4 tips to help your baby fall asleep on his own

June 02, 2017
  • 1 / 5

    Getting a baby to sleep through the night may well be the holy grail of new parents. But they can instil the habits that help him learn to sleep on his own.

    Dr Janice Wong from Thomson Paediatric Centre said that babies ought to learn how to soothe themselves to sleep, for instance, by rubbing their faces or rolling about.

    Here are some tips to get you started on helping your baby go to sleep on his own.

    Related: 5 baby sleep myths you can ignore


    Load more
  • Start young
    2 / 5 Start young

    Dr Petrina Wong, a paediatric consultant at KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKH), said parents can start teaching babies about two to four weeks old to distinguish night from day.

    “When the baby wakes up and cries or fusses at night, wait a few minutes before responding to him,” she said. “This is because he may wake up more often if caregivers attend to the slightest movement or whimper in the night.”

    Related: 5 common sleep problems in children

    Load more
  • Keep calm
    3 / 5 Keep calm

    Parents should check on infants without turning on bright lights, playing with them or exposing them to stimuli, which could have the opposite of the desired effect.

    A gentle hand on a fussing infant may be all that is needed to give baby the comfort he needs.

    Dr Mahesh Babu Ramamurthy, head and senior consultant at the National University Hospital‘s paediatric pulmonary and sleep division, said: “When there is parental presence – with rocking, hand-holding and so forth – babies tend to wake up more in the night.”

    Related: Baby sleeping with plush toy: what you should know

    Load more
  • Don't send them to bed hungry
    4 / 5 Don't send them to bed hungry

    Confinement nanny agency manager Gladys Yip, 42, said that older babies should be sent to bed on a full stomach. For example, feed them a half-portion of milk about 2½ hours after their last full feed.

    Dr Leo Deng Jin of Thomson Paediatric Centre (Bukit Panjang) agreed but added: “Some babies do sleep better after having their milk feed, but the amount of milk given should be reasonable. Too much milk given at one go may result in the baby vomiting or feeling bloated.”

    Difficulties latching on to the nipple may also result in their waking up hungry in the night.

    Dr Leo said: “Most babies will reduce their reliance on night feeds by about four months of age.”

    Related: How to stop baby night feeding

    Load more
  • Create a night-time routine
    5 / 5 Create a night-time routine

    “Doula” (or mother’s companion) Emeline Hare, 41, said that bedtime cues – such as feeding, dimming the lights and reading a bedtime story – can create a ritual that helps babies feel more secure. This helps them to fall asleep more readily, she said.

    But do not let routines become unhealthy fixations. Babies must fall asleep on their own.

    Otherwise, they may develop an association between sleep and a parent’s rocking motion or fussing action and become unable to doze off.

    Thomson Paediatric Centre‘s Dr Wong said: “Babies are creatures of habit and will become reliant on the need for comfort and soothing if parents adopt certain methods to get them to sleep.”

    A version of this article first appeared in The Straits Times.

    (Photos: 123RF.com)

    Related: Baby sleep training: 4 guide books to read

    Load more
charlene choi pregnancy baby

Charlene Choi had her eggs frozen to preserve fertility, just like bandmate Gillian Chung

ella chen urinary incontinence

A Singapore mum’s incontinence story: I wet myself 6 times a day

urinary incontinence ella chen

Ella Chen speaks up about urinary incontinence after giving birth, urges mums not to suffer in…

prince harry new baby son

Prince Harry, Meghan Markle name baby son Archie

Gaile Lok Ian Chu Leon Lai

Leon Lai’s ex-wife Gaile Lok welcomes her first child

Latest stories

video kid-friendly guide admiralty park's playground

Video: Kid-friendly guide to Admiralty Park’s playground

More Singapore parents are having 100-day celebration party for new baby

Fann Wong Christopher Lee son Zed Lee

Andy Lau, Fann Wong and other stars who became parents after 40

sim ann minister singapore

Why Sim Ann told herself she’d never do this to her kids

primary 1 registration 2018

Primary 1 registration 2019: Important dates to remember