Before I jump into some tips for you to help with getting your baby to sleep better, I thought I would give you a basic understanding of baby sleep and then give you a link at the bottom to read more about the daily routine that I suggest. Once you have that routine down, I’ll discuss the sleep routine and tips.
Sleep Schedule – Why you baby is active at night and sleepy during the day
When your infant was in your womb, did you notice when they were most active? It’s when you were sitting still or laying down at night, right? That’s because when you were active during the day you were actually bouncing your baby around in a nice rhythm putting them to sleep. Once you stop moving your baby will wake up and become more active on their own, stretching and punching and kicking. What tend to happen then, is that the baby sleeps mostly during the day in your womb and is up and active at night. When your baby is born his/her sleep schedule is completely opposite from yours! The first couple of months they should adjust by using the Eat/Wake/Sleep Daily Routine that I recommend below.
Babies sleep for short periods of time and therefore don’t spend much time in a deep sleep. This means they can be woken easily. If you can, try getting your baby used to noises when they are an infant. Turn on the TV or music, run the vacuum cleaner and do laundry here and there during the daytime naps. If they get used to noise then they’ll be able to sleep through anything… including when you have guests over or are in a restaurant, etc.
Also, try allowing your baby to wake naturally as much as possible rather than waking him/her. I know I’m happy when I wake up on my own versus waking to an alarm clock. Adults as well as babies have sleep cycles or different phases of sleep that they enter through. Babies sleep cycle is slightly different than an adults, but if either are woken during the deep sleep they tend to wake up cranky.
I’m thinking that you’re reading this blog because you can’t get them to sleep long enough… but thought I would mention that so you can keep it in the back of your mind
How Much Sleep Does My Baby Need?
The amount of sleep a baby needs will vary by age. Here’s a guideline broken down by age. It’s based on research and my experience.
|AGE||TOTAL HRS/DAY||HOW IT’S BROKEN UP|
|1-4 wks old||16-20 hrs||6-8 naps a day, feeding every 2-3 hrs|
|1-2 months||15-16 hrs||4 naps (early morning, late morning, early afternoon, early evening). 3-4 hrs at a time at night|
|3-4 months||14-15 hrs||3 naps (morning, afternoon, early evening), 4-6 hrs at a time at night|
|5-8 months||14 hrs||3 naps a day at first, dropping to 2 between 6-8 months old. Sleeps entirely through the night|
|9-12 months||14 hrs||2 naps (morning and afternoon) and sleeps entirely through the night|
|1-3 years||12-14 hrs||2 naps at first, dropping to 1 between 12-18 months old. Sleeps 11-12 hrs at night.|
Now that you know the basics, I encourage you to read about my recommended Daily Routine. The daily routine will help reduce stress levels and help both you and your baby to get in sync with eating, playing, and sleeping times.