(HealthDay News) -- Though it's tempting for parents to run to their child at the slightest cry during the night, experts say that's not always the best reaction.

The American Academy of Pediatrics offers these suggestions for when your child cries at bedtime:

  • Wait a few minutes before responding; if the crying continues, wait longer each time before you respond to the cries.
  • Offer reassurance that you're there, but don't play, linger or turn on a light if you do enter the room.
  • Each time you enter the room, stay a little farther from the bed; eventually, reassure your child without entering the room.
  • When your child calls for you, offer a gentle reminder that it's time to go to sleep.