Babies usually start to sleep through the night at about five to seven months. Sleeping through the night, for a baby, is sleeping five to seven hours without interruption. Some babies, however, have more trouble sleeping than others.
There are many things you can do to help your baby fall asleep. Of course, if she is hungry, you should feed her. If she needs to be changed, you should change her, and if she has other obvious needs, you should take care of those. But once you’ve taken care of all of baby’s needs, and rocked her, sung to her, cuddled her, and done everything you can think of to no avail, you might want to consider getting your baby’s doctor involved if she still regularly won’t go to sleep.
Many parents are unsure when to consider whether it may be medical causes which are keeping baby awake. Here are some signs that you should suspect that baby might have a medical problem interfering with her sleep:
- If baby normally sleeps well but suddenly becomes very restless in her sleep, you might want to seek your doctor’s advice. Of course, this could also be because of teething, but it’s better to be certain there isn’t a problem.
- If baby cries constantly and can’t be soothed, there may be something wrong. If baby’s crying episodes are fairly predictable, you’re probably dealing with colic. In any case, you should seek your doctor’s opinion and advice.
- If baby has other signs of illness, such as fever or vomiting, take her to see her doctor.
- If baby appears to have abdominal pains which last more than a few hours, take her to see her doctor.
- If baby can’t or won’t sleep, and there’s no obvious reason, or if your gut feeling is that something is wrong, listen to your instincts and take her to the doctor. No one knows your baby better than you. If you think something is wrong, you’re probably right. In any case, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Of course, none of these things in and of themselves mean that your baby has a medical problem. However, if she is not getting the sleep she needs, it’s always a good idea to find out why. Your baby’s doctor is the best place to go if baby is having regular sleeping problems.