Getting your baby to nap and sleep through the night is good for the entire family.
Follow these steps to better snoozing to help your baby become a champion sleeper. Sweet dreams!
Make sleep a priority.
Remember that the human brain—yours and your baby's—runs on sleep. Children who don't get enough consolidated REM sleep have shorter attention spans, so they don't learn as well. These babies also release more of the stress hormone cortisol, setting them up for frequent night wakings and stunted naps.
Know how much sleep Baby needs.
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends infants age 4–12 months get between 12–16 hours of sleep during each 24-hour period, including naps, to reap the most health benefits from sleep. Children ages 1–2 years need 11-14 hours, and those ages 3–5 need 10–13 hours a day.
Keep a log.
If you have a hard time remembering how many times your baby woke last night, a log will help you notice patterns. You might say, "He's always fussy at 7 p.m.—that's probably when I should be putting him down, and I'm missing the window." And five minutes of fussing can feel like 50 when it's 2 a.m., are we right?
Set the scene.
The right environment means everything when it comes to sleep training. Keep the room cool and cozy. If your baby's room gets a lot of light—and she has trouble with naps and early wake-ups—install room-darkening shades.
One of the biggest mistakes, no matter what method parents use, is being inconsistent.
Keep in mind that every baby is on a unique developmental. Observe how your child reacts to sleep training, and if she doesn't seem ready, slow down and try again in a few weeks.
If you have any sleeping questions or concerns, with your little one, it's best to consult a pediatrician.