How To Change A Newborns Sleep Patterns
Your newborns sleeping patterns are difficult to change, but theres a lot you can do to make her environment more conducive to sleep, including making sure shes fed with a clean, dry diaper, checking that her room is the right temperature and shes not overdressed for sleep, and avoiding any distracting lights or sounds that could keep or wake her up.
In the meantime, you might need to adjust your own sleep schedule to get the rest you need. When your baby is around 3 months old, you can try getting her on a sleep schedule, and when shes between 4 and 6 months old, you can try sleep training if you want to.
Parenting is full of surprises, and your babys sleep schedule is no exception. Your little one likely wont start to establish a regular sleep routine until around 8 to 12 weeks of age, and even then her sleep schedule will probably change, thanks to developmental milestones, travel and other common sleep routine disruptions.
From the What to Expect editorial team and Heidi Murkoff, author of What to Expect When Youre 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.
Your Baby Is Learning To Self Soothe
Just like adults, its normal for babies to stir or wake in the middle of the night. However, to get them sleeping through the night without crying out for you when they do wake up will require them to learn how to self-soothe. During the 4th trimester, you did whatever you could to help soothe your baby. Around 3-4 months, is a good time to start a consistent sleep routine during naps and bed time gradually teaching them to self soothe so that as they are 5 or 6 months they have a predictable sleep schedule, routine and are able to self soothe most of the times. The Zen Swaddle and Zen Sack are helpful aids as your baby learns to self soothe because thy mimic the gentle comfort of your touch. Your baby will feel your soothing touch even when youre not there and cycle from one sleep cycle to the next thus increase their overall sleep duration. Also check tips on healthy sleep routine and schedule.
Real Mom Review
I absolutely LOVE our swaddle!! My little one used to wake up a few times a night, mostly because she wanted to be snuggled. She new sleeps through the night until 5-7:30 am!!”
-Sara P. 9/9/2017
Zen Sleepwear: the perfect solution to get baby sleeping through the night!
How Can I Get My Baby Used To Night And Day
It’s a good idea to teach your baby that night-time is different from 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
Your baby will gradually learn that night-time is for sleeping.
Recommended Reading: When Do Newborns Sleep Less
Put Off Extra Responsibilities
You want to get back to feeling like your normal self soon after giving birth, but dont push yourself. Put off any extra responsibilities that you may feel inclined to take. You dont NEED to bring a dish to that work potluck. Everyone will understand that youre tired!
Dont volunteer with your childs classroom. Skip some playdates and dont feel obligated to head to a family party if youre really tired.
All of these things are great, but if youre exhausted, theyre only going to make matters worse. Right now, you need to preserve all of your energy and not waste it on activities that arent necessary.
Lets be honest youre in a survival mode right now with a newborn baby! Your single goal is to survive until your baby sleeps longer stretches, and you CAN do it! This hard stage only lasts so long, and itll just be a painful memory before long.
What To Do If A Newborn Is Sleeping Too Much
Usually, a newborn who appears to be sleeping too much is just sleeping on an irregular schedule.
Nevertheless, health issues such as respiratory infections that are minor annoyances in older babies can be much more dangerous in newborns. So, anyone who is concerned about a babys sleeping schedule should consult a pediatrician.
Some strategies to try before calling the doctor include:
- feeding the baby every time they show hunger cues
- offering the baby the breast, the chest, or a bottle every 12 hours to ensure adequate food intake
- making sure that the baby is not too cold or too hot
- keeping a log of the babys sleep schedule for 12 days
Recommended Reading: How Long Should A Newborn Baby Sleep
Newborn Sleep: How Much And When
Babies need sleep to grow and develop well. For newborns this is usually 14-17 hours in every 24 hours. But sleep patterns can vary a lot.
Newborns usually sleep in short bursts of 2-3 hours each. Some newborns sleep for up to four hours at a time. Newborns wake frequently to feed because they have tiny tummies. Your newborn might go straight back to sleep after feeding or they might stay awake long enough for a short play.
Some newborns get tired after being awake for 1-1½ hours. Some stay awake and alert longer.
Newborns sleep during the day and night. They dont know that people sleep at night. The parts of their brains that control day-night sleep cycles havent matured yet.
Newborn play might just be a quiet cuddle or some time stretching out and kicking on a blanket. You might find that 10-20 minutes of play is enough for your newborn. You can increase playtime as your baby gets older and stays awake for longer.
