Question“My baby wakes up almost every night and cries until I go to her. Then she wants to play instead of sleep. What can I do?”
Answer If she wakes in the night and cries for you, wait for about five minutes. She may be able to fall back to sleep by herself. If her crying continues, go to her. Speak softly to her to comfort her. You can rub her stomach, but don’t pick her up.
If she needs a diaper change or seems sick, take care of that. Avoid feeding her unless you think she is truly hungry. Then tell her it is time to sleep, and leave her alone. Don’t play with her, or she will begin to expect you to play every night.
Most babies will learn to fall back to sleep by themselves. Babies who wake up a lot or cry for a long time during the night may be sick. Talk with your doctor or clinic about what to do.
Try this idea as you train your baby to fall asleep on her own:
Your baby needs to learn how to fall asleep by herself. You can help her by doing the same things each night when you put her to bed. Doing the same things before bedtime will help her know that it is time to sleep.
At the same time each night, rock her for a few minutes and sing to her or read her a book. Don’t let her fall asleep in your arms. As she gets sleepy, put her down in her bed. Put a favorite toy in bed with her. Stay with her for a moment. Then leave her alone to fall asleep by herself.
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