your babyÂs sleep
How to encourage safe, happy slumber for all
Before bedtime, dim the lights, rock your baby, play quiet music and talk softly to help ease her toward sleep. Start your routine at the same time each night. Also give your baby opportunities to fall asleep on her own: Watch for signs of tiredness, then put her to bed when she’s drowsy but still awake.
In the middle of the night> Babies can be noisy sleepers, whimpering or crying out in their sleep. Listen to or observe your baby before responding so you don’t inadvertently wake her, Cohen says. “Learn to distinguish between sleepy cries and cries of hunger or pain,” he adds. “Give your child a few minutes to settle herself, but respond quickly to distress.”
Richard A. Ferber, M.D., director of the Sleep Laboratory at Children’s Hospital in Boston, gained notoriety for suggesting that parents let babies cry for progressively longer periods of time. Other experts recommend that you scale back your interactions without letting your baby cry it out by herself. For instance, when your baby is 9 to 12 months old, you can respond to her nighttime wakings by talking to her gently and rubbing her back rather than by picking her up and holding her. This allows her the chance to learn to fall back to sleep by herself.
Finally, remember that you needn’t struggle alone. Talk with other parents and your doctor. And take comfort in the fact that despite your own temporary sleep deprivation, your baby will certainly get the sleep she needs.