Ask Dr. Karp: How do I get my baby to sleep in her own bed?

Ask Dr. Karp: How do I get my baby to sleep in her own bed?

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Ask Dr. Karp is a monthly Q & A series with world-renowned pediatrician Dr. Each month, he will join us on the our site Blog to to answer questions from our fans.


Q: You've helped us infinitely with calming our newborn through the 5 S's. Do you have any recommendations for getting babies to sleep well in their own bed? My 5-week-old sleeps like a log on my lap or on my chest but instantly wakes up when placed in the bassinet.

- Charlene O. Conill (submitted via the our site Facebook page)


Hi Charlene,

I'm so glad to hear the 5 S's helped! (Did your partner use them? Guys can be super good at them, too!) Anyway, at 5 weeks your little bunny is not even halfway through the 4th trimester, which can last up to four months. Most babies do best with swaddling for all naps and at night for at least four months, and listening to a rumbly, low-pitched white noise CD (played as loud as a shower) for the entire first year.

It's fine to let your baby fall asleep on your chest – in fact, it's almost impossible to prevent it. But it's actually a good thing that she wakes up when you transfer her to the bassinet. In fact, I strongly encourage parents to wake their baby – a bit – after sliding him or her into the bassinet or crib. (I call this "wake and sleep." There’s lots more about wake and sleep, plus other sleep tips in The Happiest Baby Guide to Great Sleep: Birth to Five Years.)

That may sound crazy, because we've always been told never to wake a sleeping baby. But it's important because it teaches babies how to comfort themselves back to sleep when they pop awake in the middle of the night. (Don't worry, your little girl will still cry for your help at night if she’s hungry or uncomfortable.)

Of course, it's wonderful for your baby to love being close to you. But at around 3 or 4 months of age, when babies get more social and "nosey" and prefer our company to being alone in a still, quiet bed, they often start to wake up much more often. By setting up great sleep habits now, you'll avoid the sleep disturbances that so commonly develop in the coming months.

Three of America’s most popular parenting DVDs/books The Happiest Baby On The Block, The Happiest Toddler On The Block and The Happiest Baby Guide To Great Sleep: Birth to 5 Years were created by Dr. Learn more of his landmark baby, toddler and sleep tips at and follow @HappiestBaby and @DrHarveyKarp on twitter and like us on Facebook.

Opinions expressed by parent contributors are their own.

Watch the video: How To Put Your Baby To Sleep, According To The Baby Whisperer (October 2022).

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