It’s important to realize that every baby is different – and that includes sleep habits.  From how fast they fall asleep to how long they sleep, babies often have minds of their own. But there are some easy things you can do to help promote better – and safer – sleep for your infant.

No. 1: Back to sleep

Always place your baby on his or her back to sleep – not on the stomach or side. Your baby will breathe better in this position, and it reduces the risk of SIDS and other suffocation hazards.

No. 2: Avoid overheating

You’re not comfortable when you’re too warm, and neither is your baby. Make sure your baby isn’t over bundled during sleep time. Dress your baby appropriately for the room’s temperature and avoid using loose blankets or unfitted sheets, which can pose suffocation hazards. A sleep sack is a good alternative to blankets.

No. 3: Keep the crib clear

Your baby should sleep in a crib or other safe sleep surface with a tightly fitted sheet. Do not put stuffed animals, quilts or bumper pads in the crib with your infant. These all pose suffocation hazards.

No. 4: Stick to a schedule

Having a set bedtime routine is beneficial for children of all ages, but it applies to babies as well. Experts say that between six and eight weeks of age is a good time to start following a set pattern leading up to bedtime.  This may include a bath, followed by a diaper change and pajamas, reading a bedtime story or singing a song.

If you’re having continual sleep challenges with your infant, be sure to discuss them with your doctor to identify possible causes and solutions. Got a bedtime tip of your own? Share it with other parents on our Facebook page: