For the most part, a baby is going to start sleeping through the night when she’s good and ready to do so. The fact of the matter is that any given baby is going to progress at her own pace when it comes to sleep (and most other areas, for that matter). If your baby isn’t ready to sleep through the night at six weeks old, that’s just something you’re going to have to live with. Being patient (and sleepless) is just part of the package when you have a baby in the house. It’s something that billions of parents have dealt with for centuries.
All of that being said, there are things that you can do that will help the process of your baby falling asleep and staying asleep. There are also things that you can do that will create problems when it comes to your baby sleeping.
One of the most common mistakes that parents make is to provide a sleep environment that has too many opportunities for stimulation. In fact, some of the basic tools and toys that are marketed to parents of new babies may actually make it so that your baby doesn’t fall asleep as easily.
Take, for example, the crib mobile. Many parents rush out and buy a mobile for the crib. Today’s mobiles aren’t just rotating objects on strings anymore, either. They often have sounds, lights and other interesting things to look at. After all, the purpose of a mobile is to get your baby to look at it and, hopefully, forget about whatever else might be bothering her.
However, this type of thing can have a detrimental effect. Those bright colors and interesting noises can send a message to your baby that it’s not time to sleep, but rather it’s time to be entertained.
It’s not just mobiles that can cause the problem, either. If your baby’s room isn’t darkened at night, for example, it’s hard for her to get the idea that it’s time to fall asleep. The same goes if the room is noisy. Consider room-darkening shades, and perhaps a fan or white noise machine to create an optimal sleep environment for your baby.