Tips on Helping a Baby Sleep Through the Night

By Janece Bass
sleeping baby image by Maya Kruchancova from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>

Babies can start sleeping for longer stretches of time as their nervous systems mature, and they can go longer in between feedings. According to MayoClinic,com, many babies can sleep for nine to 12 hours at a stretch by their sixth month. Try a variety of different tricks to get your baby to sleep through the night to figure out what works best for him.

sleeping baby image by Maya Kruchancova from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>

Babies can start sleeping for longer stretches of time as their nervous systems mature, and they can go longer in between feedings. According to MayoClinic,com, many babies can sleep for nine to 12 hours at a stretch by their sixth month. Try a variety of different tricks to get your baby to sleep through the night to figure out what works best for him.

Routine

Getting your baby used to a specific bedtime routine is one of the easiest ways to establish a regular sleep pattern. This will help the baby recognize that it is time for bed and prepare her to settle down and sleep. For example, give her a warm bath, rock her and quietly sing a lullaby or read a short story. When she's drowsy, put her into her bed. This will get her used to falling asleep on her own, so she can settle back into slumber on her own when she wakes during the night. Continue singing to her or gently rub her back while she lays in her bed.

Daytime naps must be consistent to aid in your baby sleeping through the night. Put her down for a nap at the same time each day. Most babies under a year require two naps during the day. Don't schedule her afternoon nap too close to bedtime, or she may be too awake to sleep. Avoid waking her up from her naps as well, as a tired baby will fuss and have a more difficult time settling down to sleep.

Stimulation

Avoid stimulating your baby at night. Save the fun and exciting things for the daytime so that he easily recognizes when he should settle down to sleep, and when it's okay to be active and play. Keep your baby in an active part of your home during the day, play with him and open the windows so he associates sunlight with being awake. This can also help get your baby on a regular daytime-nighttime routine, rather than confusing the times.

Environment

Make your baby's nighttime environment comfortable. Dress her in comfortable pajamas that don't scratch or irritate her. Swaddle her at night--but avoid doing so during the day--if she enjoys the confined feeling while asleep. Keep your baby's room at about 70 degrees F, with comfortable humidity. Dry air can cause her to get stuffy, while too much humidity can make her too uncomfortable to sleep. Keep noise to a minimum during the night and turn the lights low. If you have to change her during the night, or if you're adjusting to a nighttime sleeping routine, keep the lights low so she doesn't confuse the light with daytime. Give her something comfortable if she needs it, such as a pacifier, mom's pillowcase or play a recording of you softly singing her favorite lullaby.

About the Author

Janece Bass is a freelance writer specializing in weddings, family, health, parenting, relationships, dating, decorating, travel, music and sports. She has been writing for more than 15 years and has numerous published pieces on various websites and blogs. Bass has also ghostwritten various fiction-based novels.