Week Old Sleep Schedule / 3 Month Old Sleep Schedule Development And Sleep Patterns
Your newborns sleep patterns have likely changed significantly from a few weeks ago. 12-week-olds are starting to approach the time when we start to see newborn sleep problems if you havent seen them up to this point. Naps sometimes get shorter and it may be harder to stick to your schedule or eat-play-sleep routine. Your baby still needs 11-12 hours of sleep at night and 3-4 hours during the day, but the total average sleep is right around 14 hours. Of course, by definition, some babies will need more and some will need less. If your baby needs less, developing a 3-month-old schedule is usually more difficult. Ideally, youd keep your baby awake no longer than two hours at a time otherwise, your 3 month old might be very fussy.
Here is what a typical 12 week old sleep schedule looks like, though not always predictable just yet:
|12-Week-Old Sleep Schedule|
Infant Sleep And Cognition
Sleep is a period that is characterized by marked change in brain activity,15 in addition to being a resting period of reduced sensory activity and responsiveness to external stimuli.16 As such, sleep has been related to subsequent cognitive and developmental benefits.17 Multiple studies have found relationships between sleep duration and cognitive benefits in school-aged children.1821 Unlike studies on older children, there have been fewer studies regarding the effects of infant sleep on cognitive outcomes. Out of the ten studies reviewed in this paper, seven were cross-sectional studies, and three were longitudinal studies. Table 1 presents a summary of the reviewed articles.
Normal Sleep Patterns For Babies
Newborns typically split their 1417 hours of sleep between daytime and nighttime sleep, though in small chunks of time. Babies dont typically sleep longer stretches until about 3 to 6 months old.
When you bring your newborn home, theyll take turns sleeping and waking up ready to feed. A newborn baby might sleep for 1 1/2 to 3 hours and then wake up hungry.
Your little one may also need an equal number of diaper changes. Your best bet is to try to get some shut-eye while theyre snoozing, no matter what time of the day it is.
Your babys sleep patterns will change as they grow, week by week.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that infants 4 to 12 months old should get between 12 and 16 hours of sleep in a 24-hour period.
Let your doctor know if you think your newborn is sleeping too much or too little:
- If your baby is a fresh newborn, 3 months or under, they shouldnt have less than 11 hours of sleep and not more than 19 hours of sleep in a 24-hour period.
- Babies 4 to 11 months shouldnt get less than 10 hours of sleep and not more than 18 hours of sleep in a 24-hour period.
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Restless Sleeping Caused By Night Feedings
Just like anyone else, babies love to eat and cuddle, and when they’re being fed, they’re also being held securely, offering comfort and security. Being that they digest food so quickly, they’re often hungry in the middle of the night when they’re young, and they can grow attached to the idea of a midnight snack.
A good way to wean your tot off this habit is to dream feed them. This is when you feed your infant after they’ve gone down for bed and are asleep. You gently rouse them but don’t wake them up. Be sure to position them correctly so they’re ingesting safely, and let them sleepily nurse while they’re half-asleep.
Doing this should top them off and allow them to sleep soundly through the night and prevent mid-night wakings due to hunger.
Newborns Are Noisy Sleepers
Irregular breathing that may include short pauses and weird noises is rarely cause for alarm, but it can freak new parents out.
Here’s a quick lesson on your baby’s respiratory development to put things into perspective: A newborn’s normal breathing rate is about 40 to 60 breaths a minute while he’s awake, though that may slow to 30 to 40 breaths per minute once he’s asleep. Or he might take shallow, rapid breaths for 15 to 20 seconds followed by a total pause in which he stops breathing entirely for a few seconds.
You can blame all this on the immature breathing-control center in his brain, which is still a work-in-progress.
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What Are Some Common Sleep Problems
- Sleep deprivation: Some children dont get enough sleep. If your child is fussy, cranky or has difficulty staying asleep at night it might be because they arent getting enough naptime or aren’t getting to bed early enough.
- : Your child may have difficulty relaxing and going to sleep if they feel upset that you are not there. Try an extra long cuddle before bedtime, a security object such as a blanket or stuffed animal, or leaving their door open when you put them to bed.
- Nightmares: Most children will experience nightmares at one time or another. Nightmares can happen after a stressful physical or emotional event or can be caused by fever. Your child may call out to you for comfort. Talk calmly, cuddle and reassure your child.
They Don’t Know Day From Night
When infants are born, their circadian rhythm lacks development because for nine months your child was bundled up inside of a dark womb. Night and day mean nothing to them because in the womb, it didn’t matter. When they emerge they have no concept of this and, as a result, will take a bit of time to adjust.
