Babies crave consistency. "Knowing what to expect and when is very comforting to them," says Marilyn Heins, MD, a pediatrician in Tucson and author of ParenTips. Although you can start carving out a regimen as soon as your newborn comes home from the hospital, it takes an infant at least a few weeks to get used to napping, eating, and playing at the same hours every day. Most babies will be receptive to a schedule around 6-8 weeks.
Bedtime routines calm your child and let them know it's time to transition into sleep mode.
Here are some tips for getting you baby or child to sleep:
- Make sure that your baby is awake when you put them in their crib. "It's how he learns to sleep on his own," Dr. Mindell explains. "If he's dozing after a meal, gently wake him and then put him down."
- Give baby a warm, soothing bath.
- Moisturize and massage baby
- Sing a lullaby or play soft music
- Read, or tell a story, or say prayers
- Say goodnight to favorite toys or stuffed animals in the room
- Tuck in/ swaddle baby
The books by “The Baby Whisperer” have great reviews and my friends who are moms rave about the techniques. You can get you own copy at your local library or buy one for under $10 on Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=sr_nr_n_0?rh=n%3A283155%2Ck%3Athe+baby+whisperer%2Cn%3A%211000%2Cn%3A20&bbn=1000&keywords=the+baby+whisperer&ie=UTF8&qid=1327960837&rnid=1000
Napping and sleeping routines are not only important for your baby or toddler, but also for you as a mom! Once your baby is on a schedule, you will be able to find which times are best to get things done on your endless to do list, and even find a moment of quiet time for yourself. When you can feel rested and productive, you will have the energy to happily continue caring for your family each day.
That said, schedules aren't for everybody. "It all depends on your parenting style and your baby's temperament," Dr. Widome says. "Some babies naturally eat and sleep at the same times each day; others will resist a set routine." Moms and dads with older kids may discover that a rigid plan doesn't work for them. "Remember, a schedule is just a rough guideline," Dr. Wasserman says. "The key is to be flexible and find what works best for your family."
This information came from www.parents.com