We often hear from our elders that baby grow well when they sleep well. At least I heard it from my mother. She always insist me to focus on my baby’s sleeping pattern as it is directly proportional to babies growth. Babies and grown-ups need sleep for wellbeing, but babies sleep differently from adults. Most parents of babies under six months of age get up in the night to feed and settle their babies. For many, this keeps going after six months. In my case, I had got up almost each and every day, even now also my kid wakes me up.
Some parents are OK with getting up a lot at night as long as they have enough support and they can catch up on sleep at other times. For others, getting up in the night over the long term has a serious effect on them and their family lives.
Being a working mommy, I had to resume office after utilizing 6 months of maternity leave but as my baby sleeping pattern was not stable, I had to wake up almost every night to settle him. Distrusted sleeping pattern affects your health and has adverse effect on your work also.
The quality of your sleep can affect your health and your mood. Being exhausted can make it hard to give your baby positive attention during the day. And your relationship with your baby and the time and attention you give baby during the day can affect the quality and quantity of baby’s sleep. Being away from baby for whole day due to office turns out to be disadvantage for me as when I used to come back from office, he would stay awake and play as long as he can. This is also one of the factors that affect his sleeping pattern
So, it’s important that you get some help if you’re not getting enough sleep. You could start by asking family or friends for help. And if you feel that lack of sleep is affecting you mentally or emotionally, it’s a very good idea to talk with your GP or another health professional.
Now Let’s have a look at hat we can expect from out baby at different stage of growth
For Age: 1 Month
- They need 3-5 Number of naps per Day
- Each nap with 45 minutes – 2hours of length
- Awake time between naps is of 45 – 60 minutes
This is the most difficult phase for mothers as they hardly get to sleep. As baby wakes up most of the time during night for milk or out of fear, mommy stays awake whole night like an owl. As a mother, we need to adjust our sleeping pattern to theirs. Whenever you will find your baby is sleeping, leave everything behind and first have a peaceful nap.
Most of the it becomes very difficult for us as new mommy to adjust but as baby being the first priority, it is our responsibility to be available (Stay awake) when he needs us the most.
Sleeping with your baby helps them to have longer and better sleep as they tend wake up less except for food. Also, this helps to build good bond between them and also baby starts to follow the pattern as it becomes habbit for them to sleep when they see their mother sleeping.
Age: 2-3 Months Sleeping pattern changes as,
- Number of naps reduces to 3-4 per day
- Nap time remains same to around 2 hours
- But, awake time increases as they start to explore new things.
- They sleep in daytime
As now baby has started to exploring new things, you will notice less nap times also they sleep less in daytime due to light.
Also, I would recommend to lit warm lights in the room if you are trying to make baby sleep as due to sunlight or tubelights, it takes lot time to make them sleep unless they are tired.
For age 3-6 Months: Sleeping pattern gets better as
Babies keep developing night and day sleep patterns.
Their sleep cycles consist of:
- Light sleep: when baby wakes easily
- Deep sleep: when baby is sound asleep and very still
- Dream sleep: when baby is dreaming.
Sleep cycles also get longer, which might mean less waking and resettling during sleep. At this age, some babies might regularly be having longer sleeps at night – for example, 4-5 hours. Most babies still sleep for 14-17 hours in every 24 hours.
During this period, Number of naps per day remains same. But nap time increase to 2-3 hours
But we will experience baby is having long sleeps of around five to six hours during night but still you can expect to baby to wake up once or twice for food.
For age 6-12 Months:
As baby grows, they tend to sleep less during the daytime. At this age, we can expect baby to sleep for 11-14 hours per day. For 6-9 months, during the day, most babies are still having 2-3 daytime naps that last for between 1 hour to 2 hours.
During the night, most babies are ready for bed between 6 pm and 10 pm. They usually take less than 40 minutes to get to sleep, but some babies take longer.
At this age, baby sleep cycles are closer to those of grown-up sleep – which means less waking at night. So, your baby might not wake you during the night, or waking might happen less often.
But many babies do wake during the night and need an adult to settle them back to sleep. Some babies do this 3-4 times a night.
Factors may affect sleeping pattern:
As baby grows, along with sleeping pattern they develop many new abilities that can affect their sleep, few of them are:
- You, your presence: As they grow, they get most connected with their mothers so whenever you are out of sight or leave bedroom they might cry or call out for you.
- Light and noise: As already mentioned earlier, in case of noise or light babies take longer time to sleep.
- Crawling: By this age, your baby will start crawling and you will find him/her reaching every corner of your house. You will notice changing sleeping pattern during this phase also.
- Separation Anxiety is when babies get upset because you’re not around. It might mean your baby doesn’t want to go to sleep and wakes up more often in the night. As babies mature, they gradually overcome this worry.
- Night Time feed: if you’re comfortable with feeding your baby during the night, there’s no hurry to phase out night feeds. Some parents find that rollover feeds help babies sleep longer towards morning. If this works for you and your baby, it’s fine to give baby a rollover feed.
Track baby sleep:
I think it is a good idea to track your baby’s sleep pattern to get an overview on baby’s health and development.
You can do this by drawing up a simple chart with columns for each day of the week. Divide the days into hourly blocks, and colour the intervals when your baby is asleep. Keep your chart for 5-7 days as shown below
Once completed, the chart will tell you things like:
- when and how much sleep your baby is getting
- how many times your baby is waking during the night
- how long your baby is taking to settle after waking.
You can also record how you tried to resettle your baby and what worked or didn’t work.
Then you can compare the information in your chart with the general information about baby sleep needs above:
- How does your child compare to other babies the same age? If your baby is wakeful and grizzly and getting much less sleep than others, your baby might need more opportunities for sleep.
- How many times is your baby over six months old waking up during the night? If it’s 3-4 times a night or more, you might be feeling very tired. You might want to think about phasing out some of your baby’s sleep habits.
- If you decide you need to see a professional for help with your baby’s sleep, take your chart with you.
It is worth checking the store as I have added sleeping guide for babies.
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