Sleep habits for new babies are of great concern to those caring for them. In the first half of this article we discussed the need for patience and understanding in developing proper sleep habits for infants. Articles from The Bump, Baby Sleep Fairy, Little Ones Sleep Helps, and Happiest Baby Sleep Helps were provided for your benefit. I hope you took the time to look over these tools/helps for your situation.
There are a myriad of articles, books, theories, and ideas for how to help infants develop good sleep habits. Most babies develop these on their own. It takes time and there will be some setbacks, but the vast majority of babies move into good sleep habits and sleeping through the night by six months of age.
As a doula, who works with babies in developing good sleep habits, I do not work diligently to that end until a baby has passed six months of age. There are many reasons for this. Most pediatricians agree that babies through six months of age need to be consuming milk during the night to grow properly. Infants younger than six months are still bonding with mom and dad. They benefit from cuddling and holding as they learn to trust their parents. This happens both in the day and night.
Experience shows that as babies sleep longer at night their daytime feedings increase. While they are solely consuming breastmilk or formula they eat more often than when they are ingesting solid food. For many reasons parents are encouraged to hold off introducing solid food until a baby has reached six months of age. This has to do primarily with the avoidance of allergies and potential digestive problems.
If your baby is older than six months and is still waking at night evaluating your situation is helpful. Are you still providing milk to baby at night? Once your baby is doing well on solid food they need less breastmilk or formula. Slowly terminating night time feedings is the next step. There are lots of tricks to making this happen. If you can not seem to pull it off on your own give me a call. I would be more than happy to discuss ways to help. Always talk these things over with your pediatrician. He or she will have suggestions. Maybe your friends or relatives will have some ideas too. If you have tried all your options and are still frustrated with your results it may be time to call in the professionals. Wishing you the very best as your baby matures! JUDY