Dos and Don'ts
Today, experts tend to be more flexible. They now agree that your little one needs to know that you-or another primary caregiver- will be there for him every minute, in order to feel assured that he is loved and cared for. Trying to get your baby to sleep through the night by letting him "cry it out" or adhering to a regular meal schedule may actually leave him with a feeling of abandonment at this stage of his life.
Still, the fuzzy outlines of a predictable routine may be emerging all on their own in your baby's day, and there are some simple things that you can do to help the process move gently along with only a minimum amount of difficulty. For example:
- Don't change your baby's diaper during nighttime feedings unless he has had a bowel movement, since the commotion may arouse him more than you would wish. You should also keep the lights low and refrain from playing with and talking to your baby. If the room is cool, keep your baby wrapped in a blanket, since lower temperatures can have a waking effect. Simply put, the less disruptive the feedings, the easier it will be for your infant to fall back to sleep.
- Feed your baby more frequently during the day. If she isn't getting enough to eat at these meals, your little one may need to eat during the night to make up for it, and this keeps you both up.
- Consider waking your baby for one last feeding before you turn in for the night. Temporarily rousing your child may actually result in a longer uninterrupted stretch of sleep for all of you.