A: Babies need to be fed during the night for the first five months to 1 year. When your 5- to 12-month-old begins sleeping through the night intermittently without a feeding, though, you can encourage that behavior by adjusting your own. Start by establishing a set time for a simple, relaxing bedtime routine designed to signal your child that it’s time to go to sleep—then stick to it. It should be no more than 30 minutes in duration and might include a bath, a massage and a quiet activity like a bedtime story just before lights out. Be calm, attentive and patient—children sense their parents’ stress and share in it. Make your child feel safe and secure. During the day promote naps to prevent him from becoming overly tired, a state which ironically, can interfere with sleep. Watch for cues that your child is sleepy. If he’s yawning or his eyes look droopy, get him down for some shuteye promptly.
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