Rhythm of Life
Newborns sleep more frequently but in short bouts and as they grow older their sleeping patterns will change. Because each baby’s character is unique, it is important for parents to establish a sleeping pattern that is suitable for their baby’s growth at different stages of life…
Sleeping patterns at different stages of life.
Approximate hours of sleep required:
Amount of naps needed:
Newborn – 3months
16 hours daily
After feeding, short bursts of sleep
3 – 6 months
2 -3 naps (1-2 hours each)
7 – 12 months
Sleeps up to 2-3 hours per day
1 – 2 years
10 – 12 hours daily
1-2 naps (1-2 hours each)
3 – 5 years
11 – 13 hours daily
Some might still have a nap in day (1 hour)
Babies’ sleeping patterns can be regular or irregular depending on each baby’s unique character. Try to foster a regular routine and habit that will enable your baby to get familiar with.
The American Academy of Paediatrics recommends that a healthy baby to be placed on his back to sleep to reduce the incidence of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
SIDS safe sleeping guidelines:
- Sleep baby on back from birth.
- Sleep baby with head and face uncovered.
- Keep baby in smoke free environment before birth and after.
- Provide a safe sleeping environment day and night.
- Sleep baby in their own safe sleeping place in the same room as an adult care-giver for the first 6-12 months./li>
- Breastfeed if you can.
Visit www.sidsandkids.org for more details on ‘safe sleeping guidelines’
Ph: 1300 308 307 infant safe sleeping information
Establishing Baby’s Routine
Baby’s pattern changes from one week to another. Some parents opt for no routine; others try a simple flexible routine. The key is to do what feels right and is comfortable for both you and the baby. Here are some tips on how you can help establish your baby’s sleeping routine.
Establish a regular feeding pattern – a full baby sleeps well!
Look for signs of tiredness in baby and try to settle for a nap before they become overtired. Keep newborn’s wake up time during the day no longer than 1.5 hours per session.
Make sure baby is well fed, comfortable and has a clean nappy before going to bed in the evening.
Maintain a calm, cosy and low light setting when baby is sleeping. Relax your baby before bed. Some ideas are: with a massage, soft music, bath, cuddle, rock in arms, story, singing, or a dummy.
Provide child with opportunity to settle himself or herself in bassinet or cot.
Respond to baby when they need help to settle. May need to experiment to find out what works for you and your baby.