Start establishing "sunset to sunrise" sleep pattern at an early age.
Parents start at the 1 month visit with a bath /book/ feed /sleep routine with the goal of having the baby in a bassinet/crib by 7 p.m. (sunset.)
They will continue to wake during the night for feeds but it sets the parents up for success. The baby will most likely wake again at 10 p.m. for a feed, then 2 a.m., and usually 6 a.m. Most/all babies wake up at 6 a.m.!
Eventually the 2 a.m. feed will fade away, then the 10 p.m. feed disappears, and you have a baby that sleeps 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. (sunset to sunrise.) Of course, this routine doesn't always happen exactly as planned, but if you stick with the bedtime routine, then the parent can always count on a short break before the next feed. The 7 p.m. bedtime also allows the parents to sit down, eat a meal, reconnect with their spouse/partner.
About Dr. Lisa Dana
Dr Dana is a Pediatrican at UCSF. She was born in Bologna, Italy. She attended University High School in San Francisco and then went on to complete her undergraduate education at the University of California Santa Barbara. She attended Georgetown University for Medical School. She completed her Internship and Residency at the University of California San Francisco. Dr. Dana is on the clinical faculty at UCSF and is a member of the San Francisco Medical Society. She has been in private practice in San Francisco and Mill Valley since 1999. Dr. Dana is married and the proud parent of three children. She is a founder and past president of the The Reading Tree Literacy Program.