Simple Newborn Scheduling Tweaks Boost Sleep
A study of breastfed babies found that 2 simple scheduling tweaks yielded a big improvement in sleep in the first 2 months:
- Waking up for a dream feed between 10 p.m. and midnight.
- Responding to nighttime cries with a few minutes of holding or a diaper change before feeding.
Within 3 weeks, 100% of babies were sleeping 5-hour stretches with these 2 steps, versus 23% of infants where no scheduling was tried.
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
How Much Should A 3
Every baby is different, but a typical 3-month-old needs between 14 and 17 hours of sleep in a 24-hour period, including three to four naps totaling four to six hours. However, it’s also normal for 3-month-olds to sleep a little more or less than that. Your 3-month-old may sleep for longer stretches at night, possibly five hours at a time. Dont panic if your little one is up more frequently, though some babies still wake to eat every few hours at this stage.
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Cot Mobiles Music And Light
Avoid music, mobiles or light-up and electronic toys in or near the cot. They might disrupt sleep during the night.
If you have a mobile above the cot, phase it out by the time your baby is 5 months old.
- brush their teeth and change their nappy
- read them a short bedtime story – this helps your child relax
- place babies in the cot or bed drowsy but awake – it reassures them if they wake up where they fell asleep. Toddlers don’t need to be drowsy going to bed
- let them have a comfort toy like a teddy or blanket in the cot from 12 months of age. Make sure it’s clean and not a strangulation or choking hazard
- do not give them a bottle to have in bed. This can be a choking risk and might develop into a sleep association
- avoid toys with music or lights. This includes mobiles above their cot or bed
- consider phasing out parent sleep associations if it’s becoming a problem for you. For example, rocking your child to sleep. They may need you to do this to help them fall back asleep when they wake during the night. Continue to resettle and soothe them if they wake up crying
- leave a dim night light on so that they do not feel upset if they wake up in the dark. Or you can leave the hall light on with the bedroom door slightly open
- leave their bedroom door open so that they can hear soothing and familiar noises
A Rough Guide To What Newborns Need Sleep Wise
As a rough guide, newborns will sleep most of the time and will wake 2-3 times a night for feeding. Of course, this will vary from individual babies. The important thing to remember is that their sleep cycles are shorter than a typical adult, which will be around 3 hours. A babys sleep cycle is about 40 minutes. They will rouse every 40 minutes, sometimes going straight back to sleep without seeming to wake, other times they will need some sort of help falling back to sleep, be that holding, movement, swaddling, feeding, sucking etc. So while a baby may wake frequently, they are not necessarily waking from hunger, it could just be they are unable to transition into the next sleep cycle. After 3 months, your baby may have settled into longer waking periods in the day and longer sleep sessions at night, but they will probably still wake around twice at night, some more, some less. Newborns will not have any idea of day and night and will wake frequently 2-3 hourly for food and attention.
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Need Sample Routines For Babies 6 Weeks And Older
By now, you know how to handle the early days, but what after? Here is the good news: youve set your baby up for a foundation of success.
Now all you need to do is continue to find routines that work for you and your baby as they grow up and begin getting bigger and bigger.
After having 5 babies with 5 different personalities, I know a thing or two about finding a good schedule.
This is why Ive created a book of sample routines and schedules for babies ages 6 weeks up to 5 years.
The book includes information on how long to let baby stay awake, how much play time is good for each age, what to do with baby when baby is awake but not quite mobile, and even how to manage toddler and baby joint routines.
Baby Sleep Schedule: 10
Your day should start around…
6 to 7:30 AM
Read 8 Solutions to Get Your Baby to Sleep Through the Night for additional tips on getting your baby to finally sleep all the way through the night and tips for helping baby sleep alone to help your baby become an independent sleeper.
Ultimately, these baby sleep schedules are just suggestions. Every baby is different. We cant stress that enough. So, dont compare your babys sleeping habits to another babys because they WILL be different. Like we said, some babies start sleeping for longer stretches right at six weeks while other babies will take much longer to reach this milestone.
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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.
Create A Shorter Nap Routine
Abbreviating your babys nighttime routine for a naptime routine helps reinforce his sleep cues to encourage the transition to dreamland.
From the What to Expect editorial team and Heidi Murkoff, author of What to Expect When You’re Expecting. What to Expect follows strict reporting guidelines and uses only credible sources, such as peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions and highly respected health organizations. Learn how we keep our content accurate and up-to-date by reading our medical review and editorial policy.
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Cluster Feeding Newborns: Dos & Donts
Want stress free daily routines for your family? Get our daily routine cards for littles here!
Are you busy with a cluster feeding newborn? This will help you know what to do so youre not up all night feeding a baby every hour.
Newborns are perfectly snuggly and sweet and warm and wonderful.
But it can be hard to survive.
If they wont sleep well, dont seem to be eating well, and are irritable due to gas pain, overtiredness, or even baby teething then you can feel like youre slowly starting to lose your mind from lack of sleep and complete world upheaval.
