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A Sleep Schedule for Baby

By Jan Bay

Has it gotten to the point that you want to cry right along with your baby when it’s time to put her to sleep? We’ve all been there. Parents who have much better little sleepers than my baby all have had “THOSE NIGHTS” from time to time.

a-sleep-schedule-for-baby.jpgThere does seem to be light at the end of the tunnel. The problem of getting baby into a sleeping routine that all household members can live with seems to be one that’s solved within a year or so.

A year or so you say?
I know, when you’re dead tired and can hardly hold your head up the last thing you want to hear is that there will be a sure fix in the distant future. There are a few things that can be done now. Well, how about we start fresh tomorrow.

That’s really lesson number one, don’t wait till 9pm and baby’s screaming every time there’s a lack of body contact to look for direction! I’m convinced that the best strategy for getting baby to sleep at night begins with a well-laid plan beginning early that morning.

Take a look at baby’s nursery, is it an ideal environment for sleep? The room should be dark and quiet as possible. Room darkening shades for daytime sleeping are a must.

Learn to read your baby’s signals. The moment you see baby’s eyes droop, her little mouth open in a yawn, stop what you are doing immediately and begin your bedtime routine. If you let baby get past this stage without making your move, you will most likely regret it. They can go from pleasantly drowsy to fussy to downright worked into a lather in record time. Timing is important.

Every mother’s procedure for settling baby down is unique, there is no steadfast rule for what should be involved. Whatever your pre-sleep actions may be, they should vary very little from day to day. In order for baby to get a routine, mommy must have one too.

Be very predictable. You will have a calmer and more confident child if she always knows exactly what to expect. This is not to say you should train baby to be in a rut. Where surprises and treats are the frosting on the cake of life, surprises for baby at bedtime are not advisable.

Try to keep to an approximate timetable. Put baby’s jammies on at a certain time and begin working your way toward the crib. A friend whose child had been keeping her up past midnight told me she went through the same steps every night for a week and almost gave up several times, then at the end of the week the baby drifted into an 8pm to10pm bedtime. She still has a little work to do, but as of this writing mother and baby are much happier.

Along with a routine, there’s some baby gear available to make your task more pleasant. Of course, there is the trusty nursery rocking chair. However, if you’ve exhausted all the standard methods for putting baby to sleep. I have a few suggestions you may not have gotten around to that are definitely worth a try.

Have your sleep aid equipment checked, in place and ready to go before anybody goes into meltdown mode:

A baby sling
You carried baby for nine months without a hitch. Maybe she needs a little time to adjust to the world? The motion of your body may be all that it takes to get you through a rough patch and get a few chores done while you’re at it! Start baby out in a ring sling and if it proves to be a workable solution for the two of you, graduate into a mei tai or a backpack.

A fan
Yes a common fan can produce wonderful baby calming white noise. White noise machines are available that mimic the sounds that baby was used to while still happily enclosed in your womb, but the common fan will work in a pinch.

A warm water bottle
How many times have we rocked baby to sleep in our arms only to have them wake when we put them down on a cold crib sheet? Place a warm water bottle in the crib as part of your routine, and when you slip baby out of your arms safely into her crib the sheets will be warmed and the transition won’t be as much of a shock. Always remove the water bottle before placing baby in the crib.

The list of tried and true baby sleep tips is a long one. What works for you one day, may not work every time but there’s one indisputable fact, calm, loving perseverance will be invaluable in building your child’s healthy sleep habits

About the Author:
Jan Bay is a freelance author of nursery decorating articles, baby gear reviews, and the webmaster for

Disclaimer: The contents of this article and website are for informational purposes only and should not replace medical advice from a doctor or professional. You should always make your own choices on the advice of your chosen professional in matters concerning your baby’s safety.

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[…] to first time father Simon Pegg and his wife Maureen McCann on the new addition to their family. Sleepless nights may have him showing up on movie sets just a little worse for wear. Best of luck to this funny […]

[…] those first few weeks will soon be past and things will get a little better. Baby (and you!) will sleep for longer stretches of time, your soreness will heal and you will begin to really appreciate your time with your new baby. And […]

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