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Tips For Responding To Sleep Challenges

Courtesy Of
May 31, 2017




Observe Learn Respond
  • How does he get to sleep?
  • When does he sleep well?
  • Why might he wake up at night?
  • Can he soothe himself to sleep?
  • Any recent changes in his world?
  • What gets him back to sleep?
  • Establish a regular bedtime routine
  • Avoid feeding him to sleep
  • Limit interaction after putting him down

Sleep Challenges
Many parents feel exhausted and puzzled by their newborn's seemingly random sleeping, waking, eating, and pooping schedule. These unpredictable baby sleep patterns are normal.

The first 3-4 months of a baby's life is a transition period as infants learn to adapt to life outside of the womb. Getting used to being awake during the day and sleeping at night takes time and help from you.

Remember, babies are not usually capable of maintaining any kind of consistent schedule until they're 4-6 months old. Until then, naps and feedings are "on demand."

However, during these early months, it can be helpful to develop some routines around sleeping and eating to lay the groundwork for establishing a schedule later on. For example, when you see that your baby is getting drowsy, you can sing her a lullaby, and then put her down to sleep. Over a period of time, the lullaby will become a cue for napping. You can also utilize night childcare to help you establish a routine for your baby and get a well-deserved break.

Learn more
For more information, browse ZERO TO THREE's resources on infant and toddler sleeping or sleep challenges.  Explore other child behaviors:
Agressive Behavior


ZERO TO THREE is a national, nonprofit organization that informs, trains, and supports professionals, policymakers, and parents in their efforts to improve the lives of infants and toddlers.

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