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How to Establish a Good Foundation for Sleep

getty rf photo of sleeping babyAt the age of 6-8 weeks of age, social smiling is an important milestone which signifies that his/her brain is making connects and forming habits/routines. Here are 4 essential components to creating a good foundation for sleep at this age:

1.     A consistent sleeping place - This is the best time to introduce the crib if you haven’t already done so.  The baby is forming habits/routines and introducing the crib now will help with issues down the road. Be consistent and put your baby down each time for naps and bedtime in the crib.  Install dark shades for the windows and think about a “quiet noise” in the room, such as a small fan or a humidifier. Decrease the amount of swings, bouncy seats, strollers and car rides to aid with sleep.  Here is a website for your reference - What Does a Safe Sleep Environment Look Like?

2.     Develop a soothing routine (cue) A soothing routine is a cue to the baby to calm down, relax and go to sleep. The routine can include such things as feeding, rocking, singing or a combination of these things. Using a pacifier can reduce the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) and can be effective aid to help with sleep.        

3.     Self- soothing After an hour or hour and a half of being awake, put the baby down in the crib and watch to see if child can put himself to sleep.  At this age, it is simply to allow the opportunity for him to fall asleep on his own.

4.     Bedtime becomes naturally earlier Watch for drowsy signs which develop earlier in the evening.  Remember the two-hour wakefulness rule and try to put baby down before he/she becomes overtired.