Baby Sleep Patterns
Tips to recognize your baby's sleeping
Babies develop consistent sleeping habits gradually. Sleeping patterns develop by
about 3 months of age. Here are some tips for recognizing and encouraging consistent baby sleep patterns. When a
baby is sleeping regularly, the parents can get a better sleep, too.
To better recognize and learn more about your baby's sleeping habits, follow some of these
Learn to recognize baby's sleep patterns to manage
Newborn babies sleep often, but not for long stretches at a
time. Very young infants need to eat and sleep on demand.
Therefore, it is best to respond as quickly as possible to your baby sleep and eating needs. Keeping the baby near
you is the easiest way to do this.
Usually, a baby will follow a pattern similar to eat, poop, sleep, quiet alert
time, repeat. Observe your baby for when he or she is at one of these stages, and what step usually follows. If it
helps, chart the steps and look for baby naps and sleep patterns.
Encourage the baby to sleep alone, but always remain
nearby. The newborn baby will sleep better if swaddled in a baby
blanket or held close to a parent's body. The warmth and feeling of being held is familiar and comforting to the
baby. You will find your baby sleeps easier in one of these situations.
Won't sleep alone
Don't worry if the baby won't sleep alone at
first. Sleeping alone is a habit that the baby will develop with
practice. Baby sleep habits are not consistant for every baby. Try swaddling the newborn and laying him down on his
back or side for sleep at least a couple of times a day. You can increase the number of times the baby sleeps alone
gradually as the days go on.
Waking up at night
Newborn babies wake often during the night to
eat. In order to encourage the baby to sleep more and be quietly
alert less during the night, there are things parents can do. Have the baby sleep in a darkened room in the
evening, and avoid stimulation as much as possible. Be quiet and low key when the baby is awake, and simply tend to
his needs for sleep, change or feeding. Then, lay the baby back down for sleeping. Don't play with the baby during
the night if possible. This will encourage the baby to be awake more often during the day.
|Babies like to sleep with
parents in the same bed, especially as they grow. But it's good to encourage them to learn sleeping
alone. (Image by
Sleeping in room with parents
It may be easiest for the baby to sleep in the same room or even bed as
the parents at first, especially if the baby is nursing. The
warm comfort of being near the mother may help the baby sleep better. Be sure to "sleep safely" with the baby if he
is in bed with you. Limit the blankets and pillows near the baby. There are mixed reports about the safety of
co-sleeping, so check with your pediatrician first. A bassinet near the parent's bed can be handy for reaching and
feeding the baby multiple times during the night. There are many conflicting opinions about what constitutes safe
baby sleep habits. I think parents should rely on their instincts when making a decision for their own
Sleeping in a crib
By about three months of age, it is fine to put the baby to sleep in a
crib, even in another room. It is important for the baby to
learn to sleep alone, and this is the best age to begin that. The longer you wait, the harder it will be for the
baby to develop this habit. It may be necessary to comfort the baby with singing, patting, or a little cuddle and
then return to the crib many times for the first 1-2 weeks. Gradually, the baby will learn how to sleep alone
during the night, and baby sleep and parent's sleep will be easier.