At Night: Newborn Sleep And Waking
In the first few months, newborns usually wake several times a night for feeds.
Between one and three months, your baby might start waking less often and have a longer period of sleep at night.
By the time your baby is around three months old, they might regularly be having a longer sleep at night for example, around 4-5 hours. But you can expect that your baby will still wake at least once each night.
If your baby is premature or low birth weight, your paediatrician or child and family health nurse might recommend that you let your baby sleep for only a certain amount of time at night before you wake them for a feed.
You May Like: How To Get Your Newborn To Sleep In A Bassinet
How To Set Up A Bedtime Routine
The idea behind a bedtime routine is to settle and relax your baby before putting her down in her crib for sleep, including for naps.Because babies tend to love routine, having a simple ritual that you always follow helps your baby anticipate and learn that the time for sleep is coming, and helps her wind down.A bedtime routine can include a bath, a song or story, or a baby massage. Avoid any stimulating activities in the period just before sleep.Make sure your baby is still awake when you place him in his crib. This helps create a positive sleep association with the crib.
Change Your Babys Diaper Before A Dream Feed
If possible, change your babys diaper BEFORE a dream feed. Doing it after a dream feed might wake up your baby too much and they might struggle to go back to sleep.
If you notice that they will usually poop right after a dream feeding, then try changing their diaper at least, 30 minutes after dream feeding them.
Remember to use overnight diapers to avoid diaper leaks. Read more tips on changing diapers, especially at night here.
You May Like: Can You Lotion A Newborn
Have A Bedtime Routine
A 2015 study by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine found that children with a consistent bedtime routine tended to have better sleep. They went to bed earlier, fell asleep faster, woke up less frequently throughout the night and slept longer overall. Make sure you follow the same bedtime routine with your toddler all weekweekends included. It should be 20 to 30 minutes and include changing clothes, nightly hygiene such as tooth brushing, and time spent with a caregiver without a screen, says Myron. Read books, tell stories or sing songs in your childs room, then turn the lights out at the same time every night.
Dream Feed Before You Go To Sleep At Night
Theres no scientific studies yet on how effective dream feeding is but most parents swear by this method.
Dream feed basically means gently waking up your newborn to feed, then putting them back to sleep after at night. You do this before you go to sleep yourself.
This might go against the wake-feed-play-sleep cycle but then again, this technique will help to keep your baby sleep longer at night.
Most parents also advise to do this only until a certain age, as it can disrupt your babys sleep and encourage more nighttime wakings.
You can try dream feeding your baby by 11pm . You can try to stop dream feeding when theyre between 3 to 4 months old.
Read Also: How Often Should A Newborn Poop On Formula
Think Your Baby Is Waking Up Be Cautious About Intervening Too Soon Your Baby Might Be Asleep Or Ready To Resume Sleeping On His Or Her Own
As I explain in my article about night wakings, its normal for sleepers of all ages to experience many partial awakenings at night. When parents report that their infants are sleeping through the night, it isnt that their babies are never waking up. Rather, babies are falling back to sleep, quietly, without signaling their parents.
But young infants sleep very restlessly. They frequently vocalize, and sometimes even open their eyes.
So its easy for new parents to make the mistake of waking a sleeping infant or intervene too fast with an infant experiencing momentary wakefulness. And that can interfere with the development of mature sleep patterns, hindering babies from learning to settle themselves.
This Parenting Science article about opens in a new windowbaby sleep patterns can help you understand the stages of baby sleep, and become more savvy about how and when to respond. If you give your baby the chance, he or she may learn to self-settle at an earlier age.
What Is The Best Sleep Schedule For A 3
There is no single, specific sleep schedule 3-month-old babies should follow. Instead, like newborns, most 3-month-old infants should sleep multiple times day and night, for a total sleep time of between 16 and 17 hours per 24-hour period. There are some differences between the sleeping patterns of a 3-month-old and a newborn, however.
Three-month-olds are also more likely to wake up fewer times during the night than their younger counterparts. On average, three-month-olds wake up 2.78 times per night, which is less than one-month-olds, who wake up an average of 4.12 times per night.