A common phenomenon with little ones cluster feeding.
When To Start Establishing A Newborn Routine
The short answer: you can try to start a routine immediately, but most newborns wont follow much of a schedule until 2 to 3 months old.
To look at how baby naps by age, lets start with newborns. All babies are different, but usually newborns live on their own schedule of sorts.
The first 6 weeks or so, most babies will need to eat every 2 to 3 hours and spend the most of the day sleeping. Newborns are usually only awake for 30 to 60 minutes between naps. Theyre also prone to irregular intervals of sleeping and eating as they figure out their days and nights.
From there your baby will continue to extend their awake times and slowly drop naps.
Most babys take 2 or 3 naps until approximately 6 months. Then they usually continue with 2 naps until dropping to only 1 nap around 1 year old.
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How To Get My Baby Into A Routine
An infants requirements are not complicated, but still, some parents can find it challenging to attend to the random needs of their child. For this reason, they try to create a routine for their baby and often ask others about how to get my baby into a routine.
However, due to insufficient knowledge and improper methods used, they often fail to put their child into a routine, and the child also resists any changes.
Why Do I Need A Routine?When asking about how to get my baby into a routine, ask yourself why you need a schedule? Is your baby annoying you with the untimely demands? If yes, then it is suitable for you to create a routine for your child.
A routine will set the time-table for your child and specify times for eating, sleeping, bathing, etc.
What Type of Routine Should I Use?There are two types of habitual patterns that you can use. One is led by the parent and the other, by the child. Although the first might seem more sensible, the latter is more practical, and we will tell you exactly how that works.
In the parent-led routine, the baby is bound to follow a routine that the parent created. This routine might be created with the help of an expert, or by parents themselves after observing the baby.
The baby-led routine will also be created by the parents but will significantly be influenced by the babys natural cues. The babys natural and intuitive routine will be set as a priority.
How Do You Get A Baby Into A Routine
1. Introduce a bedtime routine for baby early on
- Putting their sleep-suit/pajamas on they will associate the soft material of their baby clothing with their bedtime routine.
- Breast or bottle feeding just before sleep avoid as many midnight get-ups as you can by making sure baby goes to bed well fed.
- Bathing your baby before bed this will help them to associate the relaxing feeling of being bathed with bedtime to follow.
2. Teach them the difference between day and night
- Change babys clothes in the morning and before bed they will begin to notice the change and relax or wake in response.
- Control the light in your home to reflect the time of day babies respond to external cues, like light, so keeping the curtains open and making the room light will keep your baby active during the day. Come night time, make rooms as dark as possible to teach them when its time to sleep.
- Make sure its silent similar to light, babies can be influenced by sounds. Keep your home as quiet as possible when its time for getting baby into a bedtime routine.
- Avoid talking to your baby during night feeds keep the house lively and chatty during the day, but come night time feeds, let your baby know that its sleep time by maintaining a soothing atmosphere.
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Use White Noise When Putting Your Newborn To Sleep
If you notice that your newborn tends to fall asleep in a noisier environment as opposed to a completely silent environment, she will likely benefit from a white noise machine. White noise can drown out household sounds such as older siblings, pets, and the television. Some white noise machines even have a heartbeat setting to mimic a mothers heartbeat, which is very comforting to newborns as they sleep at night. The volume should be just loud enough to drown out any background noise. If the sound is too loud, then the machine, itself, will become a distraction.
Feed At Regular Intervals
Plan to feed during the day at a set interval, every 2-3 hours, depending on your babys preference up to this point.
If your baby is showing signs of hunger before its time, try to distract or play with them to stall feeding them for a few minutes until the designated time.
Of course, if your baby is crying due to hunger, you should absolutely feed them even if its not quite the scheduled time.
And remember feeding at regular intervals also includes
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How To Maintain Your Babys Sleep Routine When The Clocks Go Back
It might not be the first thing that springs to mind when you prepare for the clocks going back, but according the experts, adjusting meal times could be key. With meal times acting as a good indicator for your internal body clock of what time it is, it could help to push back your babys meal times ever so slightly.
Whilst this doesnt have to be drastically different, they suggest that pushing meal times back at staggered times depending on the meal could help them adjust to the upcoming time change.
For example, parents could try giving their little one breakfast around ten minutes later, moving on to give lunch around 30 minutes later and dinner 45-60 minutes later.
This could help your babys body to begin associating these later times and meals together, giving their body clock a head start on the upcoming time change. Simple and effective, this clever trick could help prepare your child in the days leading up to the clocks going back.
And thats not all you can do, as the experts revealed that being prepared is key. Around 5-7 days ahead of the clocks going back, they advise that parents push their babies bedtime back by around 10 minutes, then an extra 10 minutes the day after and so on.
If youve begun weaning your baby and theyre starting to eat solid foods, checking on the types of foods and sugar content they are consuming before bed could help maintain a good sleep routine.