You may not need to climb out of bed until 7:30 in the morning, but your baby awakens and cries for attention hours earlier. According to the Children's Hospital of Colorado, most babies need between 10 and 12 hours of sleep at night, but some get by with much less. If you need a few extra hours of sleep in the morning, you can train your baby to snooze a bit longer. The best training method for you depends on your baby's age, since it's generally easier to teach older infants how to sleep more.
Create an evening routine that will help your baby sleep through the night and later in the morning. Your routine might include giving baby a bath, reading a book or singing songs.
Feed your baby a satisfying meal before putting her to bed at night. If your baby isn't yet eating solids, stick with formula or breast milk. You don't need to add cereal to the baby's bottle. According to the National Center for Infants, Toddlers and Families, putting cereal in an infant's bottle won't help her sleep at night.
Dress your baby in comfortable sleepwear that isn't too hot or irritating to the skin. Your baby might be sensitive to synthetic fabric, such as polyester. Try all-cotton sleepwear if this is the case.
Dust the baby's room regularly and remove any items that can cause nasal congestion or allergies. These items include fuzzy blankets, feather pillows, animal fur and baby powder. If you think your baby has a dust allergy, Ask Dr. Sears.com recommends placing a HEPA air filter in the room.
Ensure that the baby's room isn't too hot or cold. A temperature between 70 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit is comfortable for most babies.
Make your baby's room a dark, quiet place until it's time to wake up. Cover windows with opaque curtains so light doesn't stream in. Block out external noises by running a fan. For young babies, your tape-recorded voice or the sound of the running vacuum cleaner can also be soothing.
Place a few familiar toys in the bed or crib with the baby. These can soothe her when she wakes up and help her fall back asleep. Do not include toys that she can stand on to climb out of the crib.
Reduce the number of naps you give your baby each day. Children's Hospital Colorado states that most infants over 1 year of age only need one nap per day. You might also shorten the nap. For example, let the baby sleep for one hour instead of two.
Allow your baby to get plenty of exercise during the day so she'll be more tired at night. Let her run or crawl outside, or take her to play at the park.
Tell your baby that she can't get out of bed until a specific time, if she's old enough to understand. Set an alarm clock and ask her not to wake you until that time.
Items you will need
- Comfortable sleepwear
- HEPA air filter
- Opaque curtains
- Fan or other white noise source
- Alarm clock
- If your baby awakens during the night, consider allowing her to cry herself back to sleep. A study described in the journal "Pediatrics," as reported by ABC News, showed that babies whose parents let them "cry it out" had improved sleep. The study found no mental or behavioral damage to babies who cried themselves back to sleep.
- If your baby still has trouble sleeping in, she may simply need less sleep than other babies. She might also have a medical problem that's bothering her, such as teething pain, colic, milk allergies or gastroesophageal reflux (GER).
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