Is your baby not sleeping like a baby? Here are tips from Leann Latus, a pediatric sleep consultant who operates Tender Transitions in Maple Grove.
• Understand your baby's sleep cues. Yawning, red eyes, fussiness, vacant stares and rubbing faces/eyes all are signs that baby is ready for sleep.
• Be consistent. Most people know that regular bedtimes help promote good sleep, but consistency with morning wake-up routines and nap time are equally important.
• Put 'em to bed earlier. Many babies have bedtimes that are much too late, Latus said. This leads to an overtired child and a restless sleep overnight. She recommends bedtimes starting between 6 and 8 p.m.
• Banish "sleep crutches." Many babies develop crutches that they need to fall asleep. Pacifiers, their mother's breast or a bottle are a few examples. Others are movement-related: rocking, swaying, bouncing, going for a car ride. Perhaps the most insidious: sleeping with parents.
• Sleep begets sleep. Naps during the day are crucial for ensuring a good night's sleep.