How Can I Get My Infant to Sleep Longer?

By Rheannon Walls
sleeping baby image by Maya Kruchancova from

Lack of sleep is one of the most common complaints from parents of babies. Infants, especially those under six months old, often wake every few hours around the clock in need of a clean diaper, milk or comfort. With conflicting information about how long to let an infant cry, where he should fall asleep and at what age it's appropriate to let an infant self-soothe, many parents are confused about helping their babies sleep --- if not all the way through the night, at least for longer stretches of time.

Pick a bedtime and stick with it. Your baby should be put to bed at the same time every night. Routine is comforting for your baby, and a consistent bedtime will help get her body and mind on the right schedule.

Begin the transition to nighttime about an hour before bedtime to help your baby unwind.

Give your baby a relaxing massage with baby lotion in a dimly lit room. Using very gentle strokes, make circular motions on your infant's legs, arms, back and stomach. Talk very quietly to your baby as you do this, and make eye contact with him frequently.

Feed your baby until she is full, as a hungry baby will wake up quickly for food. If your baby falls asleep while eating, wake her up and see if she will continue to eat.

Put your relaxed baby into his crib while he is still awake, and turn on a white noise machine. The sound of white noise is very soothing for infants; it also will help block out sounds that are happening outside his room.

About the Author

Rheannon Walls has been writing for six years. She has published articles on both eHow, and Associated Content.