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Health Information For Parents
Sleep problems are common in the second half of a baby’s first year. Some babies may call out or cry in the middle of the night, then calm down when mom or dad enters the room. This is due to separation anxiety, a normal stage of development that happens during this time.
If this happens, as with other awakenings, give your baby some time to settle down. If needed, give brief reassurance to your little one without taking your baby out of the crib.
Most babies this age should sleep 12–16 hours per day, including a stretch of 9–12 hours at night. Your baby will likely still take two naps per day. Some babies nap for 30 minutes, while others nap for up to 2 hours.
The American of Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends room-sharing without bed-sharing until the first birthday or for at least 6 months, when the risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) is highest.
Room-sharing is when you place your baby’s crib, portable crib, play yard, or bassinet in your own bedroom instead of in a separate nursery. This keeps your baby nearby and helps with feeding, comforting, and monitoring your baby at night.
While room-sharing is safe, putting your baby to sleep in bed with you is not. Bed-sharing increases the risk of SIDS and other sleep-related deaths.
Follow these recommendations for a safe sleep environment for your little one:
You may have started a bedtime routine that you’re sticking to. If you haven’t yet, now’s a good time to start. Soothing activities that lead up to “night-night” time can help relax your baby. A warm bath followed by stories or singing will signal an end to the day, and these same activities can be used at bedtime for years to come.
You’ll want your baby to fall asleep on his or her own. This may mean doing your nighttime routine and putting the baby into the crib while he or she is drowsy but still awake. If the baby cries, stay away for a few minutes. Your baby may settle down and go to sleep.
If the crying continues, soothe your baby for a moment without picking him or her up. This may go on a few times until your baby figures out that the crying is not getting results. This can be tough for parents, since it’s upsetting to hear your baby cry. If you know your baby is safe (and not hungry, wet, soiled, or feeling unwell), it’s OK to give him or her time to settle down.
If your child keeps on crying and calling for you, a few loving words from the bedroom door (“Mommy’s right here, but it’s time for you to go to sleep now”) and another quick exit may do the trick. Try to lengthen the time between these personal appearances until — at long last — your baby is asleep.
Even a baby who has been sleeping through the night will sometimes wake in the wee hours, just as adults do. Allow some time to let your baby get back to sleep on his or her own. Give your baby a few fussy minutes before you respond, then after seeing that everything is OK, leave your baby alone to fall back to sleep.
When your baby wakes up in the night and cries for you, reassure your baby quietly that you’re there. Then send the message that he or she needs to go back to sleep. Your best bet might be a soothing pat on the back and a quick exit. If you are firm and consistent about teaching your baby to go back to sleep without you, this stage should pass pretty quickly.
Remember: Cuddling, feeding, or talking when your baby wakes up may prompt your little one to wake regularly for this attention.
It can be hard to respond to your baby’s needs with the right balance of concern and consistency. But this is the time to set the stage for future restful nights for the whole family.
If you have questions about your baby’s sleep, talk with your doctor.
By this age, your baby should be on the way to having a regular sleep pattern, sleeping longer at night, and taking 2 or 3 naps during the day.
Nighttime feedings may be a thing of the past, but in this second year of life your tot might be rising for other reasons. Learn more.
Your baby will spend a lot of time in the crib, and it’s your job to make sure it’s always a safe environment. Here’s how to ensure the safety of your littlest sleeper.
Bed-sharing increases the risk of sleep-related deaths, including SIDS. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends room-sharing without bed-sharing for the safest sleep environment.
Preschoolers sleep about 11 to 12 hours during each 24-hour period, and it’s important to help them develop good habits for getting to sleep.
Getting enough sleep can be a problem for children of any age. Read this article to learn tips on bedtime schedules and routines for your child.
Here are answers to some common questions about breastfed babies and sleep – from where they should snooze to when they’ll finally start sleeping through the night.
When you choose a crib, check it carefully to make sure that your baby’s sleep space is safe. Here’s how.
Guard against sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) by learning how to safely put your baby to sleep.
All new parents want their babies to sleep well. Here’s what to expect in that first year, and how to help your baby sleep.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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