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Baby Sleep Patterns

Apr 23, 2008
Babies have different sleep patterns as they grow and age. At first, it may seem that your new baby is sleeping all the time. This is because newborns are only awake a few hours every day.

This sleep pattern lessens as the baby grows so by the time he is 3 months old, he is only sleeping twelve to fifteen hours every day. Your child at this age has also dropped most of his night feedings. This may be the time to try to start to establish regular sleep patterns. You should begin by starting a nightly routine, such as giving your baby a warm bath, reading him a story, and then putting him to bed. You should do this routine at the same time every night to accustom your baby to sleeping at night. You should also establish a regular time for his naps also. Within a short period of time, your baby should sleep for a six hour stretch during the night.

You should not be alarmed if your baby begins to wake up at night again over the next few months. He is becoming more aware of his surroundings, and may be waking p because he is rolling over or sitting up in his sleep or the baby may just want you. You should go into his room and settle him back down and leave him in his bed. This will establish that night is still bedtime and within a few weeks he should be back on his regular schedule.

By six months old, your baby should be sleeping a total of eleven to fifteen hours a day and should start to sleep for longer periods of time. You can limit naptime to one in the morning and another nap in the afternoon. You should keep on the regular sleeping pattern that you established three months earlier. Some babies begin to wake up again in the middle of the night at this stage. If your baby wakes up because he is sitting up in his sleep, you will need to teach him to lay himself back down. You can do this by making it a game during the day. You can just sit him up and then lay him down. As you repeat these motions, the baby will learn to do them himself.

By the time the baby is a year old, he should be sleeping all night without waking up at all. But if he is still waking up, you need to be firm with him. At this age, the baby may not understand all of your words, but the tone in your voice can get your point across. You should tuck the baby back in, kiss him goodnight and firmly tell him to go to sleep. Your baby may cry for the first couple of nights but he will eventually sleep through the night again.

Baby sleep patterns vary from child to child. By establishing a regular schedule from three months old, you can probably be assured of raising a good sleeper.
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