Helping your baby sleep through the night: 8 simple strategies

My six-month-old son is yet to sleep for more than two hours during any given night. I can't interest him in nursing very much during the day, but at night he's awake every two hours to nurse. It's as if he's afraid of missing out on some action during the day. For the sake of my sanity, is there anyway to break him of his nighttime waking habit?

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Debbi Donovan

Debbi Donovan is a Board Certified Lactation Consultant, as well as a retired La Leche League Leader. For more than a decade, Debbi... Read more

Nighttime waking is one of the most common dilemmas for new parents. Sometimes a baby who started out sleeping through the night will begin waking again, much to the dismay of hie or her mom and dad! I wish I could offer you a magical solution to help you get more sleep at night. Here are a few simple tips you may want to try to get a bit more uninterrupted sleep:

1. Keep to a routine. If your baby wakes up late in the morning to help make up for some of his late nights, begin waking him at an earlier time each day to help encourage him to get the sleep he needs at night -- when the rest of the household sleeps.

2. When your baby naps, allow him to sleep in a well-lit area. This will help encourage shorter naps, which in turn may help him sleep better at night.

3. During the day, nurse in a quiet, darkened room. You mentioned that your son isn't very interested in daytime feeds. Babies of this age are often caught up in what is going on around them. Feeding him more during the day will allow him to meet his nutritional needs at a time more convenient to you.

4. Is your baby using a pacifier? If so, allow him to meet his sucking needs at your breast instead, offering nursing in lieu of the pacifier. Regular nursing sessions during the day may help to reduce his middle of the night waking.

5. When nursing, allow your baby to finish the first breast offered. This will provide him with more of your rich hindmilk, which may also help to space out his nighttime feeds.

6. Carry your baby -- with the aid of a sling or other baby carrier. This will help to keep your baby relaxed, especially during the early evening hours, encouraging an easy transition to sleep.

7. Keep the evening calm to avoid overstimulation. If a bath is relaxing for your little one, you can bathe him before bed. If it's too stimulating, bathe him at another time.

8. Nurse in a darkened room at night if your son wakes and wants to feed. Avoid nighttime diaper changes if at all possible. Let him know that night is for sleeping.

And don't forget to take care of yourself!

  • Rest while your baby rests. This is especially important when you have a high-need baby.
  • Take a walk. Sunshine and fresh air are good for both of you. Going out together, with your baby in a sling, baby carrier or stroller can be a great stress reliever.

Hoping these ideas help you to get some much-needed rest!

WATCH: Real Mom Advice On How To Get Kids To Sleep Through The Night

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