Trying to get babies to sleep through the night

Posted at 7:56 PM, Nov 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-16 19:56:00-05

A baby boom at WXYZ has some of our staffers dealing with sleepless nights. 

Five staffers had babies this year and with one on the way, we are asking, how can we get them to sleep?

"It's never cookie cutter because every family, every baby is different," said Patty Werner, an infant sleep expert with a degree in psychology.

Werner helps families get into a routine with babies four months and older. She says babies younger than that are not ready to be sleep trained. 

"A good night's rest starts in the morning," she said. 

Werner believes in 13 sleep foundations, including consistent routines and using trigger words.

"Is bed time or good night, I love you, those words you are going to repeat when you're holding baby," Werner said.

She uses a graduated extinction method, where you time out the baby crying and check on him or her only if the crying doesn't stop.

There are some products out there that have helped some babies and parents sleep.

The Snoo is a smart crib that has three microphones, a speaker and two motors that create different rocking motions.

When the baby is restless, the crib will rock and play white noise on four levels.

If the baby is still crying on level four, it will stop and send an alert on your phone letting you know the baby might need to be fed or changed.

This high-tech crib will set you back $1,200.

Another less expensive product is the Baby Merlin's Magic Sleep Suit. While some parents swear by this, the $40 item has a variety of reviews on Amazon. 

One of the most common complaints is how thick it is.

Dr. Seth Faber, a pediatrician with Beaumont and teacher at Oakland University, said self-soothing is an important task.

"We have to give them that gift," he said.

Dr. Faber says by the age of 4 months, babies should be asleep 4-6 hours; at 6 months, they should be asleep 6-9 hours; and by 9 months they should be sleeping through the night.

During shorter sleep blocks, Dr. Faber says it's okay to push back the baby's bed time to match yours so you can both catch some sleep.

"Sleep deprivation leads to poor relationships, poor performance at work, car accidents," he said.