Establishing and Keeping Baby's Sleep Routine

Developmental Milestones

My older daughter, Phoebe, started sleeping through the night at exactly 8 weeks (don't hate me!), so it was startling when she started crying out in the middle of the night about two months later. The culprit? Phoebe had rolled onto her stomach in her sleep but then couldn't turn back over; I'd hurry to her crib to roll her onto her back before she got too worked up. Thankfully, after several nights, rolling over stopped waking her up.

"Around growth or motor milestones, like crawling or walking, your child may temporarily regress in her sleep habits," says Judith A. Owens, MD. Her advice? "It's best just to ride it out. These changes are very temporary."

For Daytime Only

You can take some action during the day to facilitate your child's sleep at night. Practicing the developmental habits during waking hours -- such as by helping your baby lie down from a seated position or helping her back down after standing -- is a daytime tactic that might help both of you. Once you know she's got the skill fairly well mastered, let her do it herself. Then, when she cries in the night because she's pulled herself up, you'll both know she's capable of lying back down again on her own. And until you're confident she's got the skill nailed (or if you're a worrier!), you can matter-of-factly go into her room, help her get down, assure her she's fine, and head out. The important thing: Don't make a fuss or be too intrusive. "At some point, though, it will be time for a parent to let the child figure it out on her own," reminds Mindell.

Parents Are Talking

Add a Comment