How To Put A Newborn On A Sleep Schedule

The Overnight Newborn Sleep Schedule

How our 1 month old newborn baby sleeps through the night!

Once shes down for the evening, dont wake her unless its been longer than 3-4 hours. At this young age, you dont want her to sleep through the night. Its not healthy for her.

When she starts stirring for a meal, probably around 1 am , feed her in near darkness with little sound or movement.

Unless shes got a poopy diaper, has leaked, or has a bad diaper rash, lay her back down to sleeping without a diaper change. Theres nothing like cold air on a cute bum to overstimulate and ruin your sleeping chances!

Baby Sleep Schedule: 2

Your day should start around…

6 to 6:30 AM

Bedtime should be around…

8 to 10 PM

When to Feed: Your baby’s stomach is a little bigger now, so they’ll stay full for longer, but babies at this age still typically need to be fed every few hours – including throughout the night.

Zen tip: Here’s when you can start implementing a baby bedtime routine. You’ve probably already picked up on the things that seem to soothe your baby. Stories? Baths? Swaddling? Try some different calming activities out and develop a nighttime routine that helps relax your baby and prepare them for sleep. Having a consistent routine is SO important for healthy sleep.

The Zen Swaddle makes a great addition to any bedtime routine. It’s gently weighted center and sides help soothe babies more than a traditional swaddle blanket. The weight helps to mimic your touch, so they can feel your loving embrace, even once you put them down to sleep. Additionally, the Zen Swaddle is effective in combating Moro Reflex, which is prevalent in most babies until 5 to 6 months old.

Newborn Sleep: What To Expect

All babies are different, and their sleep patterns can vary a lot. For these first few weeks, its a good idea just to let them nap when theyre tired, and to feed on demand when theyre hungry.

Newborns sleep a lot – around 16 out of every 24hours and they need eight to 12 feeds a day so they get enough food for growth and development. This means when theyre awake, theyre usually feeding, and after feeding, theyll probably want to go back to sleep. This seemingly never-ending feed-sleep cycle starts to change after three to four weeks, when your baby starts to take in their surroundings, and be a little more interactive with you. But still, at this age, there isnt much time for play.

Very young babies tend to sleep on and off through the day and the night, and the length of those sleeps can vary.

Keeping newborns awake during the day wont make them sleep more at night. At this stage, let them sleep when theyre tired, and feed them when theyre hungry. Overtired babies often wake more frequently.

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Establishing A Bedtime Routine

You may feel ready to introduce a bedtime routine when your baby is around 3 months old. Getting them into a simple, soothing bedtime routine can be helpful for everyone and can help prevent sleeping problems later on. It’s also great one-to-one time with your baby. Here are some things to try:

  • dimming the lights in the room to create a calm atmosphere
  • giving them a goodnight kiss and cuddle
  • singing a lullaby or having a wind-up musical mobile that you can turn on when you’ve put your baby to bed

How To Choose A Morning Wake Time:

The Best Baby Sleep Schedule: When and How to Incorporate It
  • Choose a time that is suitable to your family routine and consistently feed them at this time.
  • Every morning, aim to feed your baby at this time even if theyve fed as soon a 1.5 hours before.
  • If need be, gently rouse your baby up around 4 or 4:30 am and feed them as full a feeding as they will take, then wake them up again at the time youve determined is their morning wake time.
  • And, if they wake earlier than this time but are not crying for milk, cuddle, hold, play with, and rock baby until that time comes. If the baby is extremely hungry, feed baby of course. Try to get a full feed in there and then get back on routine throughout the day.
  • Remember consistency is key. Your babys body will get used to eating at a certain time and will slowly but surely start sleeping a lot closer to that time.

At this point your baby takes full feeds, has a good routine, is learning to put himself to sleep, and has established dream feeds and morning wake times.

You are nearly there! You are a newborn sleep pro!

If you are going back to work at this point, you may want to teach your baby to sleep well at someone elses house.

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How To Get Your 5 6 Or 7 Month Old Baby

Around 5, 6 or 7 months old, some babies can begin to get on more of a clock schedule. 6 months in particular is a good age to start working towards a predictable schedule, as this is when your babys sleep will start to consolidate, and naps may start to lengthen. However, its still a good idea to keep a good bit of flexibility build into your babys schedule. For example, a 5 to 7 month old may routinely take her nap around 9 a.m., but on any particular day, when shes possibly working on a Wonder Week developmental leap or more active that day, she may need to go to sleep earlier than normal. It is often best to watch the clock AND your baby, in this age group. To put your 5, 6, or 7 month old on a schedule, you want to move slowly in extending their awake period until your baby can comfortably get to your target nap or sleep schedule. For tips on what ideal wake times look like, between naps, check out our baby nap chart.

How Can I Get My Baby Used To Night And Day Being Different

It can be helpful to teach your baby that night-time is different to daytime from the start.

During the day, open curtains, play games and don’t worry too much about everyday noises when they sleep.

At night, you might find it helpful to:

  • keep the lights down low
  • not talk much and keep your voice quiet
  • put your baby down as soon as they’ve been fed and changed
  • not change your baby unless they need it
  • not play with your baby

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Work With Your Babys Preferences

Although this might not sound like an appealing option, accommodating your baby’s night owl or early bird tendencies might actually work. Consider adjusting your babyâs sleep schedule to take advantage of those periods when sheâs naturally feeling sleepier.This gives your baby the opportunity to sleep when sheâs already feeling sleepy, but doesnât force sleep when sheâs not really that tired and will be more likely to protest.

