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Stick With a Nighttime Routine

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Your baby will get used to sleeping wherever you put him down, whether it's in his crib or in bed with you. But he's at an age when he needs some consistency. If he falls asleep in your arms or in your bed, then that's where he'll expect accommodations all night, every night. If you want him to sleep in his own bed, then put him down there while he's still awake. (And remember that wherever your baby is, pillows, fluffy blankets, mattresses with too much space between them and the bed frame, smoke, and adults under the influence of alcohol and drugs shouldn't be.)

Develop a Routine
Your baby will cycle through light sleep every two to three hours as an infant, but by now he should be learning how to fall back into deep sleep on his own. Research shows that by 4 months, a baby's brain is mature enough to sleep 6 to 12 hours without really awakening. Rituals are a critical part of your baby's self-settling sleep program — they can help him fall asleep in the first place so he can get back to sleep throughout the night. Your bedtime routine might include a cuddle in a special chair, a song, a music tape, or a snuggle with a special blanket. Once your baby discovers his own style of settling himself back down during the night, both of you will sleep much better. So, hard as it may be, stay in bed instead of jumping up at the first whimper, giving him time to fall back asleep on his own.

Learn the answers to more questions about your child's sleep patterns.

FYI: Did you know that lullabies around the world have similar musical characteristics, even though the lyrics, language, and melodies differ? To help calm your baby before bedtime, sing him a lullaby. And if you're still sleep deprived, try these ideas from Dr. Suzanne Dixon.  

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