A child sleeping peacefully through the night is the dream of every parent. However, every baby is different and you may not attain that dream for several years. Yes, years.
The amount of information you’ll find on this subject from a quick Google search can be overwhelming, so here are a few key tips and resources to get you started:
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate around 3,500 babies in the United States die every year from sleep-related causes. The CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) created a list of safe sleep guidelines, including:
- Place the baby in a supine position for every sleep
- Use a safety-approved mattress, and remove blankets and soft objects
- Share a room with baby, but avoid co-sleeping
Avoid the unfounded myths and old superstitions. Here are some proven tips from the AAP for a better night’s sleep:
- Create a calm, quiet nighttime environment for feedings
- Lengthen awake times to help baby sleep longer periods at night
- Don’t immediately respond to fussing – your baby may fall asleep after a few minutes
Sleep training refers to a range of practices to help babies learn to fall asleep by themselves. There is no right age for sleep training, so it’s more important to find the right method for you and your baby.
The Bump, a parenting website, has a great sleep training discussion, as well as an infographic detailing different training methods.
Technology might be the answer for exhausted parents. Gadgets like programmable white noise machines, all-in-one nightlight/musical soothers and mobile device accessories.
If you still have trouble getting baby to sleep, don’t worry – you don’t have to go it alone. A sleep consultant can help you wade through sleep training methods and set up a bedtime routine that works for your family.