Baby Sleep Training and Bedtime Rituals

By Suzanne Dixon , M.D. M.P.H
December 07, 2017
1 min read

Your baby will get used to sleeping wherever you put him down. But he's at an age when he needs someconsistency. If he falls asleep in your arms, then that's where he'll expect to be accommodated all night, every night. So it figures that if you want himto sleep in his crib, put him down there while he's still awake.

Clear the Area

Your baby’s sleeping area should be free of:

  • pillows
  • loose bedding and blankets
  • bumper pads
  • stuffed animals and toys
  • mattresses with too much space between them and the bed frame
  • smoke

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Develop a Routine

As a newborn, your baby did cycle through light sleep every two to three hours, 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.

Your bedtime routine might include:

  • a bath
  • a cuddle in a special chair
  • a song or lullaby*
  • playing soft music

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. Give him time to fall back asleep on his own.

*About lullabies…
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 a lullaby.

By Suzanne Dixon , M.D. M.P.H
Suzanne Dixon , M.D. M.P.H

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