You have been waiting for your child for months, and after so much excitement and anticipation, the new member of your family is finally here. Now comes the challenging responsibility- to take care of the newborn. The most important thing in caring is setting a proper sleeping schedule. Well, it might seem too hard to manage, but don’t worry as we have shared some tips that will help you with the same.
Before setting up the newborn sleep schedule, let us first understand why sleep is so important for your baby. Babies sleep around 14 to 17 hours per day from birth until three months. Newborns generally stay awake for two to three hours at a time. The major brain and body development of an infant occurs while he/she is asleep. Parents should focus on putting the baby to bed on time and maintain that schedule. This not only allows the baby to get a good sleep but also allows the baby to differentiate between day and night. As your child is totally dependant on you, it is your responsibility to create and stick to a sleeping schedule. For the first year after birth, babies generally sleep for long hours. To better understand about baby sleep schedules at different points in the first year, we have divided the topic into the sections listed below:
- During the first two months, the newborn is likely to sleep for 14-18 hours a day. This does not mean that the child is going to have uninterrupted sleep. In fact, you are supposed to breastfeed every two hours. If your child does not wake on their own, make sure to wake them and feed them properly for healthy development.
- During the day, the sleep cycle usually consists of up to 2 hours of sleep and 1.5 hours of being awake.
- During the night, at around 10 pm, if your child is awake or has just awoken, feed them and then put them to bed again.
- At this stage, your newborn will sleep a total of 13-15 hours a day and will require feeding every 3-4 hours. While the newborns usually wake up around 8 am, during the time of 2-4 months, they will wake up at around 6 am. As your child grows older, the sleeping time during the day will gradually reduce.
- The newborn sleep schedule will now include 3-4 naps, totaling for around 8 hours of sleep during the day.
- During the night, your child will now start to wake up around 9 pm instead of 10 pm like in the previous months. You will also be able to rest more as now the child won’t require more than two feedings. Your baby might sleep as long as 5- 8 hours at a stretch.
- Another important point to note here is to allow more movement and stop swaddling your infant. Baby development is rapid and they need to roll over or move their limbs a lot more.
- During this time period, your child will sleep around 12-14 hours a day. His/her sleeping pattern is still developing and it will keep you awake for longer hours. But, this won’t last for much longer because after 6 months you do not need to exclusively breastfeed the baby, you can also feed with a bottle. This will provide you with a longer resting time.
- The daytime will start from around 6 am to 8 am, it, however, vary from child to child. The previous daytime naps will not change and you should also try to keep it as stable as possible as it will make them rest better at night.
- During the night, the baby sleep schedule will start at 8-9 pm depending upon the feedings of your child. The night sleep will now be uninterrupted as the child will be asleep for around 6-10 hours continuously.
- An additional thing to note here is that it is also the time for teething to start for your baby, which can be painful. It can cause irritation which will lead to interruptions in the baby’s sleep schedule. Chewy pacifiers, white noise, lullabies, and other distractions can help the baby sleep better despite the pain.
- During the time period of 8-12 months, your child will be able to sleep for around 12-14 hours every day. Maintain a proper feeding schedule too as it will help your child to sleep better. During the day, there would be 2-3 naps and allow for a longer activity period. It is the perfect time to engage with your child by playing different games.
- During the night, the baby’s sleep schedule starts to become constant. Sleeping hours will now range from 7-10 hours.
- This is the time period where you need to keep an eye on your child’s motor activities. If your child doesn’t play enough during the day, the sleeping hours during the night will reduce. This might cause trouble for both you and the baby.
12 Months And After
- Now that the child has reached 1 year, the toddler will now sleep according to schedule. Your little one will still sleep for 12 hours and sometimes more which will allow you to rest properly.
- The daytime sleeping routine will include regular naps. The toddler sleep schedule will finally settle and your baby starts to get a deep-sleep of 7-10 hours during the night.
- The thing to keep in mind is that you don’t try to bring any changes in the toddler’s sleep schedule. Try to bond with your baby during the day on a regular basis.
If you thought that you will be able to sleep freely after childbirth, you might need to wait a little more as the child is getting adjusted to the world outside. You need to help him with the sleeping schedule. Even though you will be exhausted but keep in mind that this is precious time and try to cherish the experience.
To read more about the toddler sleep schedule of a newborn