Establishing Healthy Sleep Habits

young boy sleeping on his back

Healthy sleep habits can help a child feel safe and secure. A baby’s sleep patterns are constantly changing as a result of his or her development. Here are some ways you can create good sleep habits.

  • Have a predictable sleep routine that might include a bath, feeding, diaper change, songs, and books. The nap routine will be shorter and less involved. This signals to your child that the time to sleep is approaching.
  • Have a set bedtime and wake-up time—even on weekends.
  • Always put a baby down to sleep on his or her back on a firm surface with no pillows, comforters, crib bumpers, or soft stuffed animals.
  • Put your baby to bed drowsy, but awake. This helps her learn to fall asleep on her own.
  • Wait a few minutes to see if he can go back to sleep if he wakes during the night. If not, check on him but leave the lights low. He may be hungry or wet.
  • Consider using a dim night-light to help your child feel more secure.
  • Create a quiet, dark, and not too warm sleep environment.
  • Adjust naps to support your child’s bedtime schedule.
  • Avoid putting a child to bed with a bottle.
  • If sleep problems persist, contact your health care provider because there may be an underlying medical issue.
Publication date: 2020