Contented Baby Sleep: 6 Months And Over



contented baby sleep six months and over with child sleep specialist Andrea grace in almost every single case a healthy baby of six months and over is capable of sleeping through the night without needing to have a feed or a cuddle if your baby's struggling to sleep through the night then follow these simple guidelines but don't forget to combine them with your own instinct as a parent step 1 routine it is absolutely vital to establish a great bedtime routine the best routine provides a familiar series of steps leading up to bedtime and sleep these will help your baby to feel safe and sleepy too timing of the routine is less important than the process of the routine itself for this reason start your routine shortly before you know your baby is ready for sleep the bedtime routine should culminate in your baby falling asleep not coming downstairs to play or join you for dinner follow a similar bedtime script by using familiar phrases and actions at key points during the routine bath every night unless there are genuine reasons why you can't and sing the same action so in the bath each night go directly to your baby's sleep room after the bath put him in a clean nappy followed by a milk feed make time for a familiar bedtime story book the same final one each night so that it becomes a sleep trigger then into the cot awake but sleepy to settle for the night step 2 sleeping environment your baby doesn't need a super plush nursery with all matching accessories in order to sleep through the night what he does need is a safe warm and familiar cot in a familiar room it is safe after six months to move his cot into his own room or for him to share a room with an older brother or sister the room temperature should be around 18 degrees Celsius avoid having lots of noisy toys in his cot but have a couple of safe and familiar toys that he can play with if he wakes early once he is able to stand in his cot remove the cot bumper babies have been known to use this as a step to climb up out of the cot step 3 putting baby into the cart awake remember it's normal and even healthy for your child to wake several times a night with the sleep cycles problems develop when he's not able to resettle himself without help it is most important to set good sleep habits from the beginning of the night this means putting your baby down awake and without you in the room with him if you're able to do this at bedtime there is less chance that he will need to seek you when he wakes up during the night step 4 dropping night feeds the key to dropping night feeds lies once again in how you settle him at the beginning of the night do not allow him to fall asleep on the breast or bottle at bedtime if he has a tendency to do this you need to feed him with a light on and after the feed introduce a simple picture book to look at together this will help to break the milk sleep association place him into his cot whilst he is still awake and comfort him there until he has gone to sleep if you need to don't be afraid of him crying he's okay you're with him he's just frustrated because he doesn't know how to fall asleep without feeding after a couple of nights he will acquire good sleep skills and you should then gradually withdraw your contact and attention until he is settling to sleep by himself each time he wakes in the night if he is unable to settle by patting alone offer him either an increasingly shortened breastfeed or a small diluted bottle feed it is perfectly safe to do this when your baby is over six months after this he should be placed back into his cot while is still awake after a period of around a week by which time you will have taught your child the skill of falling asleep without sucking milk you should no longer feed him during the night Step five avoiding bad habits during the night occasionally there are babies who settle independently at the start of the night and are no longer in the habit of taking night feeds but who still wake up the reason for this more often than not is that they have got used to some kind of nighttime ritual involving contact with you these include transferring to your bed either during the night or at dawn you coming and lying beside the court or having a cuddle with you during the night if this describes your baby think about what you're doing to reward this behavior and stop doing it he will protest but stick with it if you are truly consistent he will begin to sleep through within just two or three nights so the way to help your baby have a great night's sleep lies in the way that you help him to settle all by himself at the beginning of the night that way when he wakes up during the night with the sleep cycles he will be able to resettle himself without your help you

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