How Much Sleep do Babies Need?
How Much Sleep do Babies Need? Tips for the First Year
After waking up several times last night, are you heading for your third or fourth cup of coffee? Are you worried that the nighttime wakings and constant rocking will never come to an end? You’re not alone. It's okay to feel unsure, have lots of questions and even some concerns about your baby's sleep habits, particularly if you're a little — well, a lot — sleep deprived.
How Many Hours of Sleep do Babies Need?
Newborns (0-3 months)
Newborns should get a total of 15 to 18 hours of sleep in a 24 hour period, with 2-5 naps during the day, lasting between 2 to 4 hours each.
By 3 to 6 months of age, your baby should be sleeping anywhere from 12-16 hours, with some being able to sleep 5-6 hours stretches at night (yay!). At around 5 months, your baby’s sleep routine will start to kick in and should be sleeping longer stretches at night and about 3 naps during the day.
At 6 months old, your baby still needs anywhere from 12-16 hours but they’ll start to sleep longer stretches at night and will transition from needing 3 to 2 naps per day.
Creating a consistent nap and bedtime routine will help your child more easily fall asleep so they can wake up rested and ready to take on the day.
Set Up A Relaxed Pre-Nap Routine
The concept for the pre-nap routine is that it should make babies realize what's going on. We all need a couple of moments of relaxation and unwinding time before we hit the bed!
Pre-Nap Routines may incorporate changing your little one into some more comfortable dress like a swaddle, night suit, or sleep bag if age-appropriate. Shutting shades and turning on a fan or sound machine are pre-nap signals too.
Set Up A Soothing Routine at Bedtime
Infants who follow a daily sleep time routine sleep easier, better, and cry out less frequently in the middle of the night.
You may begin your little one's bedtime routine as early as six weeks old. Your baby's sleep routine can be any sequence of sleep-time activities. The keys to progress are to:
- Play active games during the day and calm games at night.
- Make every activity quiet and tranquil toward the end of the day.
- Take a bath right before sleep time, which can help calm baby before bed.
- Spare your child's preferred activity for last and do it in her nursery.
- If she wakes up in the night, the sounds and lights in the room ought to be the same as when she nodded off.
- Be consistent. Keep bedtime routine the same every night.
Safe sleep is critical during the first year of life, so always place your baby on their back (never the tummy) for naps and bedtime. Your baby should also always sleep on a firm surface that’s free of soft toys, blankets, pillows and bumpers.
For most parents, their child's security is a top priority at sleep time. So, ensure to:
- Put baby on a firm surface to rest.
- The sleeping mattress should fit cozily inside, without any spaces.
- The sides should not have cushions.
- Search for mesh sides or other breathable materials when buying a crib.
- Ensure the crib's frame can't be easily collapsed if a parent moves against its edge, as this could entangle your child or cause injury.
- Give it Time & Don’t Rush in!
A few babies have a harder time than others to go to sleep. Finding the ideal way to make your baby sleep is a process of trial and error. Follow a consistent timetable and use calming techniques to make baby sleep faster. Be adaptable and receptive to your kid's evolving needs, and don't overthink it, you got it... MAMA!