Why Is An Infant Sleep Schedule Important
An infant sleep schedule is predictable, and predictability comforts babies, easing the transition from the busy daytime to the lull of bedtime.
A sleep schedule featuring bedtime and naptime routines paves the way for eventually teaching your baby to fall asleep on her own and sleep through the night.
Week 1: Move Beyond The 4th Trimester
3 months! A quarter of a year! Can you believe it?
You might have noticed the 4th-trimester essentials arent needed as much now that your newborn is 3 months old. Its okay to let these things go if your baby isnt needing them anymore.
Breaking out of the swaddle blanket? Your baby is starting to stretch out its limbs more! Sleepsacks or sleepers are a perfect replacement as it keeps your baby comfortable while they slumber.
Spitting out the pacifier? If its no longer needed to help with soothing let it go! You wont have to battle weaning your baby from the paci when they get older.
Any other 4th-trimester newborn sleep habits that dont seem necessary is okay to stop because your baby is growing.
Each week brings something different with your newborn. Parenthood is all about changing and adapting along with your baby. Try out these top 12 newborn sleep tips to get you through the first 3 months.
Rd Month Newborn Sleep Tips
What Your Newborn Is Up To: Does time seem like its flying by yet it feels like your newborn has been a part of your family for a long time?
Thats the life of raising a baby!
So what things are in-store as your infant heads into 3 months?
You probably are beginning to hear more baby coos and see baby smiles. At this stage, babies tend to start interacting with you more. They take more interest in their toys and other stimuli. Their bodies are growing stronger and holding up their heads more. Perfect time to work on tummy time!
And sleep. Theres emerging predictability with newborns at this stage. This means you can begin to work on routines and developing healthy newborn sleep habits!
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Nd Month Newborn Sleep Tips
What Your Newborn Is Up To: You made it through the first 4 weeks! Your baby is growing and adjusting. At this point, they are waking up to the world around them. You may have caught a glimpse of a first smile. Their vision is increasing and you get more eye contact. Babies show more reactions to stimuli like music or sounds. So what are the newborn sleep tips to follow for this month? Check it out!
Safe Sleep For Newborns
Before we dive into newborn sleep schedules and patterns, its important that we discuss safety. Considering how much newborns sleep, you might wonder how to keep them safe during all those hours they spend snoozing.
- Use a firm crib mattress. Soft, fluffy mattresses are not safe for babies.
- Make sure the mattress is the correct size. Crib mattresses typically come in two sizes: mini and standard. Whichever one you choose, youll need to make sure it fits snugly in the crib without too much of a gap between the mattress and the edge of the crib.
- Keep blankets, toys, pillows, and crib bumpers out of the crib. Theyre cute but not safe for baby to sleep with. Outfit the crib with a basic fitted sheet and skip the rest.
- Share your room, but not your bed. Your baby can sleep in a bassinet in the same room as you, but its not safe for them to sleep in bed with you.
- Put your little one to sleep on their back, not their stomach or side.
- Use a breathable mattress. Around four months, your little one will learn to roll over. If they roll over onto their stomach at night, a breathable mattress, like Newtons Crib Mattress, will help reduce the risk of suffocation.
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Q: How Often Do 1 Month Old Babies Sleep
1 month olds need to sleep quite often aim to give your baby the opportunity to sleep after about 30 – 90 minutes of wakefulness. Look for sleepy cues in order to help determine when your newborn will be ready to sleep.When your baby starts looking away from you , or rubbing/putting their forehead on you, theres a good chance they’re ready for a little snooze. Ideally, you’ll give your baby a chance to sleep before they reach the overtired stage .
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
Dont 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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Week 1: Transition To The Crib
If youre using a bassinet or some type of crib made for the newest baby you may have noticed its getting a little bit smaller. Thats because your newborn is growing!
Most bassinets are safe for 3 months or younger. As you get closer to 12 weeks its good to consider transitioning your baby to the crib.
To start make sure your standard crib is set up properly and that the mattress is at the correct height. You dont need any bells or whistles like blankets, pillows or bumpers to keep your baby comfortable. Safety is essential and anything like that is not safe for a sleeping baby.
Some babies do just fine getting placed in the crib. Other newborns might need help with the transition. In that case, start small. Use naptimes to get your baby used to their new sleep space and gradually add in additional naps or bed-time. As always follow the same nap-time and bedtime routine and always lay your baby on their back.
Newborn Sleep Cycles: Why Newborns Are Light Sleepers
When adults first fall asleep, we pass through a couple of light sleep stages, and then plunge into a bout of deep sleep.
Afterwards, we switch into REM, or rapid eye movement sleep, a sleep stage famous for its association with dreaming, and the loss of muscle tone. We dont move much during REM.
When REM is over, we either awaken, or return to light sleep and begin the cycle again. For the average adult, a single sleep cycle lasts about 90-100 minutes. We may partially awaken many times during the night. But were more likely to wake up all the way during transitions between stages, during light sleep, and during REM.
Newborn sleep is also characterized by sleep stages and cycles, but there are crucial differences.
First, babies typically begin their sleep bouts in the newborn equivalent of REM .
Second, newborns in REM dont usually experience muscle atonia.
Unlike us, they may thrash around, stretch, twitch, and even vocalize. The results can fool parents into thinking their babies are waking up, when they are actually experiencing normal REM sleep.
Third, newborn sleep cycles are shorter around 50-55 minutes for the average infant and REM makes up a much bigger proportion of sleep.
Its not unusual for newborns to spend more than half their total sleep time in REM . Indeed, several studies suggest that, over the course of a 24 hour day, some newborns spent may spend as much as 75% of their sleep time in active sleep .
