- In This Feature
- Sleepy Time
- How do I know how much sleep my child needs at different ages?
- When should my baby sleep through the night without a feeding?
- When can my baby sleep without a hat or without being swaddled?
- I know babies are supposed to sleep on their backs, but mine keeps turning over on his tummy. What should I do?
- How do I know when to take the bumper pad and mobile off a crib?
- When can my child sleep with a blanket?
- When can my child sleep with a stuffed animal or doll?
- How do I know when my child is ready to go to sleep without a bedtime bottle or nursing?
- Is there a certain age when my child will stop needing a nap?
- When is it safe to turn off the baby monitor?
How do I know when my child is ready to go to sleep without a bedtime bottle or nursing?
"There are two separate issues in this question," says Dr. Sadler. "The first is the need for food before sleep. Most infants 'fill up' before sleep, which enables them to maximize their night sleep stretch. A small pre-bed snack is appropriate right through the toddler years as part of a bedtime routine."
Using a feed to get to sleep is a separate issue, says Dr. Sadler. "After 3 to 4 months of age, when a child can usually sleep a six- to eight-hour night, it becomes important not to inadvertently teach a child to rely on a bottle or the breast to fall asleep." She recommends that children be fed, then put in their cribs sleepy but still awake. "This way, when they awaken at night, they won't demand a feed to transition back to sleep which disrupts the night for parents."