To help develop this cognitive function, it may help to employ a few tricks to encourage sleep. Things like darkness and soft noise can help children to sleep and spur the adjustment of their internal clocks.
It can help to keep their bedroom very dark so when they’re inside it’s easier to sleep. Investing in blackout curtains may sound like a pain, but they come at a variety of prices and can be installed by even the clumsiest of humans.
Additionally, white noise machines for babies are known to help as well. You’d be surprised how loud the inside of a womb is, and it can remind them of this cozy time inside.
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How To Help Newborns Get In Sync With The Natural 24
1. Make your baby a part of your daily routine.
When parents include their newborns in their daily activities, newborn may adapt more rapidly to the 24-hour day .
One study took continuous measurements of mother-infant activity patterns for four months after birth. Newborns who were active at the same time of day as their mothers were quicker to develop mature circadian rhythms .
2. Reduce stimulation at night.
When your baby wakes for night time feedings, keep activity to a minimum. Make as little noise as possible, and avoid moving your baby around. Ideally, you want to avoid waking her all the way up. But if that isnt possible, at least try to minimize the hustle and bustle. You want the baby to learn that nighttime is for sleep and quiet.
3. Expose your newborn to natural lighting patterns.
Light cues might not instantly synchronize newborn sleep patterns, but they help.
For example, in one study, newborns slept longer at night if their parents observed a regular policy of turning out the lights by 9pm .
In another study, young babies tended to sleep longer at night if they had been exposed to lots of early afternoon light .
And time spent outdoors might make an important difference. Babies who go outside experience much higher daytime light levels than those kept indoors all day, and may develop stronger circadian rhythms as a result .
4. Try infant massage.
The takeaway? More research is needed on this topic , but meanwhile, this seems worth a try.
How Long Might Older Babies Sleep For
By the time babies are about three months old, around half may sleep for about five hours during the night . Between three and six months the balance of light and deep sleep becomes more organised, so babies settle more easily .
As babies get a bit bigger, youll notice that their sleep time will decrease to around 15 hours by 12 months. Most of that sleep will be at night and the rest during one or two daytime naps .
Although, just to let you know, night time waking might not disappear completely. It is still normal behaviour after three months and 27% of one year olds still wake in the night .
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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.
What About Other Long
There is some evidence for the idea. Weve already noted that short-term sleep loss affects a babys emotional responses. And a recent study hints that chronic short sleep might be a risk factor for developing self-regulation problems. Children who slept less than their peers at the age of 3 months were more likely to experience self-regulation deficits at the age of 24 months .
Where might this trend lead? A young child who is irritable or overreactive will tend to provoke negative responses from other people. And this could make it harder for the child to develop positive social relationships, and learn social skills.
In support of this idea, a study of preschoolers found that kids who slept less were less likely to be accepted by their peers. They tended to have poorer social skills and smaller receptive vocabularies. They also showed a weaker understanding of the causes of emotions .
So we shouldnt rule out the possibility that chronic sleep loss, starting in infancy, could contribute to the development of behavior problems.
And todays researchers speculate that early life sleep loss may affect the growth of myelin, the white matter in the brain that insulates our neurons .
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What If My Baby Won’t Sleep In A Crib
Sometimes babies just dont want to transition from their parents’ cozy arms into their own crib, no matter how cute it looks.
If thats the case, blur the lines between you and the baby bed. Try calming him down in your arms until he’s drowsy, then gently place him directly onto the bed without losing skin-to-skin contact.
A little massage or patting should help him nod off too. Make sure the temperature in your baby’s room is comfortably warm. Dim the lights, and put on a white noise machine or fan to drown out ambient sounds.
Swaddling baby or putting him into a sleep sack before placing him in the crib may make him feel extra secure and, hopefully, encourage him to fall asleep in his bed.
How To Clear Up Day And Night Confusion:
- During the day when baby is awake and feeding, open windows, turn on lights, and keep things very bright
- At night, 8:00 pm and later, do all feeding, hugging, cuddling, diaper changing, in very dim or dark conditions
- After feeding your baby during the day, attempt to keep them awake for at least a few minutes by singing, cooing, playing, and bonding
- If your baby seems fully awake in the middle of the night, try turning on very bright lights which will cause baby to shut their eyes
- Dont allow more time than 3 hours between feedings during the day, even if they are still sleeping. Wake them up and feed them again if they continue sleeping. You dont want a 5 hour stretch to happen during the day, you want it to happen at night
- At night, feed them whenever they wake up and are hungry, but let them determine how frequent that is
- At night, avoid stimulating, playing, cooing, singing, or any other behaviors that will encourage baby to stay awake
- Work on your swaddling with these helpful tips.
