Is my baby old enough to sleep through the night?
My eight-month old son needs a predictable daytime sleep routine, but with my hectic life this is quite difficult. He also wakes up several times at night and I am exhausted! Is he old enough to sleep through the night?
Sleep trainer, Karen Silber, answers:
Your son needs to learn how to go back to sleep himself when waking up during the night, rather than relying on a bottle or his dummy to soothe him back to sleep. Your son’s present routine should be adjusted to aid his night-time sleeping. He needs two naps, but try to keep him awake a bit longer before putting him down for his first nap of the day in the morning. This will have a knock-on effect on his second daytime nap as well as his bedtime.
Feed him at 4:30pm and then let him play calmly for an hour. At 6:30pm give your baby a bath and take him straight to his dimmed bedroom afterwards. Then give him his last night-time bottle and put him into his cot while he’s still awake but drowsy. Sit on a chair next to his cot until he falls asleep.
When your baby wakes during the night, go to him, take his hand to help him find his dummy and encourage him to put it back in his mouth himself. Then sit next to his cot until he falls asleep again. When he wakes up for his milk feed in the middle of the night, offer him a diluted drink instead by reducing the amount of scoops you usually put in the formula.
After three days dilute this midnight milk feed even further and on day seven offer him only water. On day ten go through to him when he wakes up and say “sleep now” then leave the room. If he becomes upset, go to him before he gets really annoyed, pick him up and hold him firmly. Once he’s settled put him straight back down and don’t talk or rock him. If he refuses to go to sleep sit by the cot, gradually moving the chair you sit on away from the cot until you reach the door. This is a gentle way of modifying your baby’s sleep routine.