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How to Teach Your Baby to Sleep by Keeping a Routine

Updated on September 13, 2009

When it comes to your baby sleeping, most parents who have one or more children know this: routine is key. A routine consisting of meals, naptimes and a consistent bedtime are crucial to your baby developing a healthy sleeping pattern.

It has long been said that ‘sleep begets sleep’ and most parents will attest to this. In many children, just missing their afternoon nap can create an un-rested, fussy later in the night. That’s the reason that some mothers go to great lengths to make sure their babies get that afternoon nap, no matter what plans they have to break.

 

Developing a Consistent Routine

As for teaching your baby, an infant may take several months to naturally sleep through the night, but experts say that a baby is perfectly capable by 3 months to sleep soundly through the night, meaning up to 8 hours.

 

There are several things that you can do to help make your baby more adaptable to sleeping through the night.

 

Self Soothing

Allow your baby the opportunity to self-soothe. After baby’s last feeding, go about your normal routine and put baby to bed awake. Many parents try the Ferber and other methods of getting baby acclimated to this, and it can take a lot of patience and up to a week to do this. Eventually, baby will learn to go to sleep on his own, and when he awakens during the night, will be able to use these skills then to get back to sleep.

 

Late Night Feeding

Give a substantial late-night feeding, between 10-12 PM. Obviously, a baby’s empty tummy can be enough to awaken her during the night, so feeding right before bed can help solve the issue of middle-of-the-night hunger pains.

 

Maintaining Rituals

This sort of goes with the routine you have created at bedtime, but be sure that the baby knows the difference between day and night. At bedtime, go through the same soothing bedtime rituals, like bathing and reading, and create calm and quiet surroundings for baby. Along with a parent’s voice and rocking, low light and soft music can help baby get in the sleep mode.

 

Although it may seem like it at first, it’s not impossible to get your baby to sleep through the night. With a little knowledge and patience, you and your baby will sleep better after implementing a solid nighttime ritual. Crying and loss of sleep for a week or so will eventually be worth the years of healthy sleep you and your baby will experience.

 

Image Credit: peasap, Flickr

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