At this point your baby is getting the hang of the outside world and you are getting the hang of this period.
If baby is napping quite long stretches during the day, then saving his fussiness for night. this could be day/night confusion.
I have had a few babies who would sleep well all day for naps and then would have a two hour stretch at night where they were fussy and not able to be consoled.
This was day night confusion.
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Newborn Grunting And Other Baby Sleep Noises: Why Is My Baby So Loud
Babies are noisy sleepers, prone to grunting, wheezing, whining and even crying in their sleep. Most nocturnal noises are nothing to worry about even the occasional cry or shout doesn’t mean you should rush to your baby.
One reason they’re so noisy is their digestive and respiratory systems arent fully developed yet, so swallowing and breathing takes a little extra effort. They also breathe primarily out of their noses, not their mouths, so if they’re the slightest bit congested, you’re going to know it.
Here are the most common noises you’re likely to hear while your baby is asleep:
- Rattling. Your baby has mucus in his tiny nose, which can clog things up, resulting in rattling. If things get too stuffy, use nasal saline and an aspirator to help clear things out.
- Whistling. Newborn babies breathe out of their noses, not their mouths, since this allows them to breathe and eat simultaneously. But that petite schnoz has petite air passages, so bits of mucus or dried milk can easily constrict the airways, resulting in a wacky whistling noise.
- Gurgling. No big mystery here he’s just clearing his throat.
So when should you be concerned? Chances are excellent that you’ll never see any of the following symptoms, but it’s good to know the signs of trouble:
If you notice any of these signs of respiratory difficulties, call the pediatrician right away, or if you can’t get your doctor immediately, call 911 or head to the nearest ER or urgent care.
Baby Sleep Deprivation: How To Tell If Your Baby Isnt Sleeping Enough
Is there such a thing as baby sleep deprivation ?
Its clear that babies can cause sleep deprivation in others. But whether or not babies themselves suffer from sleeplessness is less clear. In my search for published studies about infants with insomnia, Ive come up with almost nothing.
Researchers acknowledge all sorts of infant sleep problems, including difficulty settling, too-frequent night wakings, sleep-disordered breathing, and medical conditions that can interfere with sleep, like GERD. You can read more about it in opens in a new windowthis Parenting Science guide.
Researchers also recognize the existence of something called behavioral insomnia in young children. Behavioral insomnia refers to problems caused by a childs refusal to go to bed, or by a childs dependence on lengthy or elaborate caregiving in order to fall asleep at night .
But to date I havent found any scientific descriptions of chronic sleep restriction in babies.
Maybe thats a good thing, evidence that sleeplessness in babies is very rare. If you take an evolutionary perspective and consider how many babies have learned to sleep in slings while their parents went about their daily chores this seems quite plausible. Babies may be able to regulate their own sleep needs very well, even amid hustle and bustle.
Here I review what the available evidence tells us.
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Can Newborns Sleep Too Much
Many parents wonder whether their baby is sleeping too little or too much. This is an understandable concern, as you want your baby to be sleeping just the right amount.In your newbornâs first weeks, sheâll need to be fed about every three to four hours. If your newborn sleeps longer than four hours, you may need to wake her up for a feeding. Check in with your baby’s healthcare provider on this matter. Depending on your baby’s weight, age, and general state of health, your provider may recommend waking her up or letting her sleep. If your baby’s afternoon naps are longer than three or four hours, itâs a good idea to wake her up for a feeding and some playtime. Naps that are too long or too close to bedtime can make falling asleep in the evening harder.
Dont Assume The Mellow Sleepy Newborn Phase Will Last Forever
We hate to break it to you, but your dozy, peaceful infant who simply falls asleep, milk-drunk, after a feeding may not always be this way. The first few weeks are not always indicative of the kind of sleeper you happened to score in the newborn sleep lottery. Some babies randomly sleep through the night early on but it doesnt mean this will continue indefinitely. Have you weathered the four-month sleep regression yet? Yeah, you might want to read up on that. And even though nursing to sleep or rocking to sleep before naps and bedtime might be working for you now, know that sometimes IT JUST STOPS WORKING. If youre one of the lucky parents with a unicorn baby , try not to gloat. It doesnt necessarily mean that youre doing it right, while that other mom with the colicky, sleepless baby hasnt figured it out. Believe us, shes trying.
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