Your baby should start sleeping through the night at about 3 months. But babies are learning and observing all the time, and your baby could soon start to associate sleep time with time that mommy isn’t there. It’s called separation anxiety and it’s a normal part of development for many babies. But it can be especially trying for parents, as babies can be particularly strong-willed, especially about bedtime!
You may be introducing some baby foods at this time, and this can help your baby feel sleepy. Remember to introduce new patterns gently and slowly. If the baby isn’t going to sleep or keeps waking up and crying for you, then she needs to learn to self-comfort, but not all at once. Ease her into the habit of sleeping alone.
Don’t change your rituals at bedtime. You can still start out with a warm bath and feeding. Rocking and snuggling, singing or reading – these are all bonding times for mother and baby. If the baby doesn’t fall asleep right away, try putting her in her crib with the rocker or glider right next to the crib, singing or reading to her. You can stand at the crib and rub or pat her back.
In a week or two, move the chair a short distance away from the crib, so the baby can see you. You can talk or read or sing. If she cries for more than 10 or 15 minutes, then get up and comfort her, but put her back down in the crib and go back to your chair.
In another week or two, move the farther away, towards the door. Even these minor changes could be hard for your baby, but be patient. This is a time when you can fold her laundry and put it away, talking to her, so she’s aware of your presence, but your attention isn’t focused entirely on her. This way she can get used to the idea of separation gradually.