Baby Sleep Schedule: 2 To 4 Months
By the time your babyreaches 4 months old, they will have finally sorted out their days and nights, making napping and night sleeps a bit easier. The womb-like trifecta of white noise, gentle rocking, and swaddling are still importantbut one of these sleep-savers may need to stop soon. Once your baby shows signs of rolling, its no longer safe to swaddle them . And be warned about the possible 3-month sleep regression! It can suddenly appear, with your baby starting to wake up like a newbornevery few hoursand wanting to play or cuddlebut refusing to sleep alone.
Total Sleep for 2- to 4-Month-Olds: Babies this age are still sleeping a ton, usually around 13 to14 hours of ZZZs a day.
Wake Time for 2- to 4-Month-Olds: Your little one will most likely wake up little earlier now. Most babies this age start their day around 6am.
Napping for 2- to 4-Month-Olds: When babies first emerge from newbornhood , they settle into two to three daily naps, totaling four to eight hours of sleep.
Bedtime for 2- to 4-Month-Olds: Lights out shifts a bit earlier, with most babies going down around 9pm.
Nighttime Sleep for 2- to 4-Month-Olds: Babies are able to sleep a little longer now, but they still wake for a feeding or two. Longest unbroken sleep can range from around five hours to up to eight hours.
Why Is My Newborn Awake All Night And Sleeping All Day
Is your baby up all night? Dont worry, its completely normal. Heres how to deal with your newborns sleep patterns.
By Tara-Michelle ZiniukMay 1, 2018
Dacia Carney vividly remembers driving her newborn son Evan around the quiet streets of her neighbourhood in the wee hours, trying to get him to sleep. Evan had his days and nights mixed up, snoozing for stretches during the day, but wide-eyed and ready for fun at night. The Calgary mom was exhausted from her newborns sleep patterns.
According to Burlington, Ont., paediatric sleep consultant Alanna McGinn, day-night confusion happens because newborns have yet to develop their internal rhythms. These clocks drive our circadian rhythms and create an internal timing mechanism that makes us more awake during the day and more tired at night, she explains. Parents tend to have unrealistic expectations that a newborn baby can adjust to their new world too quickly, after spending nine months in relative darkness. Theyre just not developmentally ready.
In fact, Leigh Anne Newhook, a paediatrician in St. Johns, Nfld., says that for the first six to eight weeks, many, even most, newborns have their days and nights mixed up. Around-the-clock feedings also play a big role in this, since little ones have a high biological need to eat, and their tiny tummies empty quickly. Newhook adds that a new moms oxytocin and prolactin levels are elevated at night, which means she produces more milk, encouraging babies to feed frequently.
Stagger Which Wake Times To Keep Baby Awake
RULE 4: As you add more waketimes to the day, try to stagger them.
For example, dont start with the first two waketimes of the day.
Do a waketime you try to keep her awake for, then just let her sleep for the next one. Then a waketime you keep her awake, let her sleep, etc.
You can stagger them more than that if you want to .
She will be more successful at staying awake for a wake time if she is better rested.
WEEK FOUR:Your baby is between 3-4 weeks old.
As in other weeks, add one waketime to your day, so you are now up to three.
At this point, some babies might be able to add two instead of just one. Many start to be more awake at this age, but some are still very sleepy.
This was the age my son started to reject the idea of sleeping in the day .
The third waketime I added for my daughter was after the 10:30 AM feeding. We occasionally ran errands and/or had visitors after this feeding, so it was a convenient time to have her awake for a bit.
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How To Keep Newborn Awake During The Day
Though your newborn will likely fall asleep on their own schedule, you can implement some rituals into your routine that signal to them when it’s awake time and when it’s time for sleep. For instance, try keeping the house brighter during the day with more background noises, and creating a peaceful, dark, and quieter environment at night.
Baby Nap Schedule: Whats The Best Nap Schedule For Baby
While each baby is different, they do tend to fall into similar sleep patterns depending on their age and stage. Trying to establish a napping schedule right away for a newborn is a futile effort and could interfere with breastfeeding by impacting your milk supply.
Once your little one graduates from newborn status, however, you can start to make naps part of the rhythm of your day. Older babies need 12 to 16 hours of sleep daily until age 1, meaning naps will be an important part of your babys life . Heres a basic breakdown of napping numbers by age:
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Newborn Awake For 3 Hours Heres What To Do
Is your newborn awake for 3 hours straight and not sleeping between feeds? Learn how to help your fussy baby and shorten the wake times.
