Strategies to help your baby sleep peacefully through the night

Babies around the age of 4 months to one year require 12 to 15 hours of sleep, but they obtain most of this sleep during short daytime naps. During the nighttime, they wake every few hours to feed. However, a growing baby needs those nighttime feedings less. This is when parents expect their baby to sleep through the night, but things don’t always go as planned.

The key is to build solid sleeping habits from the start that can stick with your little one for years. Follow the simple strategies listed below to help establish a peaceful night’s sleep for your baby and avoid potential sleep problems as your little one grows.

Follow a bedtime routine

Establishing a bedtime routine can help your baby fall asleep. Your bedtime routine should include calming activities like massaging, bathing, singing, cuddling, or reading. Your baby will find the routine comforting and it will tell them that it is time to sleep.

Keep a routine that is easy for you to follow every night to create positive sleep associations for your baby.

Put your baby to bed drowsy but awake

By following this order, you and your baby will rest easier. Putting your baby to bed drowsy but asleep will help them associate their crib with sleep. Put your baby down when you feel they are about to nod off. Babies who master the art of sleeping on their own also learn how to self-soothe.

Remember to clear your baby’s crib of soft items such as blankets and stuffed toys and place them to sleep on their back.

Cut down the Night time feedings

If your little one wakes for milk during the night, keep your voice very low and the lights very dim. Once you get the go-ahead from your baby’s pediatrician, you should slowly start to reduce night feedings. A lot of baby’s associate sleep with feeding, your baby might want to eat even though it is no longer necessary. Slowly cut back on middle-of-the-night feedings.

Just before you go to bed, top your baby off with a late night feed, also known as dream feed, slow and gradually feed them less so that they get used to not feeding every time they wake.

Let your baby settle down

Don’t rush in at the first cry or whimper. Give your little one a chance to learn how to self-soothe before you can go and check on them, by doing this you reinforce this good, normal behavior. Sometimes babies fuss or cry for a few minutes until they find a comfortable position to go back to sleep.

Create a soothing ambiance

If your baby is awake when you want them to sleep, create a soothing ambiance. Make sure the room stays dark, resist the urge to talk or play with them and try adding in some white noise to provide a consistent soothing sound. Dress your baby in a cozy one-piece sleeper and keep the room temperature at about 68 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit.

Remember, a baby’s sleeping habits have nothing to do with your parenting skills. If your good sleeper has suddenly stopped sleeping, it might be because of a growth spurt, sleep regression, or teething. Try to be patient during times like these and know that like the days of milk spills, tiny clothes, and wet bibs, this stage, too, shall pass.