How can I get my baby to sleep through the night?
Real Mom Problem
“I can lay my eight-month-old down at nap time or bedtime wide awake. He will just roll on his side and sleep, easiest thing ever. He takes good daytime naps, but he won't sleep all night. He goes down at 7:00 and wakes up at 5:30 or so, but also he wakes up at 11:00 and 3:00 and cries until I feed him back to sleep.”
- 1. Moms swear by different sleep-training methods, such as the "baby whisperer" method and the "no-cry" method
- 2. Some parents advocate helping babies learn to soothe themselves by letting them cry for periods of time
- 3. Establish daily sleep-time routines to help baby transition to sleeping more at night
- 4. Many babies do not sleep through the night until they are a year old, or later
Real Mom Solutions
Is your baby still keeping you up all night? Read these moms' tips to help both baby and you get more shut-eye.
Choose a Sleep-Training Method
We chose to do the Baby Whisperer method. Basically, she recommends that parents guide their child (not before 4 months though) through a set routine to fall asleep on their own. The parent never leaves the room and is always present to comfort the child and reassure them that they are fine and that they are safe.. .but that they just need to let themselves fall asleep. My daughter is two now and I haven't had any problems putting her down for either naps or bedtime since she was five months old (with the exception of growth spurts and teeth coming or illnesses of course).
The gist of the "no-cry" method is that you take a look at the whole day and work with his natural patterns. She recommends taking the hour before bed and working on powering down - slowing down the pace of your household (I.e. maybe turning off the TV, perhaps dimming the lights, no rough housing or loud play, etc) and really getting into a routine. It's not a one night fix all method. It's more about setting up healthy sleep patterns without the damage of crying for long periods of time.
Help Baby Learn to Soothe Himself
It sounds to me like he just doesn't know how to soothe himself to sleep. I know that most people will tell you that it is mean to let him cry it out but sometimes this is the way babies respond best. Our pediatrician explained it this way: This is the first of many times that you, as a parent, will have to set limits and expectations for your child. You will also have to be prepared to stick to your rules. If you want your child to sleep in her crib, you must put her in her crib and show her that you will not be coming back to get her unless there is something wrong that needs to be addressed (messy diaper, sick, etc). This made sense to us so we tried it. After three nights she was sleeping through the night and was a much happier baby. Now we know that if she wakes at night something is wrong and we can address it.
Read "The Baby Whisperer Solves All Your Problems" by Tracy Hogg. She has a routine called "E.A.S.Y." and it's honestly magic. BUY THIS BOOK. It is the happy medium between cry-it-out and never helping your child develop healthy sleep habits. And if you need to understand the importance of sleep to brain development, read "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child."
Establish Good Routines
Give her a warm bath right before bed. Try the Johnson's Bedtime Bath wash and lotion. I believe it works. Then feed her and lay her down in her crib. If she gets fussy or starts crying, try giving her a pacifier. Keep trying the same routine every night. She will catch on
Don't make a fuss about bedtime. Bath, bottle, cuddle, bed. You put baby in bed awake, give a kiss and a pat on the head and you leave the room. I usually have to go back after about 10 minutes because she wants her paci again. It is very important that baby is awake when you put her or him to bed. Then they learn to fall asleep.
Let Baby Lead the Way
My two-year-old was breastfed and he still wakes up in the middle of the night.I think some babies are just like that. They want to make sure mommy is still there.
It is biologically expected that they will not sleep through the night for about a year or maybe six months. Dr. Ferber doesn't even recommend using his cry-it-out method until six months. I promise, once baby has the physical and mentally ability to sleep through the night without a feeding, they will-- and there is nothing that you can safely do to rush that milestone.
Sleeping through the night is a milestone he will do it when he is developmentally ready.....my daughter is one and still does not sleep through the night.