The hardest part of having a new baby for most people is adjusting to infant sleep patterns. While every baby is different and has a different sleep schedule it’s pretty much universal that new parents will have many sleepless nights.
Understanding an infant’s sleep patterns can be a huge help and can make it easier for parents and babies alike.
Newborn – 3 weeks
Babies sleep about 16-20 hours/day during this time and only sleep for about 2 hours at a time, waking up to be fed often.
3 weeks – 6 weeks
During weeks 3-6 babies will sleep about 16-18 hours/day and usually start to sleep for longer periods of time (up to 3 hours at a stretch).
6 weeks – 4 months
Baby will start to sleep less usually around 14-16 hours a day, with longer stretches between sleeping and waking.
4 months – 6 months
Starting around the 4 month mark babies start to transition from sleeping and waking every few hours to sleep to being capable of sleeping through the night. They can sleep for 9-12 hours plus 1-2 naps during the day. How long the transition takes depends on a lot of different factors including your baby’s own internal clock.
While each baby has its own internal clock and rhythm it is possible a baby is usually capable of sleeping through the night around the 6 month mark. Baby will develop more stable sleep patterns as time progresses which will give parents more uninterrupted sleep time.
Sleep and food are the two main requirements a baby needs to develop and function normally. It’s important to understand what is expected at different stages of your babies development.
If your baby is over 4 months and you would like tips for helping him or her sleep through the night please check out Baby Sleep Books for a list of the most helpful and popular sleep training books.
The sooner you establish a sleep routine for your baby the sooner you will get a solid night’s sleep and your life will be so much easier when your baby grows to toddler age.