How to Get Your Baby to Sleep Through the Night
Let America's longest practicing baby doctor show you how!
Is your baby waking up at night crying and wanting to be fed? Are you sleep-deprived and exhausted?
“It doesn't have to be that way,” says the world’s most-experienced Pediatrician.
“Babies can be trained to sleep through the night. You and your infant can enjoy a full night’s sleep and it's healthier for both of you!”
Hi, I’m Madia. I have eleven children and one of the greatest privileges of my life was to know Dr. Leila Denmark. She practiced pediatrics for over 75 years and was my mentor for 32 years.
I can hardly express how much she helped me, both with the children’s medical issues and family life challenges. I would love to share what she taught me with you.
Training Your Baby to Sleep Through the Night
One of the first things Dr. Denmark told new parents was, “This baby has come to live with you, not you with the baby. He needs to be trained into a system. If you were building an important business, you’d have a system, and building a human being is the most critical thing on earth. There should be a consistent time for everything, including when he eats and sleeps….a baby doesn't need to feed at night. He should be getting all of his nutritional needs met during day feedings."
A newborn generally sleeps twenty hours out of 24. A healthy baby may spend up to four hours wakeful, fussing or crying. With patience and perseverance, he can be trained to fuss during daylight hours so everyone gets needed rest at night. As long as he is given plenty of attention during the day, he doesn't need to be held at night.
A full night’s rest is good for everyone - mom, dad and baby!
Our children were usually trained to sleep through the night within ten days. Our first baby took four nights. At Dr. Denmark’s directive, their last feeding was at 10 pm, after which they were put to bed and not picked up until 6 am (unless they were sick or something unusual was going on). We did have to listen to some crying and fussing until they adjusted to the schedule, but it wasn’t too long before we had to wake them up for the 6 am feeding.
Dr. Denmark reassured us that a certain amount of crying is good for a newborn’s lungs. “If a baby cries all the time and for no apparent reason, we know something is wrong and the cause should be explored. However, for an infant to be healthy and develop properly, it is critical that he spend a certain amount of time crying loudly. Crying is a natural way of expanding and strengthening his lungs and giving baby his necessary exercise.”
Some infants take longer to train than others. If your baby is one of those, ask yourself:
1. Is anything unusual going on: fever, congestion, diaper rash, abnormal bowel movements?
2. Is he getting plenty of nourishment during the day so that he is gaining well? Sometimes a nursing mother’s milk supply is lower in the evening, so supplementing a little at the ten o’clock feeding can be all it takes for baby to sleep through the night.
3. Am I keeping him up enough during the day so he is sleepy at night? Keeping baby awake as much as possible between 6 pm and 10 pm really helps with the training process.
4. What about his environment? Is the room quiet, darkened and a comfortable temperature?
5. Is baby positioned so he is feeling safe and secure? Dr. Denmark emphatically recommended tummy sleeping as the safest, healthiest, most comfortable position for infants as long as the crib was made-up properly. ( for more information on how to make-up the crib properly refer to Dr. Denmark Said It!…)
6. Am I being consistent? Is baby’s bedtime the same every night, or is the schedule always changing? Do I let him fuss one night, but then pick him up a lot the next? Babies thrive on predictability.
7. Ask yourself this question…ask it for the rest of his childhood… Who is training whom?
Recommended Schedule for Newborns:
Feed breast milk or formula; allow baby to sleep in an open room. Raise the window shades and leave the door ajar if there is no danger of a toddler
harming the baby.
Bathe (as needed).
Feed and put down for nap with door and shades closed. Assure quiet.
Feed, leaving the room open.
Feed and play with baby.
Feed. Change diaper; check to see if baby is all right. Do not pick the child up or feed him until 6:00 a.m.
For more information on feeding schedules, positioning infants, sleep training and other fundamentals of childcare order your copy Dr. Denmark Said It! today.