Reasons Newborn Babies Cry

How to put Baby to Sleep | 5 Routines That Makes My Baby Sleep Fast and on Schedule
  • They are hungry and need to feed
  • They are tired and need to nap. Essentially newborns nap between each feeding. If baby has been up more than 1.5 hours then they are tired, and likely overtired.
  • They are physicallyuncomfortable. Baby may have a wet diaper, dirty diaper or be too hot or cold. Generally, newborns need about one more layer than we do!
  • They have reflux and its uncomfortable. You will see your pediatrician, of course, for this, then use the information here to keep baby as comfortable as possible until they outgrow this.
  • They have colic and/or are letting off steam. Newborns dont usually develop colic until around 6 weeks or so, but some crying is normal with newborns. Its the only way they can communicate. Our job is not to stop their crying as quickly as humanly possible, but to learn to decipher their cries so we can meet their needs appropriately and promptly.

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What Are The Different Alert Phases Of A Newborn

Babies also have differences in how alert they are during the time they are awake. When a newborn awakens at the end of the sleep cycles, there is typically a quiet alert phase. This is a time when the baby is very still, but awake and taking in the environment. During the quiet alert time, babies may look or stare at objects, and respond to sounds and motion. This phase usually progresses to the active alert phase in which the baby is attentive to sounds and sights, and moves actively. After this phase is a crying phase. The baby’s body moves erratically, and he or she may cry loudly. Babies can easily be overstimulated during the crying phase. It is usually best to find a way of calming the baby and the environment. Holding a baby close or swaddling may help calm a crying baby.

It is usually best to feed babies before they reach the crying phase. During the crying phase, they can be so upset that they may refuse the breast or bottle. In newborns, crying is a late sign of hunger.

Stop Overthinking The Situation

Resist the urge to research “how to put a baby to sleep” every single night. “Information overload causes parents to try a million different things, which doesn’t build any consistency or trust,” says Prueher. “Children thrive on knowing what to expect.” She recommends giving your baby a little space to show their capabilities.

Parents Magazine

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Helping Your Newborn Sleep

Newborns follow their own schedule. Over the next couple of weeks to months, you and your baby will begin to settle into a routine.

It may take a few weeks for your baby’s brain to know the difference between night and day. Unfortunately, there are no tricks to speed this up, but it helps to keep things quiet and calm during middle-of-the-night feedings and diaper changes. Try to keep the lights low and resist the urge to play with or talk to your baby. This will send the message that nighttime is for sleeping. If possible, let your baby fall asleep in the crib at night so your little one learns that it’s the place for sleep.

Don’t try to keep your baby up during the day in the hopes that he or she will sleep better at night. Overly tired infants often have more trouble sleeping at night than those who’ve had enough sleep during the day.

If your newborn is fussy it’s OK to rock, cuddle, and sing as your baby settles down. Swaddling can also help to soothe a crying baby. For the first months of your baby’s life, “spoiling” is definitely not a problem.

How Can I Put My Baby On A Sleep Schedule

How to Start the Perfect Baby Sleep Schedule

Getting parents on board with a sleep schedule isnt hard. The difficulty comes in getting your baby on board!

Having a realistic framework for your babys sleep schedule is important in staying optimistic and consistent. Your goal may be 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep by 3 months, but you need to be reasonable with your baby and their changing needs. There may be weeks of progress and consistency interrupted by sleepless nights. Like all things parents must remain flexible and find the good in their efforts.

Newborns are growing rapidly and need plenty of sleep and nutrition to grow strong and healthy. Crying and infant stress can come from lack of sleep or food. If your baby has a reliable sleep schedule you can increase your perceptiveness to their needs, and reduce tears.

Sleep scheduling may not always go as planned. If you understand typical newborn sleep habits you can apply proper sleep hygiene for their age group. Consistency and care at this stage can benefit you and your baby for a lifetime.

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The Key To A Good Newborn Routine

This may be so simple it goes without saying but the key to a good routine is keeping the routine.

It can be tricky to remember everything in order when youre beginning, but once you get the hang of it, routine will be second nature.

It can seem very difficult to get started doing or keeping a routine when you do not have one at all. Here are some ways you can learn to keep your routine.

Keep Your Expectations In Check

For many reasons, newborns are not biologically capable of having a schedule in the traditional sense of the word. While many resources online encourage the scheduling of newborns, it is generally unwise to try to mandate or even expect a super predictable pattern in newborn sleep. Newborns do not have regular outputs of the hormone that regulates their sleep patterns. Therefore, you may find them physically incapable of sleeping at some times, and next to impossible to wake them at other times.

There are some easy-going newborns who adapt well to sleeping at the same times each day. But most new babies are not capable of having wholly predictable sleep patterns. Know that while your newborn cant yet be on a schedule, there is a tremendous amount you can do to encourage lengthy periods of sleep overnight, and good sleep habits during the day.

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How To Help Your Baby Get To Sleep

Setting a consistent routine is key to helping your baby learn to sleep through the night. During the first few months, your babys sleep schedule will largely be dictated by their eating pattern. However, as they grow, theyll be able to go longer and longer between feedings. At this point, you can start to adhere to a day-night schedule.

To help your baby establish a healthy circadian rhythm, start by making sure your baby gets plenty of daylight and stimulation during the day. While young infants need several naps during the daytime, you can experiment to find a napping schedule that makes your baby tired enough to get to sleep at night without being overtired.

In the lead-up to bedtime, try to set a calming atmosphere and carry out the same bedtime routine every night. The following rituals can help your baby associate nighttime with sleeping:

  • Taking a bath
  • Turning down the thermostat
  • Creating a quiet environment

An important part of developing healthy sleeping habits for your baby includes teaching them to fall asleep on their own. Many babies find it soothing to be rocked or cuddled, but its best to put your baby to bed before they actually fall asleep. This way they will be less anxious if they wake up during the night and you are not there, and they will be more likely to fall back asleep without needing your help.

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