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How to Get Your Baby to Sleep

It's one of the first obstacles in parenting: Getting your newborn to sleep through the night.

"I think it's more when she doesn't sleep it frustrates me and then as soon as I get frustrated she feeds off me," says mom Melissa King. 

The issue is one of the most common presented to pediatricians during routine checkups.

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"The realistic expectation is about four months of age only 25% of babies sleep through the night at six months it's up to about 50% about nine months it's about 75%," according to Lee Memorial Health System's Dr. Martin Sherman.

He says the most important step is to put babies to bed while they are still awake.

"They need to be able to transition to sleep, they need to know how to put themselves to sleep."

Using food as a sleep inducer might get them down, but only for a while.

"An hour or two later the baby wakes up and if the baby doesn't know how to put themselves back to sleep, then we have the problem," Dr. Sherman says.

Establishing a routine is also important. Which is what Melissa King does with Sophie.

"We call it the three B's. It's bath, bottle, bed. The bath cools her down and mellows her out and then we go straight to the bottle and then it's bedtime," King says.

As for bedtime, your baby may already show signs of wanting to go to sleep early or stay up later. It's okay to let them decide within reason. As long as they're getting at least nine hours of continuous sleep, the whole family can rest easy.

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