Whether during the day or at night, knowing that your newborn has been awake for 3 hours is never easy.
Maybe she was asleep all day, only to be awake for a long stretch at night. As much as you appreciate the long breaks during the day, you dread the evenings when you know youll be awake for most of it.
She could be awake during the witching hours before bed, unable to be soothed for hours at a time, despite your best efforts.
Or she does sleep well at nightat least for a newbornonly to be awake and fussy all day. As grateful as you are that she sleeps when she should, you also know she shouldnt stay awake this long during the day.
In fact, sometimes shes not even sleeping between her feeds. Shell go from one feed, skip a nap entirely, and be ready for her next one without sleeping once.
Keep Them Awake After Feeding
Some parents swear by the wake up trick keeping their baby awake while nursing or feeding for a short time in order to keep them awake during the day. Proponents of this method claim that it helps breastfed babies to stay awake and super alert during the day, thus making them happier and more rested.
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Temper The Temperature In His Room
Not too hot and not too cold thats the right climate for Baby Bears room. Why? Overheating may make your baby too sweaty to sleep, and it increases the risk of SIDS. As for too-cold rooms, infants get chilled easily, and will likely wake up if theyre uncomfortable.
Between 68 and 72 degrees usually does the trick. To figure out if the temperature is just right for baby, feel his neck. If its sweaty, hes too hot if its cold to the touch, bundle him up a bit more. But don’t dress baby in layers or a hat for sleeping.
Finding The Babys Waketime Sweet Spot
Your goal with waketime is to find that sweet spotso that baby goes to sleep quickly, easily, and with minimal to no crying. This doesnt sound very complicated, but its pretty tricky to do. Keeping on a good schedule/routine and keeping a sleep log will make getting the right waketime easier. Some signs of the sweet spot are:
- your baby goes to sleep easily for a nap with minimal or no crying and playing,
- your child takes a long nap and then wakes up happy
- your child seems to be happy and alert during his awake time.
If your child doesnt go to sleep perfectly, dont fret. Your waketime may still be right, some children just need a little more help to learn to sleep than others. And some babies simply like to fight a little before falling asleep and will cry even with perfect timing.
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How Much Should A Newborn Sleep
It’s been a long day at the hospital. Your new baby is probably snuggling up to you for her first small sleeps and she’ll be at it for a while.
âI never realised how much skin-to skin contact with my baby mattered. When it’s time for bed and she feels distressed, we spend some time touching and reassuring, then she quickly calms down.â
Germaine, mum of Amos, 3 months
During the first few weeks, newborns can sleep up to 16-20 hours a day in 3-4 hour stretches.
What About Cat Naps
Little babies are notorious for nodding off for a few minutes here and there. The most common complaint is that theyll fall asleep for a few minutes while nursing but then wake right up again when the breast is removed. Was this a real nap? Or do we wait for another hour before trying to put them down again?
Every baby is different but as a general rule, anything ~10 minutes or longer constitutes a REAL nap. Meaning if your baby falls asleep while nursing and then hangs out there for 10 minutes you will likely need to wait for an hour before trying to put her down for a nap again. Similarly if she falls asleep for 10 minutes on the way home from the mall, you will have to wait an hour to try to put her down for a nap.
Some babies transfer well from the car well they can be removed from the car while sleeping and continue to sleep happily in their car seat which is now sitting in the living room. If this is your baby, lucky you! If not you have two choices:
- Accept the occasional car cat nap as part of life.
- Plan for the car cat nap by bringing a nice latte and magazine with you. When your baby falls asleep in the car, park somewhere comfortable, leave the car running, and enjoy some quiet time while she sleeps.
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Baby Sleep Myth : Putting Babies To Sleep On Their Back Has Solved Sids
While the Back to Sleep campaign quickly reduced sleep deaths from 5,500 in 1994 to 3,500 in 1999, for the past two decades, SIDS progress has completely stalled. The tragic truth is that about 3,500 infants die during their sleep every year. Despite the fact that more babies are sleeping on their backs, the rate of accidental suffocation and strangulation deaths among infants has quadrupled since the mid-1990s. Whats to blame for this alarming trend?
Unsafe sleeping practices. Seventy percent of all sudden unexplained infant death victims are found in adult beds, sofas and other risky locations. One study found that even though most parents plan to follow the ABCs of safe sleep , less than half actually do it. By the end of the night, about 60% of babies have migrated from their bassinet to their parentsâ bed, according to a study in the Journal of Clinical Lactation.
