Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Health & Baby

Font Size

Baby Got You Up At Night?

Set Your Infant's Clock

WebMD Feature
Reviewed by Gary D. Vogin, MD

Jennifer Drobny says that life with her 8-month-old daughter, Olivia, had become exhausting. The baby had never slept through the night. "We'd have to hold her and 'dance her' to sleep for an hour. Then she'd give us at most two hours' sleep and be awake again," says Drobny.

"I thought with my experience, we wouldn't have behavior problems," adds the 30-year-old mother, a graduate student at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. But after eight months of being awoken every two hours every night, Drobny was exhausted. Then she happened to run into psychologist Brett Kuhn in a hallway one day at the university. Kuhn, an assistant professor and pediatric sleep specialist, asked Drobny how she was doing. "I just started crying," she says.

Kuhn offered Drobny a solution to her (and her baby's) troubles: Let Olivia "cry it out."

That approach seemed awfully harsh to Drobny, at least at first. "I couldn't go cold turkey," she admits. After 10 days of preparing the baby for the change, Drobny left the house for two nights and let her husband Jeff launch the effort. Night 1 brought lots of awakenings and even a 90-minute crying fit. On night 2, things seemed to get better. Nights 3 and 4 were worse. Then a miracle: "She slept through the night last night," Drobny said after the fifth round.

Her advice to exhausted parents of night-rowdy infants: "Don't wait to get help."

And if you're stumbling through the day red eyed because your baby won't let you get sleep, there's more good news: The approach that proved successful for Drobny isn't the only thing you can try.

Night Means Sleep

Experts agree that there's not much parents can do to affect a baby's sleep cycle for at least the first month. The baby has no concept of day and night and doesn't associate night with sleep.

That means: Be prepared to feed, rock, dance, sing, or hum the little one to sleep. "Baby rules" for this period, advises psychologist Jodi Mindell, associate director of the Sleep Disorders Center at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and author of Sleeping Through the Night.

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

Baby's First Year Newsletter

Because every week matters, get expert advice and facts on what to expect in your baby's first year.

Today on WebMD

mother on phone holding baby
When you should call 911.
parents and baby
Unexpected ways your life will change.
baby acne
What’s normal – and what’s not.
baby asleep on moms shoulder
Help your baby get the sleep he needs.

mother holding baby at night
mother with sick child
Chinese mother breast feeding newborn baby girl
Track Your Babys Vaccines
Baby Napping 10 Dos And Donts
Woman holding feet up to camera
Father kissing newborn baby
baby gear slideshow