Infant baby sleeping and yawning on white sheets

To help your baby sleep through the night, establish a bedtime routine.

You’ve counted down the weeks, and you’re ready to start counting up the years. Boys Town Pediatrics explains what to expect those first six months.

Sleeping

Most babies are sleeping through the night by 4 to 6 months of age. To help your baby start or continue sleeping through the night, develop a bedtime routine. A warm bath, bedtime story or gentle rock to a lullaby can help your baby transition to sleep.

Start putting your baby down for naps and bedtime while awake or drowsy. It’s OK if your baby cries for a bit as you start this process. This will teach your child to soothe himself or herself back to sleep if he/she wakes up in the middle of the night.

Crying

Sometimes it is difficult to know exactly why a baby is crying.

If you cannot soothe your baby, place him/her in the crib. Chances are, your baby is overly tired and will fall asleep. If your baby continues to cry for more than two hours, call your pediatrician to make sure there isn’t an underlying factor.

When babies cry for no reason at all, it’s called colic. Colic crying usually lasts one to two hours about the same time every day. To help a colicky baby relax, try placing your baby in a vibrating chair or swing, swaddling with a light blanket or running the vacuum for a dull, constant sound.

A crying baby can be stressful for parents. It is OK to put your baby in the crib and walk away for a few minutes to calm your nerves. Crying will not hurt your baby.

Development

By 4 months, you’ll see lots of signs that your baby is ready to interact more with his/her environment. The more you talk, read and sing to your baby, the more fun sounds your baby will make back to you.

Continue frequent floor play time as your baby will be learning to roll, scoot and sit up at 4 to 6 months.

Your baby may be intrigued with his/her fingers and hands. Put a toy in front of your baby and watch as your baby tries to reach for it. Your baby may even shake the rattles and toys once he/she grasps them. Make sure the objects are clean and age-appropriate. Everything in a baby’s hand usually ends up in the baby’s mouth.

Resources

After your child arrives, you’ll experience a lot changes in a very short amount of time. Omaha is filled with businesses, experts and nonprofits ready to help new parents just like you. Many of these parent resources will be available at the free Boys Town Pediatrics Newborn Expo on Saturday, March 9.

The expo will feature mini-classes by Boys Town pediatricians and a Hy-Vee dietitian, plus booths with information on everything from breastfeeding to mommy boot camps. Attendees will receive goodie bags and have the chance to enter to win hourly prizes.

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