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Colicky Baby Sleeping Tips

Jan 16, 2008
Sleeping is the most important thing to think about when you have a colicky baby. The whole family suffers if the baby in the house won't sleep. Following are some bedtime rituals that may help you and your baby sleep:

* Develop a routine. Not every bedtime routine will work forever, but once something becomes established in your child's mind, he or she will come to expect it. A sample routine might include a warm bath, reading a book or listening to music, singing songs, being tucked in with a favorite stuffed animal or blanket, followed by a back rub.

* Be consistent. Establishing a daily routine allows your baby to establish his or her time clock. Babies thrive on a schedule where they anticipate what is coming next. Unexpected items tend to upset a colicky baby more so.

* Keep activities relaxing. Do not over stimulate your baby right before bed. Remove toys from the crib, except for a favored item. Removing toys every night at bedtime will help your baby realize it's time to sleep.

* Be brief. Small babies have limited needs at bedtime. Spend a few minutes soothing your baby then settle down for bed. More than 30 minutes is almost always too long.

* Turn the lights off. It's important for a baby to learn the difference between day and night, and that nighttime is for sleeping. This way, if your baby wakes up and it's dark in the room, he or she will learn that it's not time to get up yet. Leaving a bright light on is confusing for a baby and could result in frequent awakenings.

* Remove the bottle. Although it's true that sucking helps soothe a baby, swallowing milk or juice at nighttime will cause tooth decay and gum problems. Also, drinking while lying down can lead to fluid buildup in the ears which will make the colic worse. If your child is used to falling asleep with a bottle in mouth, he or she will have trouble settling down when awakened during the night and doesn't have one available. Try a pacifier instead.

* Be flexible. It's okay to bend bedtime rules if your child is sick or experiencing a stressful time with colic. Try not to change your bedtime routine completely. Instead, maintain relative consistency but add to the routine where needed, such as reading an extra bedtime story.

* Be wary of feeding your baby solid foods too early. Some parents believe babies wake up often because they're hungry again. Breast milk or formula is the best food for a baby's first six months. Solids don't really help your baby sleep at night, so don't introduce them before your baby is six months old unless your pediatrician recommends it.

* Maintain the bedtime routine even when frustrated. Keep your bedtime routine no matter how frustrated you may be with your colicky baby.

Try these tips to soothe your colicky baby at bedtime.
About the Author
Check out Colic Calm for more infomation about the best colic baby treatment. Also check out Infant Reflux Treatment.
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