Get Your Baby to Sleep and Stay Asleep

You're now out of the newborn stage where your baby needs to eat every two or three hours. She's on solid foods and is a happy, well-adjusted child most times during the day. But come night time she cries or simply doesn't want to sleep. What's a sleep-deprived parent to do? Here are some tips and techniques to try to get your baby to sleep.

Consistent Sleep Scheduling

Children thrive on consistency and routines. Set a bedtime for your baby and stay with it. It doesn't help if you try to put your baby to bed at 7:30 pm one night and 9:30 pm another and try for 6:30 pm another night.

Create a night routine for your child. It doesn't need to be anything complicated or difficult. But a routine that you do consistently every time your child goes to bed will help him associate those events with sleep. Avoid staying with just one sleep association technique and try a few. For example, many babies are breastfed to sleep. There's nothing wrong with this, but you may have a problem getting baby to sleep once you wean him since he's used to this being the only way he goes to sleep at night. Try nursing him to sleep one night, rocking him another night or singing to him a different night. Don't forget to switch between you and your partner or sitter, if necessary, so your baby doesn't always expect the same person to put him to bed. If he does, the disruption in routine may be enough to prevent him from sleeping.

Set predictable and consistent nap routines during the day. If you're home and feeling sleep deprived, try setting baby's naps during the times where you're likely to be most tired so that you can take a break as well. Statistically, babies who have consistent nap schedules tend to sleep better at night and for longer stretches.

Keep Baby Asleep

If your baby tends to wake up because she's hungry, try feeding her just before bed. Be careful you don't feed baby too much because a too full tummy could cause stomach-aches instead of giving baby a satisfied feeling. Make sure baby has a clean diaper on before bed. Be sure baby has comfortable sleepwear that lets her skin breathe. Keep the room temperature around 70 degrees F with a humidity of around 50 percent.

Be sure to talk to your doctor if your baby consistently wakes up and night you're concerned it may be a medical issue.