Start to establish a regular and consistent routine (which we discussed in week 6) for your baby prior to going to bed. This will help set the stage that the day is coming to an end, and help prepare your baby for a good night of sleep.
- Pick a few simple steps-really 2 or 3 is perfect. Try not to make your routine too long. A bath, massage, and short book or song are great choices.
- At this age, all babies will need to have a feeding before bed, so be sure to include that feeding as part of the routine.
- One large study found that a routine helped babies fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer with or without putting the babies down slightly awake. You will be amazed at how well this simple routine will work.
- Remember the key is to do the same routine in the same order every night prior to bedtime.
- Double check your baby’s sleeping environment to ensure that it’s safe.
- If you haven’t already, create a sleep friendly environment can be very helpful in getting your baby to sleep better. As your baby gets older, they will sleep better in an area that is quiet and conducive to sleep (For more information, listen to the Optimal Sleep Environments Podcast in week 2.).
- During the night, keep lights, stimulation, and interaction to a minimum (This will help kick start that circadian rhythm and aid in syncing up you and your baby’s sleep/wake cycles.):
- When your baby wakes and need to be fed, do so quietly and in a dimly lit environment. It may not be necessary to change and burp at every waking at this age.
- Most babies will be fine going most of the night without a diaper change so if not absolutely necessary, forgo the diaper change and set your baby right back down to sleep after a feeding.