For the first month or two, an infant naturally sleeps more than half its time. All through the first year, many babies Sleep from twelve to sixteen hours in the twenty-four. It is a grand thing for all concerned when the little one can be trained early to sleep most of the night. Habit may be formed, in such matters, very soon.
Lay the child down to sleep, from the start; do not get it used to being carried about to go to sleep in somebody's arms. Put it to sleep in its crib, alone as a rule. Hard to believe as it seems, some weary slumbrous mothers have overlain their babies; that is, rolled upon them while asleep and suffocated them. Moreover, the vapors from another human body make the bed less wholesome for the child. Yet, with a wide bed, convenience may sometimes afford reason for a child being laid beside, but not too near, its mother or nurse.
Never rock a child in a cradle. This has, happily, quite gone out of fashion. If it has any effect, it is by causing a kind of a dizziness (like seasickness) which cannot be good for the child.
Let the baby soon get used to going to sleep in the dark. Otherwise, when it gets older, it will be afraid to do so, with a fear often very hard to overcome. Put no curtains about a bed, for a child or grown person.
Most babies, when they do sleep well early in the night, wake very early in the morning, and then want food. Before noon they are apt to be ready to take a nap of two or three hours. Some will also want an afternoon nap of an hour or two. Let them sleep all they will; sleep and grow fat. Never wake a young child (or in-deed an older one) suddenly ; it jars their brains. When their sleep is out they will wake up of themselves.