Start establishing a bedtime routine
Here are a few tips to make bedtime easier:
- Always put baby to bed at around the same time.
- Put your baby to bed when he is drowsy, but awake.
- Put baby to bed in the same place in which he will wake up.
- Spend some time each evening cuddling, reading, singing or talking to baby at bedtime. Routines help children settle down to sleep.
- Put a night-light in your child's room.
- Try giving baby a gentle massage for 15 minutes. Research shows this helps many children sleep through the night.
- Do not put your baby to bed with a bottle. This can cause cavities, or baby could choke.
Some parents like to hold or rock baby until he falls asleep. If you like to do this, then it's perfectly fine.
Some parents want to teach baby to fall asleep on his own. Try this: When baby cries after you put him to bed, check on him, but keep the lights dim and don't pick him up. If baby is OK, pat his back for a minute or two, and leave. If he continues to cry for you, check on him every few minutes until he falls asleep. Slowly increase the amount of time between your checks.
Try to be understanding, not angry. If you are consistent - and if he is not truly afraid of being alone, then in time he will learn how to go to sleep on this own. If baby wakes alone, he may be scared and cry for you. If he is frightened then you should comfort him.