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Sleep, baby, sleep

As a newborn, your cutie pie may have snoozed up to 17 hours per day, but only for an hour or two at a time. Around month three, your baby will likely begin to sleep for longer stretches. Yay! 

As your baby grows, things may soon be looking sweeter for you in the slumber department. 

Even so, your baby may still wake up during the night to feed or be wide awake when you really want to doze off. 

Practice makes perfect—nah, but how about better?  

To help nurture a good little sleeper, give these tips a try:

Reserve playtime for daytime. Talking and playing helps babies know it's the day and may make for sleepier nights. 

Begin a soothing bedtime routine. Reducing light and noises and talking more softly all help to signal that it's time for sleep. 

Put baby to sleep drowsy but awake. Doing so helps babies learn to fall asleep and get back to sleep on their own. 

Be a big bore at night. You want to keep stimulation down as much as possible during nighttime feedings and diaper changes. Keep the lights low and soothe quietly. Try to resist the urge to be playful or chatty—no matter how cute that little grin! 

If your baby fusses at night, try these steps:

  1. Wait a few minutes before getting up.
  2. If the fussing continues, check on your baby without turning on the light or picking up your baby.
  3. If your baby still doesn't settle down, make sure baby is OK—isn't hungry, wet or showing signs of illness.  

Remember: Back sleeping is best

To reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), babies should on their backs to sleep. 

For safety's sake, also:

  • Put baby to sleep on a firm surface, such as a crib with a firm mattress and a fitted sheet.
  • Sleep in the same room, but not in the same bed with baby.
  • Keep blankets, pillows and stuffed toys out of baby's sleeping area. 

Moving baby from a bassinet to a crib? You'll want these 10 tips! 

Sources: American Academy of Pediatrics; Zero to Three

Reviewed 12/13/2023

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