Sleep is plays a crucial role in the growth and development of babies. Generally, a new-born will sleep for 16 to 18 hours, at regular intervals both during the day, as well as at night.
- The sleep pattern of a baby changes by the third month because the brain of the baby has developed by then. The baby will now sleep during the night, with 2-3 naps during the day which usually follows the pattern of morning, afternoon and early evening nap. We can say that the sleep pattern is more predictable at this stage. Having said that, it is important to remember that all babies are different and so there will be variation in their napping patterns. Hence, it is normal that some babies do not sleep much during the day time.
- Once the baby is three months old, the baby spends more hours awake during the day. The baby may stay awake for a stretch of 2 to 3 hours at this stage.
It is a proven fact that babies or toddlers sleep independently if a regular routine is set for them. This routine should ideally be set in motion as soon the baby is brought back home from the hospital. Babies learn from repetition, so, set a pattern which will ultimately become a 'routine'.
A sleep routine for your baby will not only be beneficial for your baby but for you and your partner as well. You can get time to catch up on the much-needed sleep.
It is important to make a baby sleep in the same environment each night as it makes the baby feel comfortable and secure.
It is not possible to avoid family members, friends, neighbours from wanting to hold your new-born. If at such times, you notice that your baby is sleepy, help the person holding your baby to settle down your baby and put him or her to sleep. In case, if you ever need any of them to be a babysitter for you, they will be aware on how to put them to sleep.
When your baby wakes up from sleep during the day, first feed him/her and then leave them to play. If you see your baby showing signs of tiredness, then quickly use settling techniques to put him/her to sleep.
After giving your baby their evening feed or dinner, give them a relaxing bath. Spend time cuddling your baby or you can choose to tell him or her a story or two.
It is important to remember not to over-stimulate your baby before his or her bedtime. It is a myth that if the baby stays awake longer then he or she will get tired and it will be easier to then put the baby to sleep. The fact is, it becomes more difficult to put an over tired baby to sleep.
The chart given below will help you to understand how much your baby should sleep.
Once the baby is three months old, the baby spends more hours awake during the day. The baby may stay awake for a stretch of 2 to 3 hours at this stage.
The following is a guide as to how much sleep your baby should be having: