Feeding Your One-Year-Old
- The general rule for sleeping at this age is that baby should be sleeping at least fourteen hours per day, with at least eleven of them at night.
- The majority of babies this age sleep through the night, but it's because the parents have changed their attitude more than the babies have changed their pattern. Be soothing and calm when you are putting your baby down. If baby sees that you are anxious for him to fall sleep, no doubt he'll stay awake that much longer.
- Sleep begets sleep. Babies sleep better at night when they have a restful day. This is also true if your baby has a busy and overstimulating day. You might think that a lot of activity during the day is wearing baby out, when it may be the cause of sleep difficulties at night. Keep things peaceful.
- Babies respond best to routines, especially sleeping routines. Try to keep a sleep schedule and do everything you can to keep your baby on that schedule during the day and at night.
- Relax your baby before bed. Read a story, rock your baby, or give a bath. Setting the mood for sleep and doing it each night will become a pattern that your baby will look forward to. But be sure to alternate with your partner to give you each a break and to keep baby from becoming too attached to one person doing the same thing every day and night. This will help tremendously if you travel and/or if you're out and baby is left with a sitter.
- Create your own lullaby tape, with a mixture of you singing and other lullabies that baby enjoys, and play it when you put baby down for his nap or bedtime. This will buy you lots of time! Alternate your songs with the others on the tape, so if baby becomes impatient, he will hear your voice again shortly. You can also use the tape when baby is in the play yard or when you put her into the crib to take a shower. This is also great for when you travel or have a sitter.
- The goal for baby is a restful sleep, so make sure baby is as comfortable in his crib as possible. Use soft blankets and snuggly pajamas, change his diaper, and be sure to check the temperature of the room. Once this is done, darken the room and turn on a slow-moving fan.
- If baby is always too wired to sleep when you put him to bed, try putting him to bed a bit earlier, not later.
- If nothing seems to be working, don't despair. Baby will sleep eventually. Take a break and don't make baby feel like it's his fault. This will only make him that much more anxious and restless.
More on: Feeding and Nutrition
Copyright © 2006 by Jeanne Murphy. Excerpted from And Baby Turns One with permission of its publisher, Sourcebooks, Inc.
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