In this last part we examine how to help your 1-6 month old baby settle for sleep and avoid the
common sleep disturbers. And you can browse Frequently Asked Questions for help in
your specific situation.
Unless your baby is a natural self soother, settling to sleep all alone
is still tricky at this age. Real self soothing to sleep – and I mean
the kind that
lasts, not trained by crying it out – is a skill to be learned.
Just like with learning to walk and talk, learning to settle alone
And it will
only really happen when baby is ready, both mentally and physically.
For most babies, this time is somewhen during the second half year …
Between 1 and 6 months old, avoiding over-tiredness and nurturing
positive sleep associations are more important than the self soothing
That means that
holding, rocking, singing, nursing or bottle feeding to sleep are no
big sins ... as long as you do encourage independent sleep also.
So the fact that it is difficult does not mean you can't do anything right
now. On the contrary,
relaxed self soothing practice now will pay dividends soon!
What to do
First of all, don't feel guilty about holding, nursing or
helping your baby to settle to sleep if that is necessary. Positive
sleep associations and
getting any sleep at all are more important now, because those are
what will improve your child's long-term sleeping skills.
At the same time, it' i's important to give your baby the chance to
practice self soothing. That means you regularly do put her down awake
to sleep. Or put her down earlier than usual after having settled her.
Use the right techniques to help you.
Explore the different self
soothing techniques to find the one that suits you and your baby
best: to wean from holding, or from nursing, from staying in your bed, …
Just one rule of thumb: when you notice that your baby gets
frustrated (or you) and nothing seems to work, give yourselves a break.
Then try again after a week or two, the difference for the better can be huge!
Your baby's sleep is still light and fragile most of the time. That
means that any physical discomfort will easily keep her awake more than
usual. If she's feeling unwell, it will be more difficult to settle.
And once asleep, she'll lightly wake up if the discomfort plays up.
The most typical sleep disturbers you can expect between 1 and 6 months
a cold or mild infection
a stuck nerve or bone issue
sleep apnea and night terrors are
rarer but not impossible
What to do
It' is's important to know the symptoms of the most common issues.
Recognizing an illness or discomfort early on is crucial for proper
treatment. That, and knowing how to relieve the discomfort is what you
need to avoid the worst of sleep troubles.
Explore the section
on sleep disturbers for sleep tips for baby colds,
recognizing early teething signs, colic and reflux, osteopathy needs,
dreams and night terrors.
Although luckily less likely, I do recommend you learn about sleep
disorders in babies too. Again, spotting it early on will be
critical in treating it well and avoiding more serious consequences.
Frequently Asked Questions
Each parent question is answered in person by myself. For your own
personalized sleep consultant advice, do not hesitate to ask your
specific question here.