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Parental Guidance: Tackling baby's sleep issues

Sometimes,

Sometimes, "sleeping like a baby" isn't a good thing. Photo Credit: Fotolia

My 6-month-old wakes up a few times a night. If we try letting him cry it out, he screams and wakes our 3-year-old daughter. Any suggestions?

Enlist your older child in your efforts, says Jennifer Waldburger, a Los Angeles-based social worker and co-creator of "The Sleepeasy Solution" book and DVD. Explain to her that her little brother isn't such a hot sleeper and that you, for the next few nights, are going to try to help him learn to sleep better. Tell her that he may cry, but not to worry, Mommy and Daddy are helping him.

Use white noise in her room or outside her door to give her a buffer from the sounds, Waldburger says. "Even a fan or air purifier," she says. If your master bedroom is farther from the baby's room, you could tell her she's having a special sleepover in your room for a few nights and set her up on your floor. Emphasize that this is temporary -- don't solve the problems of the baby only to create a bad sleep habit in her.

If the older child still is awakened, you and your husband can divide and conquer, with one of you handling the baby and the other comforting her, Waldburger says. Or send your older child to Grandma's for the weekend while you work with the baby, Waldburger says.

"The worst of the learning usually lasts a night or two," Waldburger says. By then, the baby's cries should diminish.

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