- Get physical: Your little one may sleep better if she’s exercised her mind and body so make time for daily activity and stimulation, such as ‘tummy time’.
- Know your nap times: Try to set regular times for daytime naps and bear these in mind when you’re planning your day together.
- Keep it calm: Where your child sleeps should be a dedicated relaxation zone with a quiet atmosphere and low-level lighting. Banish distracting TVs, laptops, and tablets.
- Hang in there: As your child approaches four months, try to keep her awake a little bit longer if it is getting close to bedtime. Instead of a nap just an hour before bedtime, give her a bath and massage, or read her a story.
- Time it right: Start to put your little darling to sleep at the same time every night. Experts have found that putting your child to bed at the same time every evening can increase her chances of getting enough sleep.
- Offer a feeding: As she gets a little older, and is able to sleep five to six hours at night, offer your child a feeding just before bedtime. This may help her to sleep for the next several hours. Extra-absorbent diapers can also be a useful way to maximize sleep. If your child is drinking from a bottle, rather than nursing directly, do not add any cereal or other foods to the bottle. This practice has not been shown to increase the length of time she will sleep.
- Set a routine: Follow your own pre-sleep pattern with tips from our Bedtime Routine Checklist.
- Separate sleep: Your child needs to learn to sleep alone, so put her to bed in her own crib rather than letting her share with you.
- Share a room: Because the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) has been shown to be reduced when little children sleep in the same room as their parents, some national guidelines recommend that you have your child sleep in the same room with you at least until she is six months old (and ideally until a year of age).
- Settle into sleep: Put your child down when she is sleepy but still awake. Once she knows the routine, she will start to fall asleep on her own. Let her learn how to settle herself once she is in her crib.
- Clean crib: For safe sleeping, only your child belongs in the crib. Do not give your child a pillow, blankets, quilt, sheepskin, stuffed toys, or anything that can cause her to suffocate. Cover the mattress with a tight-fitting sheet.
- Keep her comfortable: Check your child’s sleeping area isn’t too hot or too cold. In general, your child should be dressed in one more layer of clothing than you’re wearing.
Get it right at night
- Take your time: Give your little one a chance to resettle or ‘self soothe’ before you rush in and you’ll help reduce the number of times she wakes up in the future. That’s good news for both of you!
- Put the hugs on hold: If you’re checking on your child, don’t automatically pick her up. Instead, rub her gently or sing a lullaby. Reassure her that you are there for her without rewarding every cry with a cuddle.
- Think before you feed: You might assume that your child is hungry every time she wakes up at night, but by four months she may be able to go five to six hours between feeds and could just be looking for comfort. Feeding your child every time she wakes will actually make her nights less settled.
- Stick with the crib: If you do need to feed or change your child at night, don’t be tempted to bring her into bed with you afterwards. Always put her back in her crib so she gets used to falling back asleep on her own.
https://healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/sleep/Pages/Back-to-Sleep-Tummy-to-Play.aspx(Accessed December 29 2016)
https://healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/sleep/Pages/Preventing-SIDS.aspx(Accessed December 29 2016)
https://healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/sleep/Pages/A-Parents-Guide-to-Safe-Sleep.aspx(Accessed December 29 2016)
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