Babies’ sleeping patterns can vary, as can the amount of sleep that they need. By three to four months of age, infants tend to require between 13 and 16 hours of sleep per 24-hour period. It is unlikely that a young baby’s sleep schedule will match up with yours—especially during these earlier stages. Because of this, experts recommend that parents try to sleep whenever their baby does.
Night & day
Gradually, you can start teaching your infant the difference between daytime and nighttime. During the day, make sure the curtains are open and the house is filled with natural light. When they are awake, make sure your baby participates in games and active play. Try not to worry too much about everyday noises during their daytime naps. As the evening approaches, keep the lights down low and loud noises to a minimum. Put your baby down as soon as they’ve been fed and change them only if necessary. In time, your baby will start to associate nighttime as a period for sleeping.
Build a routine
Children can greatly benefit from having a bedtime routine—a consistent programme to soothe them into a restful slumber. A healthy routine may consist of:
- Giving your baby a warm bath.
- Massaging them with a suitable lotion.
- Changing them into pyjamas and a fresh nappy.
- Brushing their teeth if they have begun cutting through.
- Spending some quiet time together—close contact can help to steady your baby’s breathing.
- Dimming the lights and making sure your baby is comfortable in their crib.
- Singing a lullaby or turning on a musical mobile to help them drift off.
Parents can adapt this guide to suit their specific circumstances. Growth spurts, teething and illness can all affect your baby’s quality of sleep. Consistently enforcing healthy sleeping habits will help to make the transition between these stages easier for both you and your child.
If your baby is born preterm or has a medical condition that may affect their digestion, consult a healthcare specialist for more detailed advice