A good night’s sleep is important for your baby’s well-being. It is important to establish a bedtime routine for your baby to help them sleep long and well.
With a little patience and practice, your baby can sleep through the night, and you can, too.
Put your baby down drowsy
Instead of waiting until she’s out, put her down when she is almost asleep. Learning to fall asleep on their own is essential to helping little ones snooze for longer stretches. That’s because when they rouse and notice things aren’t the same as when they drifted off (like that they’re no longer cradled in your arms) they’re likely to get confused and upset.
Don’t assume your baby is hungry
Little ones sleep in short cycles of about 40 minutes, which means they stir frequently during the night. Give her a few moments to settle on her own. If that doesn’t work and you need to attend to her, try another method of comfort rather than offering the breast or bottle right away. Soft singing or rubbing her belly might be all it takes to soothe her back to dreamland.
Create a bedtime routine
By four months, babies can benefit from an evening ritual. They’ll get accustomed to cues and it will make bedtime easier in the months, even years, ahead. A bath, a story, soft music and dim lighting are elements many parents use with success.
Stretch out night feedings
Newborns need to feed every two to three hours, but she’ll slowly stretch out the time between feedings. Use this shift to your advantage by offering a feeding right before you go to bed so you know she’s full when your head hits the pillow.
Don’t rush into solids
Parents used to start solids pretty early, thinking that if their baby was extra full, there would be less chance baby would wake in the night. But serving up solids too soon can actually hinder sleep, potentially triggering food allergies and gastrointestinal issues. Babies are not ready for solids until the six-month mark, and there’s no research linking the start of solid foods to better night rest.
When you are ready, try very simple one-ingredient purees before moving onto more exciting things.
Follow baby’s cues about rest
Note feedings and sleep times to help tease out your baby’s patterns. Watch out for your baby’s cues, like rubbing her eyes and yawning.
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