If you’re a new parent, then you already know that the baby sleep patterns are quite different than ours or adults. After all the struggle, it seems that only a few hours that your baby is asleep and within a while, she’s wide awake again, whether it’s day or night. It’s troublesome and you’re literally fade up with the sleep of a baby. But, here’s one thing that you need to understand, that baby sleep pattern is delicate and they are learning new things in every minute. Don’t be harsh on yourself and with the baby, understand the things instead. Understanding the sleep patterns and habits can help you to improve your baby’s sleep, while it benefits both the parents and baby for a long term.
The statement “sleeping like a baby” changes during the first year of life. According to Gary Montgomery, MD, medical director of the Children’s Sleep Center at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta states that typically the newborn’s sleep for 16 to 18 hours a day in a four-hour sleep pattern. The baby generally sleeps for three hours and is up for about an hour for a feeding and change of diaper, while it tends to go back to sleep again. While the old adage “never wake a sleeping baby” is quite true in the case of a healthy newborn. There’s no need to wake your baby up if he sleeps longer than the normal sleep patterns. He will wake up when he’s hungry says, Dr. Montgomery.
Just like the delicacy of the infants, their sleep is more delicate. If you think to put the baby by your bedside and will be easier to feed them during the night, then you’re wrong. There’s a high chance of the baby being suffocated and tangled in the bedding, while others sleeping on the bed could accidentally roll over on the baby. Now here are the few basic things that you need to understand about baby sleep patterns in the first year and how you can cope with it.
First Year baby sleep patterns:
It’s completely normal for the newborn to wake up between four and six times at night. In the first 11 weeks, the baby’s circadian rhythm or the natural sleep-wake cycle cued by light and dark tends to develop. However, it might take some time for the baby to adopt the natural sleep and wake up time. But after the formation of circadian rhythm, the baby sleeps less during the day and more at night. However, the sleep patterns of babies can vary widely, don’t panic and understand the things. It’s good for both babies and mother while it reflects the good parenting.
- 2 to 4 months: Now this can relate to human adaptation to the environment and growing faster. The baby starts sleeping for the longest time at night and less in days in 2 to 4 months’ time. They will sleep for up to six hours in a night or so, while they are growing, their stomach is growing and they can hold more formula or breast milk. By the end of 3 months, the baby will likely to sleep around 15 hours a day, while the two-thirds of that time is at night.
- 5 to 7 months: By this time, your baby sleep patterns are more relaxing and soothing. In the 6 months, babies usually no longer need to be fed during the night. While they tend to snooze three to four hours during the day and have a proper sleep of 8 hours at night.
- 8 to 12 months: By this time, you are quite far away from the tension of sleep. The babies are likely to have two naps a day, with about nine hours of sleep at night. By the time of her second birthday, napping will likely be once a day. Though they might have understood the natural sleeping time, they might affect your life in a day with their activities.
Healthy Routine habits for baby sleep
Since you already got the idea about the baby sleep pattern in the first year, but here are the simple guidelines that will ease the pain for the first year.
- Bedroom Lights: Now, here’s the catch. As per the body clock, the darkness simply means the sleeping time. Whether it’s daytime or the night time, the lack of light simply gives the signal to the body to go to sleep. Since we all have to sleep at the night and especially baby’s sleep is very delicate, make sure that you brighten the room light during the daytime.
- Night Light: Like the above, there should not be any disturbing lights during the night time. Be concerned what you have in your surroundings. Some people are blessed with street lights just in front of their houses. Though it’s good for safety it might not be a good idea for baby sleep. On the contrary, reduce the noise if you live in the noisy area.
- Don’t rock the baby to sleep: We have a bad habit of making the baby sleep. Since they are small and very fragile, we generally made them sleep on our shoulder of by rocking them into their small bed. Doing so, they might adequate time to learn to sleep on their own. Stop the rocking process and lay your baby down when the baby is drowsy but not fully asleep.
- Make the nighttime visit short and sweet: Since night time is generally for sleep, make the visiting of the baby pretty less. Change their diaper and feed them well before setting them to bed. We need to let them learn that night time is for sleeping and it’s time to let things go for the night. Keep the room dark and ease the things so that they can go back to sleep even if they awake.
Tips for Parents
Taking care of the baby is hard and it’s not less than a full-time work. But most of the parents forget to take rest while taking care of the baby. We need to balance things up so that everyone can stay fit and healthy. Here are some general ideas that you can adopt during the baby first year time.
- Take a nap while your baby asleep: Though it might not be suitable for many of us, it is the right time for sleep when the baby is resting. You can leave the whole thing for a while and take a short nap, however, you should be concerned about your sleep pattern as well. The more you sleep at daytime, the hard you sleep in the daytime. Take a short nap, so that it will provide all the energy to do other due works.
- Have your protected sleep time: This is quite important as the baby is not the responsibility of mother only. Anyone who is there with you can help you protecting and caring the baby. Weekdays are the best days to have your protected sleep. Make sure that the whole house knows its mother time to rest and for other things. Make your partner liable for the baby for sometimes and have your protected sleep time or you can utilize the same time in other various productive things as well.
- Go with the Flow: Simply go with the flow. Don’t be harsh on yourself and with the baby. Though the baby might be the newborn, follow their leads and act accordingly. Maintain the sleep patterns and daily schedule with the baby and go with the flow.
Raising the baby is always a challenging job but with a deep understanding of the things, it is just a normal raised up process. Try to follow the above steps and let us know if it really works or not.