let your baby sleep as long as he wants. He will wake you up when he is ready for food, a changing, or to start his day.

GETTING BABY TO BED AT THE RIGHT TIME

When your baby is 6-12 weeks old, start to soothe her to sleep in your arms. Then as she becomes drowsy place her in her crib or bassinet so she can fall fully asleep on her own. This method will help her to learn how to self-soothe. Being able to self-soothe will help her fall back asleep when she wakes but doesn’t need to be changed or fed at night.

 

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