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Disclaimer: The information on our site is NOT medical advice for any specific person orcondition. It is only meant as general information. If you have any medical questions and concerns about your child oryourself, please contact your health provider.
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How Did We Make This Nap Chart
The above chart is derived from over 10 years of experience as a sleep consultant, with thousands of families, in conjunction with the following two books:
Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Dr. Marc Weissbluth M.D.
While you can obviously read multiple 200+ page books, we strive to bring you practical information at your fingertips that you can put to use right away.
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How Many Hours Do Newborns Sleep
A newborn baby will sleep for around 16 hours a day minimum – but this isn’t all at once, as any parent can tell you! Instead, these hours are broken up into smaller naps throughout the day, and a longer period of sleep at nighttime. Over time, this amount decreases, and by the time your baby is 24 months old, this will have reduced to around 12 hours a day with fewer naps.
Your Baby Doesnt Know If Its Night Or Day
Some babies start sleeping on whats called a day/night reversal schedule. Your baby sleeps well during the day, but is awake and busy at night. Its frustrating and exhausting, but its temporary.
Here are a few things you can do to help your baby learn that day is for play and night is for rest:
- Keep them awake a little longer during each waking period during the day. This will help increase the need for sleep later. Some sleep experts recommend playing with your baby for a few minutes after a feeding instead of letting your baby fall asleep.
- Get your baby outside and in the sun . Natural light helps reset their internal clock. If you cant get outside, place your babys crib or sleeper near a window that gets steady, bright light.
- Avoid sleep-inducing activities, if at all possible, during the day. Dont fight your babys need to sleep. But if you can keep them out of the car seat for a bit, that extra time awake will help them later.
- Keep lights low or turn them out at night anywhere near babys sleeping area. Likewise for sound and movement. Your goal should be zero disruptions.
- Consider swaddling your baby at night so their arms and legs dont move and wake them. You can also try putting them to sleep in a small crib, so they feel snug and secure.
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Sleep Tips For Newborns To 2
Activate Babys calming reflex:White noise, swaddling, and motion work wonders starting from the first day of life to help babies sleep better, naturally. Thats because these sleepytime helpers are all integral parts of the 5 Ss for soothing babies and helping them sleep. White noise , swaddling, and motion all mimic the soothing sensations babies experience in the womb and trigger whats known at the calming reflex, or natures off switch for crying and on switch for sleep.
Consider SNOO: SNOOthe smart bassinet developed here at Happiest Babywas designed to provide those three important Ss. SNOO provides responsive white noise and motionand swaddlingall in one bed, helping babies fall asleep faster and sleep longer. Don’t worry, SNOO does not keep babies asleep who need to eat! Babies will always wake up and let you know when they are hungry.
Set Sleep Times Vs Awake Window Schedule
We do not recommend on working on a set sleep time schedule, at least until your child is down to one nap a day. In our experience, they just dont work. Instead, we suggest using awake windows to set your schedule.
Let us provide an example of why we find set nap times do not work. Here is one example schedule we found for a 6 month old baby:
7am Morning Wake
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Recognize The Signs That Your Baby Is Tired
Your baby will let you know if they need sleep. Watch for these common signs of tiredness:
- Looking away from you
Donât wait until your baby is overtired to put them to bed. An overtired baby has more trouble falling and staying asleep. Try to stay a step ahead by looking for the signs that they are getting sleepy before they are fussy and cranky.
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Q: When To Start A Routine With A Newborn Baby
Its never too early to start introducing flexible routines, so both you and baby know what’s coming next. A popular newborn daytime routine is to EAT, PLAY, SLEEP . After they wake, turn on the light, offer a feed, and engage in a short activity. This may include tummy time or just a diaper change before theyre ready for sleep again.
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First Things First: Adjust For Prematurity
Your babys sleep typically matures week by week based on your estimated due date. If your baby was born before due date, youll want to be sure to adjust for that. For example, if your baby was born 2 weeks before due date, when your baby is 7 weeks old, she is considered only 5 weeks old in terms of sleep development. If your baby was born post due date its possible shell be a little precocious in her sleep development, but in a situation like that we suggest calculating sleep age from BIRTH date. In other words, when it comes to due dates and birth dates use the date that came later to figure out your babys sleep age.
When your baby reaches approximately 6 months you can stop adjusting.
Allow other caregivers to soothe your baby and offer a variety of soothing if possible.