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Sleep Problems In Young Babies


Baby Care Videos

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Should I give my young baby a routine?

A routine doesn’t have to be strict but some kind of routine is good for babies. Winding down the day’s activities can become a predictable and comforting part of life.

Establishing a bedtime routine can start with simply changing your baby into night clothes. A quiet bath is an idea too, if your baby enjoys bathtime, as it can be relaxing, without being too stimulating. To help encourage your baby to fall asleep, gently lie him down in the cot, say goodnight and allow time to settle. When leaving the room walk away slowly to prevent any disruption. It’s actually good for babies to learn to nod off without having to be rocked all the time.

What should I do when my baby wakes in the middle of the night?

Babies often wake up in the middle of the night for a feed. When this happens, be sure to give a milk feed and not solids even if your baby has started on solid foods.

Sometimes babies whimper in the middle of the night. It’s not always necessary to get up and check on them. Most babies surface every 45 mins or so, make tentative noises, then roll over and nod off again. Use your instincts and you’ll soon know when to intervene.

Can giving my baby a dummy or letting them suck their thumb cause damage to their teeth?

Many babies suck their thumbs for comfort. In fact it’s a habit that often begins in the womb. It can occasionally cause long-term damage to a baby’s teeth but this is unlikely to happen unless it continues to age 3 or 4. So don’t get too hung up about it.

Dummies may be less ‘natural’ but they could be good in some ways. Research shows that dummies may even reduce the risk of cot death. Most babies that use dummies can easily do without them once they outgrow the need, especially if you try to limit dummy use after the age of 18 months or so. If over-used, dummies can interfere with learning to speak so never give your baby a dummy when he’s happy and smiling – his mouth shouldn’t be a parking space for a dummy.

10866 Published November 2012

Review Scheduled November 2013

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