Week Twenty Three
Sleeping through the night
Well, maybe not sleeping right through what we would consider 'the night', but at this age your baby should be able to sleep for a stretch of about 8 hours without needing to be fed. To encourage him to sleep the same hours as you, you may choose to give him a 'dream' feed - waking him for a quick top-up feed at 10pm before heading to bed yourself - which may just see him through to 6am or thereabouts.
If after a 10pm feed, your baby still persists in waking through the night, try to resettle him without offering a feed and he should learn fairly quickly (give him a couple of nights to get the message) that the snack bar is closed after-hours and that he might as well sleep through to morning.
Find your baby's sleep needs.
Sometime around six months, you may notice that your baby suddenly becomes fearful of strangers - and in your baby's eyes, a stranger can be anyone that he doesn't see daily. A beloved granny or babysitter can suddenly become a person to be feared; needless to say, this new behaviour can be upsetting for all concerned.
At this age, your baby's memory is improving so that he can now differentiate between people who are familiar and those who aren't. Experts now think that young children are biologically programmed to be wary of unfamiliar or new experiences to keep them safe. With an improved memory for faces, your baby will be wary of anyone who doesn't seem instantly familiar. Stranger anxiety may well last beyond his first birthday - but will ease with age.
Read more about your baby's social and emotional development.
These days, controlled crying seems to be squarely out of fashion, but for those of us who struggle with babies who have disastrous sleeping habits (waking every hour or two every night, or always needing to feed before resettling at night), using one of the controlled crying methods may be something to consider.
At this age, it is appropriate to use the progressive settling technique - this is where you respond to her crying and offer her comfort while she remains in her cot.
Learn more about the progressive settling technique.
Find more about your baby’s week by week development
This article was written by Linda Drummond for Kidspot.com.au and has been adapted for Kidspot.co.nz