Q:

What are some tips for getting your baby to sleep through the night?

A:

Quick Answer

It is easier to get a baby to sleep through the night if she has a set routine and goes to bed early while she is drowsy. Parents of children who wake at night after the age of 6 months can also try the Ferber method.

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Full Answer

A baby who wakes during the night probably has one of two things going on: she is overtired when she is put to bed, or she does not understand how to go to sleep on her own. Both these problems can be addressed by maintaining earlier bedtimes and by putting babies to bed before they are completely asleep so they can learn to go to sleep on their own. Maintaining a night routine that she enjoys can also help cue the baby that it's time for bed, making her more cooperative when she's put in her crib.

Dr. Richard Ferber developed the Ferber method for babies who still have trouble staying asleep. If the parent is certain the problem is not a wet diaper, hunger or a similar problem, he should wait five minutes before going in and soothing the baby with light pats. If she cries a few minutes later, he should wait 10 minutes, gradually increasing the time with each round of soothing. As long as the baby is not big enough to keep herself stimulated by sitting up or standing, this technique helps to gently train her to go back to sleep on her own.

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