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Health Information For Parents
By this age, your baby should be well on the way toward having a regular sleep pattern. Some infants, particularly those who are breastfed, may still wake at night. But most no longer need a middle-of-the-night feeding.
Most babies this age should sleep 12–16 hours a day, which includes a longer stretch at night and at least two naps during the day, says the National Sleep Foundation. The average amount of daytime sleep is now about 3–4 hours.
By 6 months, most babies are sleeping at night for 9 hours or longer, with brief awakenings.
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 is 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 your 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.
Even a baby who has been sleeping through the night will sometimes wake in the wee hours, just as adults do. 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.
Give your baby a few fussy minutes before you respond. After seeing that everything is OK and reassuring your baby without taking your little one out of the crib, leave your baby alone to fall back to sleep.
Remember: Cuddling, feeding, or talking when your baby wakes up may prompt your little one to wake regularly for this attention.
Most infants at this age will have a regular sleep routine and are able to sleep through the night. But there is a wide range of normal. If you have any questions about your baby’s sleep, talk with your doctor.
Find out what the experts have to say.
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.
SIDS is the leading cause of death among infants 1 month to 1 year old. Though SIDS remains unpredictable, you can help reduce your infant’s risk.
Your baby’s range of sounds and facial expressions continues to grow, and your baby is also imitating sounds, which are the first attempts at speaking.
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.
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.
Is your baby is ready for solid foods? Learn how and when to get started.
Your baby is working on all five senses, understanding and anticipating more and more. How can you stimulate your baby’s senses?
Your baby is growing in many ways. Here’s what to expect this month.
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.
Sleep problems are common in the second half of a baby’s first year. It’s best to respond to your baby’s needs with the right balance of concern and consistency.
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.
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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