Baby sleep soothers
Can't get your baby to sleep through the night? Try these:
Being wrapped tightly helps newborns feel secure. To swaddle your baby:
* Fold down one corner of a square receiving blanket -- lightweight cotton flannel works best -- and place your baby in the middle, her head above the fold.
* Pull the left side of the blanket snugly across her body, making sure her right arm is across her chest or by her side.
* Bring the bottom of the blanket up over her feet, tucking the tip under the fold right below her neck.
* Place her free arm against her side; fold the other end of the blanket over her body.
Babies and toddlers who are massaged for 15 minutes before bedtime fall asleep sooner and are more likely to sleep through the night than those who are rocked to sleep, according to studies from the University of Miami's Touch Research Institute.
Let her suck her thumb
(or give her a pacifier after she's a month old). It's her way of soothing herself -- which is key to helping her learn to fall asleep on her own -- and studies show it may be protective against SIDS.
Transitional objects like a teddy bear or blankie help make bedtime less lonely for babies. The AAP doesn't recommend that babies sleep with loveys in the crib until they're 1, so remove them after she's asleep. But if your baby rolls over regularly (usually at around 5 months old), she's capable of moving away from a suffocation hazard, so there's less risk of SIDS. A small, crib-size blanket is also fine for a baby 6 months and older, who can push it off or crawl from under it.