You May Like: How High Should Crib Mattress Be For Newborn
Night Sleep & Waking:
In the first 12 weeks your baby will wake in the night and need milk. Very few babies are able to sleep through the night” without needing a feed at this age and prior to 6 months old, babies aren’t capable of forming habit wakes. There are also a number of other reasons, aside from hunger, that might cause your baby to wake more during the night, especially if their waking has increased or is very frequent :
– they are not swaddled
– they are being woken by environmental or household noises
– they are too hot or cold
– they are uncomfortable
– they are sick
– they have a condition such as reflux
– they have had too much or too little day sleep
They Could Be Experiencing A Growth Spurt
Growing pains are real. As an adult, we’ve naturally forgotten what that feels like since it was likely over 20 years ago that we endured that experience ourselves. As our children go through these short bursts in growth, they need extra consideration to supplement these changes.
If your baby is eating more, sleeping longer, or taking more naps over a few days, this is entirely common. In fact, you’ll likely see it again from time to time. With a little growing bean, growth spurts can be expected.
It’s quite all right to let them sleep more, nurse more, or eat more solid foods if they’re at that stage. However, if you think your little one is sleeping or eating more than is healthy, it never hurts to seek advice from a health professional.
Don’t Miss: What All Do You Need For A Newborn
Dress Your Baby Appropriately
Overdressing a baby can lead to overheating which has been linked to sudden infant death syndrome . Babies do not have the ability to regulate their own body temperature like adults do, so its important to make sure theyre not overheating, especially sleep at night. Babies who are too warm or too cool will undoubtedly wake up. You can avoid this issue by dressing your baby in garments made from all-natural fibers like cotton, linen, or merino wool, which are breathable and absorb perspiration.
We suggest Woolino products, as they are made with supremely breathable merino wool and have unmatched body temperature regulation properties. This means a better, healthier, and safer sleep for your baby. If the temperature in your babys nursery in a concern, please refer to “Keeping Your Baby Cool During Hot Summer Nights.
Its important to remember that although there are many different ways to put a newborn to sleep, sleep routines are very child-specific. Children will experience changes in their sleeping habits, and most of the time these changes will be perfectly normal. However, if something doesnt seem quite right, and you are still struggling to find answers, we recommend consulting with your pediatrician.
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.
Also Check: What Do Seizures Look Like In Newborns
How Much Does A Newborn Baby Sleep
Babies and infants require a lot of sleep. A healthy newborn baby will spend a majority of their 24-hour day sleeping.
To be exact, a newborn should sleep 17 to 20 hours per day, on average. These hours arent consecutive. If they were, parents would never have problems with sleep deprivation! A newborn will sleep one to four hours at a time. Most often, your baby will sleep two to three hours chunks.
Nighttime sleep should be eight to 12 hours, waking every two to four hours to eat. Breastfed babies do tend to wake up every two to three hours because breast milk digests faster.
Most newborns can only stay awake for 45 minutes to an hour at a time. You have to be cautious not to keep your baby awake for too long! An overtired baby is harder to get to sleep and fussy.
Throughout the first 12 weeks of life, your baby will start to develop day and night sleep patterns. By the time your baby is three months old, he will sleep 14 to 15 hours per day. Babies are always changing!
How Long Will My Newborn Sleep
Newborns should get 1417 hours of sleep over a 24-hour period, says the National Sleep Foundation. Some newborns may sleep up to 1819 hours a day.
Newborns wake every couple of hours to eat. Breastfed babies feed often, about every 23 hours. Bottle-fed babies tend to feed less often, about every 34 hours.
Newborns who sleep for longer stretches should be awakened to feed. Wake your baby every 34 hours to eat until he or she shows good weight gain, which usually happens within the first couple of weeks. After that, it’s OK to let your baby sleep for longer periods of time at night.
The first months of a baby’s life can be the hardest for parents, who might get up many times at night to tend to the baby. Each baby has a different sleep pattern. Some start to sleep “through the night” by 23 months of age, but some don’t.
Setup A Proper Environment For Sleeping
As much as possible, keep the room dark, cool and quiet.
If its too bright, setup blackout curtains to block the sunlight. If its too dark for you to see, especially when you need to change their diapers during a dream feed, get a night light.
We have some upstairs neighbours who frequently make some ruckus, doing god-knows-what, so I pretty much turn on the white noise the whole night to drown it out.
It has been working for my little one since she was a newborn and it might also work for yours.