New-Mom Sleep Survey

Moms Stick to Bedtime Rituals

What we learned: When it comes to getting your baby to snooze, you stick to the basics -- 65 percent of you rock, sing, or feed your baby to sleep.

What surprised us: Stores are overflowing with sleep advice books, but apparently you don't need them! A whopping 85 percent of you consider yourselves pretty effective at getting your baby to sleep.

All of that swinging and singing is right on target for newborns, say experts. Rocking and singing to an infant is like flipping a biological off switch, says Harvey Karp, MD, a Los Angeles pediatrician and author of The Happiest Baby on the Block: The New Way to Calm Crying and Help Your Baby Sleep Longer (Bantam, 2002). After all, the womb is full of movement and rhythmic sound.

Though all of these tactics are great for a newborn, you may want to rethink your sleep strategy as your baby moves out of infancy. Once you start using a specific method to help your child fall asleep, he's going to want to keep it, says Mindell. Fortunately, even the smallest changes in your child's sleep routine can make a difference. If you feed your baby to sleep, for example, you could feed her, change her diaper, and put her down awake, Mindell says. That well, she will gradually stop relying on you to soothe her to sleep and she will learn to relax on her own.

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