Source: JGI/Jamie Grill/Blend Images/Getty Images
Ready at: 4 months
Not before 4 months, which is when most infants develop the ability to self-soothe, says pediatrician Wendy Sue Swanson, M.D., a spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics and blogger for Seattle Children’s Hospital. Newborns need help settling down, she says, but your baby’s nervous system begins to mature between 4 and 6 months, making her capable (most times) of calming herself down at night. She also learns during this time how to bring her hand to her mouth and reposition herself if she’s uncomfortable. Common-sense precaution: Rule out other causes of night waking (fever, a dirty diaper, etc.) or crankiness before letting your tyke wail for any length of time.
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