“People who say they sleep like a baby, usually don’t have one!”

-Leo J. Burke

Sleep.  It’s what every new parent dreams about!  Establishing good sleep habits now will provide lifelong benefits for your baby.

Starting at 12 weeks and 12-15 pounds, healthy babies are physiologically capable of sleeping through the night.  However, it doesn’t always come easily.  Before starting any sleep training program parents should understand the numerous elements that need to be in place.  This month we will address five of the top ten.  Next month, we will explore the other five.

Does my baby have a consistent and predictable daily schedule that meets his needs for food and sleep?

Is baby eating at evenly spaced intervals to yield maximum milk intake?  Are there adequate daily naps?  If the answer to one or both of these questions is no, begin by establishing a quality flow to baby’s days.

Is my baby getting enough milk during the day to support prolonged  night sleep?

Babies have daily milk requirements. To determine how much milk your baby should be consuming multiply their weight by 2-2.5 oz (to a maximum of 32 oz.)

Am I maintaining an appropriate bedtime for my baby?

Baby’s ideal bedtime is between 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.  When bedtime is well timed babies enjoy more productive, restorative rest.  Maintain a twelve-hour flow for baby.  If baby wakes 7:00 a.m. bedtime should be 7:00 p.m.

Does my baby nap productively during the day?

Is your baby ‘napping on the run’?   If so, you are setting her up for sleep challenges.  If you make her naps a priority you will be rewarded with a child who will sleep better at night; one who goes into the night well rested, not overly tired, and better prepared to sleep through ‘til morning.

Am I anticipating or reacting to my baby’s sleep cues?  

Your baby is communicating with you, telling you when he’s tired with cues like yawning, rubbing eyes, or getting red in the eyebrows.   Parents often wait until baby looks tired before attempting a nap.  By learning to anticipate sleepy cues, parents can begin putting baby down before sleepy signs appear.

…Stay tuned for the rest of our top ten sleep ‘musts’ in next month’s issue.

Karen Pollak is the founder of babies2sleep, a baby sleep coaching service.   You can contact her at 925-330-5660 or info@babies2lseep.com  Please visit her website at www.babies2sleep.com