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References: What Scientific Studies Say About Newborn Sleep
Anders TF. 1979. Night-waking in infants during the first year of life. Pediatrics 63: 860-864.
Bennett C, Underdown A, and Barlow J. 2013. Massage for promoting mental and physical health in typically developing infants under the age of six months. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2013 Apr 30 4:CD005038. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD005038.pub3.
Cheruku SR, Montgomery-Downs HE, Farkas SL, Thoman EB, and Lammi-Keefe CJ. 2002. Higher maternal plasma docosahexaenoic acid during pregnancy is associated with more mature neonatal sleep-state patterning. Am J Clin Nutr 76:608-13.
Cubero J, Valero V, Sánchez J, Rivero M, Parvez H, Rodríguez AB, Barriga C. 2005. The circadian rhythm of tryptophan in breast milk affects the rhythms of 6-sulfatoxymelatonin and sleep in newborn. Neuro Endocrinol Lett. 26:657-61.
Cubero J, Narciso D, Terrón P, Rial R, Esteban S, Rivero M, Parvez H, Rodríguez AB, Barriga C. 2007. Chrononutrition applied to formula milks to consolidate infants sleep/wake cycle. Neuro Endocrinol Lett. 28:360-6.
Custodio RJ, Junior CE, Milani SL, Simões AL, de Castro M, Moreira AC. 2007. The emergence of the cortisol circadian rhythm in monozygotic and dizygotic twin infants: the twin-pair synchrony. Clin Endocrinol . 66:192-7.
Dement W and Vaughan C. 1999. The promise of sleep. New York: Random House.
Doan T, Gardiner A, Gay CL, Lee KA. 2007 Breast-feeding increases sleep duration of new parents. J Perinat Neonatal Nurs. 21:200-6.
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How To Get Your Newborn To Sleep At Night
All babies cry, and all parents experience a crying baby at night from time to time. There are many reasons your newborn may cry at night, rather than falling or staying asleep. For example, she may be uncomfortable or overstimulated, or may need a diaper change.Here are some of the things you can try to help your baby settle and fall asleep:
Play some soft music or white noise. Some babies may be soothed to sleep with the help of soft music or white noise. A fan pointed at the wall or a baby sound machine can produce white noise, which can also help mask household sounds that may otherwise disrupt his sleep.
Track your babyâs sleep. Keeping track of your babyâs sleep, including naps, can help give you a better idea of how much sleep sheâs getting and when she might be ready for the next sleep block. You could do this either digitally or in a notebook. However, if youâre looking for an easier way to track your babyâs sleep patterns, try Lumi by Pampers, which features a smart sleep system that combines expert sleep coaching with personalized sleep tracking to help get your babyâs sleep on track.
Above all, try not to become stressed if your little one can’t seem to sleep never act on any frustration you may be feeling by shaking or hitting your baby. Instead, leave your baby safely in his crib for a few minutes while you regroup in another room, and go back in when you feel calm and ready.
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How Much Should A Newborn Baby Sleep
Unlike children and adults who generally sleep through the night in large, uninterrupted blocks of time, infants sleep in many short spurts throughout the day and night. Sleeping sporadically allows an infant to receive frequent feedings and the external stimulation needed for brain development.
Newborn Sleeping Feeding And Play: Letting Your Baby Lead The Routine
With newborn sleeping and feeding, the key is being flexible and following your babys lead. Your baby will let you know whether they want to sleep, feed or interact with you its OK to go with whatever feels right at the time.
Its also OK to try to do things in a similar order if that feels right for you and your baby. For example, you could trya simple routine of feed, play, sleep. Heres what this might look like:
If you try this kind of routine, its still important to watch your babys cues and respond.
For example, your baby might show tired signs soon after a feed. This means that its time for your baby to sleep, even if you and baby havent had much time to play.
Or your baby might show signs of being hungry after a play. In this situation, just give your baby another feed before settling baby for sleep. Your baby will sleep better with a full tummy.
Or your baby might have an extra-long sleep every now and then. Thats OK too. Unless your doctor or child and family health nurse has told you otherwise, theres no need to wake your baby for feeds.
And at night, a good option might be settling your baby straight back to sleep after feeds, rather than trying to play.
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Sample 4 Week Old Baby Sleep Schedule
- 4:30 am feed baby swaddled , put immediately back down to sleep
- 7:00 am wake up, feed unswaddled in well lit area, play time
- 8:15 am wind down routine, down for nap awake but drowsy
- 10:00 am wake up, full feed unswaddled, play/bathe/errands/ tummy time
- 12:45 pm wind down routine, down for nap
- 2:45 to 3:00 pm wake up, full feed, play/family time
- 4:15 pm down for nap
- 5:30 pm cluster feed, bath/family time / sit with family at dinner
- 6:30 pm cat nap
- 7:00 pm get baby up, wind down routine
- 7:30 pm cluster feed swaddled then immediately down for nap
- 9:30 pm to 10:00 pm feed again swaddled, put immediately down to sleep
- Feed at night as baby wakes up
Week : Show Your Newborn The Difference Between Night And Day
Newborns dont know the difference between night and day when they are born. Thats one of the reasons why they are up and down at all hours. To acclimate their body clocks to the rhythms of your day introduce your newborn to the concept of night and day.
This important newborn sleep tip will help them set their internal clocks to be awake more during the day and sleep for longer stretches at night eventually.
To do this create a stark contrast to day and night in your home.
During the day keep lighting and noise at a normal level. Where ever baby naps keep the room from being pitch black. Play music in the background. Do most of your activities during the day.
At night soften the environment. Turn down the lights and the volume. Slow down the pace of life. When putting baby down at night draw the shades closed and make the room dark.
Over time your newborn will adjust and with it adjust their awake and sleep hours.