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Overcoming Sleep Problems

If your baby has problems sleeping, there are things you can try to get him to sleep longer. Here you’ll learn about common sleep problems that parents encounter, and ways to fix them. We’ll even show you how to get your baby to sleep through the night.

Night Feeds

When the baby is six month old, baby can go until morning without food; but the baby may wake for a feed. If you want to stop the night time feeds, start reducing the feeds gradually, then stop but go in to her and offer assurance for as long as the baby cries.

At the bedtime feed, try not to let the baby sleep with the breast or bottle in the mouth. The baby should learn to fall asleep on his/her own. Do not rely on sucking to relax the baby. As soon as her eyelids droop, take the baby off the nipple or teat. Make the baby cozy in his/her bed.

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For few nights, give the baby feed when the baby wakes but reduce the amount gradually. Put the baby back in her cot, asleep or not  kiss the bay goodnight.

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If you are breast-feeding baby ask your partner to take the baby as the baby will smell your milk and will like to carry on feeding. If the baby continue to cry, wait for few minutes, as the baby will sleep by his/her own but if the baby does not sleep pat and rub the baby’s back.

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Even now if the baby cries continue to pop back every five minutes. Only pick the baby if he/she is beside herself with crying, when the baby stops crying put the baby back to the cot and leave him/her for few minutes more. It may take couple of hours, but persist.

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For next few nights, stop offering feed, instead adopt the tactics for night waking as long as it takes to teach the baby to sleep through the night.

Night Waking

Use the tactics to assure your older baby when he/she wakes in the night that all is well and you have not forlorn him/her. Convey your baby the message that he/she will be given less attention from you during these hours.

If the baby whimpers in the night, wait for few minutes to see if the baby goes back to sleep again.

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If the baby cries, go in to check nothing is wrong. If not soothe the baby and clam him/her down by rubbing the back, it may be enough but you need to pick the baby up and cuddle him/her. When the crying has subsided into sniffles, put the baby back into her cot, tuck the baby so that he/she is snug and warm. Kiss the baby good night. Then go to bed yourself.

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If the crying continues or increases in intensity again call out the baby from your own bed but wait for five minutes before going in to settle her down again.

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This time just reassure the baby by patting and rubbing the back-don’t get him/her up unless the baby is really beside herself-then tuck her up and leave her.

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Continue going back in this way at five minutes intervals for as long as it takes her to fall back to sleep. After half an hour increase the interval between visits to ten minutes, but never leave the child crying for more than 15 minutes.

A week of gentle firmness on your part should be enough to establish a more sociable sleeping pattern.

Unsettled Bedtime

From the age of about nine months, establish a method of handling bedtime and then stick to it. If the baby gets into a pattern of not settling when you put him/her to bed, a week of resolutely following the tactics below should break it. The baby will soon get the message that you will always  come if he/she cries, but you won’t pick him/her up again.

Keep to a bedtime routine, making it fun for your baby but relaxing and loving as well. If the baby cries when you leave her after tucking her up for the night, go back and give her a reassuring  kiss, but don’t pick him/her up and don’t stay with the baby for more than a moment or two.

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if the baby continues to cry, call the baby from your bed only and wait for few minutes before going in again.

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In your this visit check the baby, such as wet nappy or something chafing. If not, pat her back to soothe the baby and kiss the bay good night again and tuck her up. Be cheerful but firm, and then go. Don’t  hesitate- your baby’s will is stronger than yours at this point, and you’ll be easily persuaded to stay.

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If still the baby cries, continue popping in after every five minutes but don’t pick up the baby. After half an hour, start increasing the interval between visits, but never leave your baby crying  for longer than a quarter of an hour.

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Eventually the baby will realize that the brief visit of your popping in at intervals isn’t worth all the effort that she’s putting in, and will drop off to sleep.

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