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Remember those fun days of waking up at 2 a.m. to feed your baby? Now that your baby is older he or she may still have a hard time sleeping through the night. Do you find yourself having to rock her to sleep, or play a certain CD, feed her or do some other trick that you found as the only way to get your baby to sleep? Do you find that after you go through this long process your baby ends up waking up in the middle of the night and you have to go through the process all over again?

The problem here is that your baby has not learned how to fall asleep on her own. She relies on the music, the rocking motion or the feeding to help her to fall asleep. So, when she wakes up at 2 a.m. she doesn’t know what to do or how to soothe herself to sleep. Fortunately, the good news is that there are a few things you can do as a parent to help them learn to fall asleep on their own.

Babies should be able to sleep through the night between four to six months of age. Go through a routine before bedtime so your baby knows that it’s that time again. Giving your child a bath, reading her a story or even rocking her are all good ways to help her settle down and get into the sleeping mode. When it’s time to put your baby down make sure you put her in her crib awake. This way she’ll fall asleep on her own and not rely on you rocking her.

When your baby starts to cry after you leave the room, wait two minutes and then go in and comfort her. Do not pick her up! You can touch her and try to comfort her. Then leave the room again and this time wait five minutes before you go in again. Repeat this process next time waiting 10 minutes and then 20 minutes and so on until your child finally falls asleep. These waiting periods are mainly for you as a parent to reassure you that your child is okay. You don’t have to go in at all if you’re confident that you child is not hurting herself or making herself sick or if you think it would be better if you didn’t go in.

Usually you will only have to go through this process for one or two days before your child learns to fall asleep on her own. If your child wakes up during the middle of the night, you can go in and comfort her, but again wait two minutes and don’t pick her up.

This is just one way to get your baby to fall asleep. Make sure that all of the baby’s needs are met before putting her to sleep (i.e., diaper changed, not too hot or cold and well fed).

Note: This information is from notes taken during a Human Development class 2006 as well as from my own personal and thoughts and experiences.

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Baby Quotes
It would seem that something which means poverty, disorder and violence every single day should be avoided entirely, but the desire to beget children is a natural urge.
-- Phyllis Diller