How to Get Your Baby to Sleep Longer at Night

Mom Breastfeeding Baby at Night Before BedBaby Sleep Day was held on March 1st, 2017. Pediatric sleep experts made themselves available around the clock all over the world on the Pediatric Sleep Council’s Facebook page in order to answer parents questions regarding their baby’s sleep habits. The main focus was how to get babies to sleep longer.

Melissa E. Moore, psychologist at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, recommended the Facebook Q&A session to parents on Philly.com. As a mom, Dr. Moore also suggested a few tips of her own, namely to separate the eating routine from the falling asleep routine. Just doing that, she wrote, would lead to longer sleep for babies (3 months and older) and parents. Specifically, “at bedtime only, feed first (yes this will make the baby sleepy), then do a bedtime routine that is 5-30 minutes long (yes this will wake the baby), then put the baby down for sleep.” This allows your baby to get used to falling asleep from a wide-awake state without having eaten just beforehand. As a mother, Dr. Moore admits that this could be a tricky request for moms who thrive on the feed-then-right-to-bed multitak approach. But, separating eating from falling asleep works, she says.

Dr. Moore trained for 8 years and has an additional 10 years of experience in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. And yet, not much of that prepared her for the sleep deprivation she experienced in the first few years of her children’s lives. Following the routine mentioned above will help. In addition, she offers some pointers on additional things parents can do to support themselves and their babies:

  1. “Find people you trust that have an approach to parenting that is similar to yours.” Check out, among other online support sites, Facebook groups nationally or in your area related to “breastfeeding moms, parents of preemies, single moms, moms with sick babies, stay at home moms, [and] older moms.” But, be forewarned: your child’s sleeping habits will most likely differ from others. So, do what feels best to you but make sure to follow safe sleep guidelines which reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
  2. Consult with your “pediatrician, family members, and friends” and check out trsuted websites, i.e., BabySleep.com.
  3. Check out accurate websites such as babysleep.com and ask your questions on Facebook on March 1.

 

References
Development of infant and toddler sleep patterns: real-world data from a mobile application.
Reduce the Risk
Emotional availability at bedtime, infant temperament, and infant sleep development from one to six months.

 


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