Infant Sleep Schedule

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How do I get my infant on a sleep schedule?

Infant Sleep Schedule

Baby sleep patterns are different from older children's. An infant's sleep schedule accumulates about 16 hours of sleep within a 24-hour period. Unlike older children, an infant sleeps in short time frames, sometimes as little as 30 minutes up to three hours at a time. Baby sleep patterns run through the day and night, and some newborns may have their days and nights backwards so they will sleep in the day more than the night. During the first 4-6 weeks of life, it is best to let your baby create his or her own infant sleep schedule. The baby sleep patterns will begin to develop. Your baby will let you know when she needs to sleep, but won't be on a constant schedule quite yet. Most baby sleep patterns will be to take several naps a day ranging from half an hour to a few hours. As your baby grows, the infant sleep schedule will change to require fewer naps. At about 6-9 months, most baby sleep patterns include 2 naps per day for only a few hours.

Most parents will want to start developing baby sleep patterns when the baby is around two months old. The first step is to create an infant sleep schedule with naps and bed times. These times should work with the baby's natural rhythm. Start by paying attention to when your baby becomes drowsy. Baby's show they are drowsy in a few different ways, by droopy eyes or crying. Try to keep nap and bed times scheduled for your baby's drowsy times so they can get proper rest. You may also want to create a ritual that you can do about a half-hour before bedtime. Baths, singing, reading, and rocking are common bedtime rituals that help relax your baby. Try to be consistent because babies will recognize that an evening bath happens before bedtime. Remember that whatever ritual you decide on is likely going to be the one your baby expects to get him or her ready for bed. Also, if you tend to rock your baby to sleep, then the baby sleep pattern develops to where the infant will want to be rocked after waking during the night.

   

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