Lullaby and goodnight, if only it was that easy. Getting baby to sleep is one of the biggest trials of parenthood.
“A lot of parents wonder when will this baby start sleeping through the night?” says Dr. Martin Sherman, a pediatrician with Lee Memorial Health System.
Realistic expectations may be a wakeup call. By four months only 25% of babies are sleeping through the night. By six months it’s up to 50% and at nine months 75% of babies and their parents should be enjoying a good night’s rest.
That leaves 25% of new parents sleep deprived and anxious. Instead of watching the clock, they should look at their own behavior.
“The most important thing is you want to set up a routine. Parents who try to put the baby down one night at five o’clock and the next night at eight o’clock and the next night at seven o’clock they’re going to have some trouble,” says Dr. Sherman.
A regular night’s sleep requires regularity. For Kelli Harvey’s daughter a musical mobile puts her at rest.
“I think it just kind of gives her something to listen to and to watch as she goes to - you know either nap time or go to bed at night.”
And she sets the stage with calming colors.
“Her bedroom is kind of more, not muted, but just kind of even tones,” says Harvey.
For babies who were born to be night owls, you can reset their clock.
“First thing is to keep them in the light throughout the daytime hours and keep the light in the room that they’re sleeping, keep noise on, talk to the baby regularly don’t let the baby, no matter what, go longer than about three hours feed to feed during the day,” says Dr. Sherman.
Keeping them alert throughout the day betters your chance of a sleep filled night.