14 Ways To Get Your Baby To Sleep

by wrylilt

Have a baby who's hit "that age" and no longer falls asleep at every chance? Here are some ideas to help!

Many babies seem to fall into a good sleeping pattern by 2 months... and then suddenly they reach 4-5 months and are waking up every two hours. Some babies can continue to have this problem at 6 months and 7 months... even up to 8 months.
Before you start any of these ideas please remember the following:
• If you aren't sure about anything check with your doctor or a medical expert.
• This is for use with babies over 4 months, not for newborns.
• Some of the things recommended here, such as controlled crying and cereal, still cause disagreements between parents as well as scientists. Do your own research and make your own decisions before taking these steps.

Sleep time
Sleep time
  1. Cereal - Try feeding baby some cereal before bed, either from a bowl or mixed with a bottle. Be careful if you plan to mix it with a bottle however - you need a faster flowing teat and babies can also choke easily. Make sure not to try this before your baby is old enough and without medical advice.
  2. Change of Person - Some babies settle better for a different parent, so see if your baby prefers to spend their bedtime routine with their father or other family member.
  3. Change The Nappy - Around this age some babies can get more sensitive to a wet or dirty nappy. If you plan to try controlled crying, this will also make certain that baby has everything they want and aren't crying for something they need.
  4. Controlled Crying - Try to let baby have a cry at one of their wake-ups. Some parents prefer not to try this method, and be aware that it can take several days up to a week or more to work properly.
  5. Cut It Out - Try cutting out one of the night time wake up routines at one wake up at a time. If baby wakes at 11pm, 2am and 4am, try soothing baby back to sleep at 11pm and waiting till the 2am wake up to offer a feed or anything else baby wants. You can try cutting out other wake ups later on.
  6. Don't Send Conflicting Messages - If you feed baby one night at a certain time then don't another night, or let them cry themselves to sleep and soothe them another time, you'll have problems. Try and follow the same routine so that baby doesn't get confused about the results of his actions. If you plan to try something new, keep at it for a few days so baby has more time to adapt.
  7. Dream Feed - Try waking your baby up for a feed. Why does this work? If you get baby out of bed or even feed them in their bed, right before you go to sleep yourself, you can often help them sleep for a few more hours. A good way to avoid them waking just an hour after you go to sleep.
  8. Formula - If the baby is breastfed, consider trying a bottle of formula at night. This way you can be sure of how much your baby is getting and they'll also be fuller. Don't do this until your milk is fully in though, to avoid loss of supply.
  9. Less Feeds - Try just rocking baby to sleep if they wake, without letting them comfort suck on a bottle or breast.
  10. No Eye Contact - Don't make any noise, sing or make eye contact with baby. Don't let them feel rewarded for waking during the night, or make them feel that it's ok to wake up and play.
  11. No Picking Up - Gently stroke baby's head or pat their tummy but don't pick them up.
  12. Own Bed - Try putting them in their own bed. If they have been co-sleeping or sleeping in a bassinet, this is prime time to move them to their own room.
  13. Try Things That Worked Before - Was there a certain way baby liked to doze off when he was a newborn? For instance white noise (vacuum or radio off channel), special position. Try going back to where you started.
  14. Water - Try giving your baby a bottle of (cooled) boiled water in place of a night feed. This will quench their thirst but also help them out of their need for a feed.
Updated: 09/01/2012, wrylilt
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