Even before your baby is born, parenting advice may start to pour in from well-meaning friends, family, and the occasional stranger. A hot topic for baby advice is your baby’s sleep regimen. You'll get lots of ideas on how long and where your baby should sleep, as well as the best ways to help her settle down. Here are some tried-and-true suggestions that are worth a go.
- Set and stick to a specific bedtime each night so your baby gets used to a routine.
- Play and interact all day long. Talking to and stimulating your baby during the day will help lengthen her awake times and in turn, help her sleep for longer periods of time at night.
- Create a bedtime routine that includes a bath, listening to music, and/or reading.
- Let your baby fall asleep on her own in the crib. One tip is to put her in the crib when she’s half-asleep so she can get to sleep the rest of the way on her own.
- Keep her calm and quiet during nighttime changes and feedings. Try not to wake her or interact too much, so that she will settle back to sleep more quickly.
- Wait a few minutes before responding to your baby’s fussing once you have already put her to bed. She may be able to settle herself.
Do whatever feels best for your baby and you, regardless of all the baby sleep advice you receive or read. If that means you don't follow a strict bedtime schedule, then that's fine. It's really up to you to create the best sleep routine and habits that work for your baby, you, and your family.