Easy Guide To Your Baby’s Sleep Pattern Month By Month

Jul. 10, 2019Hits:6050

Babies have different sleep patterns. Some take long day naps while others only have quick naps. Some wake up frequently through the night while others may sleep through or wake up occasionally.
Sleep is essential for your baby’s optimal growth and development. Babies ages 4-12 months, on average, sleep 13.5-15 hours during a 24-hour period. While the amount of sleep your baby needs will not change much, the way their sleep is distributed throughout the day and night will change by age and developmental stage. These changing sleep patterns and nap schedules are not only completely normal, they are expected.

All babies are different

Babies are little individuals so they are all different. The information below is a general guide and your baby might be different. Try not to spend too much time comparing how your baby sleeps with other babies. 

Birth to three months

· Newborns sleep on and off through the day and night.
· The total sleep varies between babies — it can be from around 8 to 18 hours a day.
· They tend to sleep only in short stretches because they need to be fed and changed regularly.
· Newborns generally sleep very lightly: they spend half of their sleeping time in active sleep.
· Also, a newborn has not learnt to sleep when it is dark. They usually start to learn this rhythm of day and night when they are about 6 weeks old. You can help your newborn to learn to sleep more at night by exposing them to light and playing with them during the day, and providing a dim and quiet environment at night.

Three to six months

· At this age, your baby might have 3 daytime naps of up to 2 hours each.
· Most will sleep 14-15 hours of sleep in total a day, with some babies sleeping up to 8 hours at night.
· The amount of active sleep starts to reduce and they begin to enter quiet sleep at the beginning of their sleep cycles.
· They still tend to wake up at least once during the night.

Six to 12 months

· From about 6 months old, your baby’s sleep patterns are more like yours.
· At this age, babies sleep an average of about 13 hours in total a day. They tend to sleep the longest period at night, averaging about 11 hours.
· Your baby will start dropping their number of daytime naps to about 2. Their naps are usually about 1 to 2 hours.
· In general, babies may wake up less frequently during the night because they don’t need to be fed as often.
· Most babies will wake only once during the night and need settling back to sleep. Some will still wake up more often.
· At this age, babies may start to worry about being away from their parent or carer. This may make it longer for babies to fall asleep and may temporarily increase night wakings.
· Regular daytime and bedtime routines may help your baby to fall and stay asleep.

After 12 months

· From 12 months old, babies tend to sleep better. As they approach their first birthday, babies tend to sleep longer, wake up less often, take a nap once or twice during the day and sleep more at night. By the time they turn one year old, babies are likely to be sleeping 8 to 12 hours a night, waking only once or twice in that time.

What to Do

Keep your baby well-rested!
Children should fall asleep quickly, sleep well at night, wake spontaneously (or at least easily) in the morning, and nap appropriately for their age. If they do all of these things and function well during the daytime, then they are probably getting enough sleep.
Keep a sleep log for your baby
If you are not sure whether your baby is getting the right amount of sleep or following a typical pattern for a child his age, keep a log of his sleep. Things to note in the log include: the time your child actually falls asleep, the time your child wakes up in the morning, and the number and length of each daytime nap.
Help foster your baby’s new sleep pattern as it changes
Make small changes in your baby’s sleep schedule as his biological pattern changes. For example, when your 9-month-old no longer needs a third nap, adjust his bedtime 15-30 minutes earlier so he does not become overtired in the evening. And always encourage healthy sleep in an optimal sleeping environment.
Use light and dark cues to help regulate your baby’s sleep
Light has a strong impact on the circadian rhythm. Expose your baby to light, especially natural daylight, at the times when you will want him to be awake. Keep your baby’s environment dark and offer very low stimulation activities at night during the time you want him to be sleeping (even if he is not sleeping).
Follow these sample sleep schedules by age
Ages 4-6 months
7:00am wake
First nap at 8:30am (75 minutes)
Second nap at 12:00noon (45 minutes)
Third nap at 2:30pm (45 minutes)
Fourth nap at 4:00pm (45 minutes)
7:00 bedtime
Total day sleep = 3.5 hours
Total night sleep = 12 hours
Total sleep in 24 hours = 15.5 hours
Ages 6-9 months
7:00am wake
First nap at 9:00am (90 minutes)
Second nap at 1:30pm (75 minutes)
Third nap at 5:30pm (15 minutes)
7:30pm bedtime
Total daytime sleep = 3 hours
Total nighttime sleep = 11.5 hours
Total sleep in 24 hours =14.5 hours
Ages 9-12 months
7:00am wake
First nap at 9:00am (60 minutes)
Second nap at 1:00pm (120 minutes)
7:30pm bedtime
Total daytime sleep = 3 hours
Total nighttime sleep = 11.5 hours
Total sleep in 24 hours = 14.5 hours