Encouraging Baby's Best Sleep

Goodnight, Sleep Tight

Set the stage for peaceful slumber with these tried-and-true tips:

  1. Make sure baby's room is at a comfortable temperature. Body temperature drops as we fall asleep. If baby's room is too hot or too cold, this natural occurrence may be disrupted and inadvertently keep her awake.
  2. Bring on the noise. The womb is a noisy place -- baby is serenaded by your beating heart and gurgling stomach -- so she may find it easier to sleep with a little noise, such as the whir of a fan.
  3. Dim all the lights. Baby doesn't need a night-light and will become more in sync with the rhythms of day and night if you keep her room dark while she sleeps.
  4. Put baby to bed when she's awake. This may sound counterintuitive, but it helps baby learn to soothe herself to sleep rather than depend upon you.

Soothing Techniques from Readers

  • Four-month-old Alexander loves his nightly massage.
    -- Suzanne Hake, Brooklyn, New York
  • My husband and I slow dance with newborn Anjelica.
    -- Janice Barham, Ocala, Florida
  • My son, 18-month-old Luca, goes outside with me and says goodnight to the moon.
    -- Brea Doutt, Midlothian, Virginia
  • My 10-month-old, Keith, is soothed by feeling my long hair.
    -- Vivienne Adams, North Hollywood, California

Originally published in American Baby magazine, December 2004.

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