*Timing is everything - Watch your baby for sleepy cues (signs such as yawning or zoning out that indicate he/she is getting tired) and once your baby is at least 4-5 months of age try to follow a flexible sleep schedule to make sure your little one is getting the sleep he/she needs at the right times of day and night.
*Create a routine - Having a simple, yet soothing routine before both naps and nighttime helps babies relax and cues their bodies that it's time to sleep. Consistency is key, so doing the same routine before sleep each time is what's most important.
*Soothing is okay - Helping your little one relax and get a little drowsy before sleep time is fine - what is ideal is to stop nursing or rocking before your little one is all the way asleep since you want to allow your baby the opportunity to learn how to fall asleep (at least occasionally) without being in someone's arms. You can stay nearby and offer additional soothing/support, if necessary.
*Drowsy, but awake - For babies 4-5 months of age or older you can practice putting your baby down drowsy, but awake. On a scale of 1-10 with 1 being wide awake and 10 being sound asleep, maybe a 6-7. This opportunity helps little ones practice self soothing. And since falling asleep is actually a learned skill, most babies need some practice. For the majority of babies the ability to self soothe independently starts sometime between 4-6 months of age. As babies get older their ability to self soothe on their own increases and you can continue to try drowsy, but awake to help your little one learn how to fall asleep on his/her own.
If your baby is not getting the sleep he/she needs and you are interested in learning more about the supportive sleep solutions that Rest Well Baby offers, please contact Tracie at: email@example.com to schedule a FREE 15 minute call to learn more about her professional sleep services.
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