Sleep issues are one of the perennial hot topics at Mom Group. Getting enough sleep with a newborn (or two!) in the house is one of the hardest things you will face during the first year. In theory babies who weigh over 11lbs are heavy enough and getting enough nutrients throughout the day to allow them to sleep through the night. Some practitioners state that parents should let their child ‘cry it out’ after six months of age; or at least explore changing baby’s expectation that you will rush in a pick them up at the slightest whimper.
If babies don’t settle, perhaps they have a burp, are still hungry or have a soiled diaper. If all of these factors have been addressed, they weigh over 11lbs and they are over six months old, they should be able to sleep through the night. The key to this is whether or not the baby can ‘self-soothe’ or is able, having been put to bed in a happy and relaxed but tired state – to sleep on their own.
Another important factor in this is routine. Babies love routine and once one is established, they react very favourably when they know what to expect. You could try the three B’s – bath, bottle (or breast), bed, or even the 4 B’s – bath, bottle (or breast), book, bed. This type of expected experience helps babies know that the last part of the day is imminent and that their job is to sleep at the end of it. If baby keeps waking during the night, it is probably due to one of two factors: habit or not getting enough calories during the day.
Don’t neglect starting baby on a daytime sleeping routine as well. Sleep begets sleep, and your baby will go to sleep better at night if they aren’t overtired from the day.
Douglas, Ann. Sleep Solutions for Your Baby, Toddler and Preschooler: The Ultimate No-Worry Approach For Each Age and Stage.
Giordano, Suzy. Baby Sleep Solution.
Ferber, Richard. Solve Your Child’s Sleep Problems: New, Revised, and Expanded Edition.
Hogg, Tracy and Melinda Blau. Secrets Of The Baby Whisperer.
Karp, Harvey. The Happiest Baby On The Block: the New Way to Calm Crying and Help Your Newborn Baby Sleep Longer.
MacGregor, Cynthia. Everything Get Your Baby To Sleep Book: Solve Common Problems So You Can Rest, Too.
Murkoff, H., A. Eisenberg and S. Hathaway. What to Expect the First Year.
Pantley, Elizabeth. The No-Cry Sleep Solution: Gentle Ways To Help Your Baby Sleep Through The Night.
Pearce, John. Baby and Toddler Sleep Program: How To Get Your Child To Sleep Through The Night, Every Night.
Quarles, Michael. Amazing Baby Sleep Secrets.
Sears, William M.D. and Martha Sears, R.N. How To Get Your Baby To Sleep: America’s Foremost Baby And Childcare Experts.
Tobin, Cathryn. The Lull-A-Baby Sleep Plan: The Soothing, Superfast Way To Help Your New Baby Sleep Though The Night And Prevent Sleep Problems Before They Develop.
Weiss, Shelly. Better Sleep For Your Baby And Child: A Parent’s Step-By-Step Guide To Health Sleep Habits.