Newborns generally sleep about 16 hours a day, waking up frequently for feedings both day and night.
Ø A 2 month old should get a total of 14 to 16 hours a day, while a 3 month old should get about nine to 10 hours at night and few naps a day of one and half to two hours each.
Ø By 4 months, your baby should be sleeping about 15 hours a day, broken up into two or three daytime naps totalling three to four hours and then another 10 to 11 hours at night. As your baby gets closer to 6 months old, she should be sleeping nine to 11 hours at night.
Ø By 6 months and up, almost everyone adults and babies alike wake up a times during the night. If your little one is still waking you up for midnight feedings and snuggles at 6 months old, you may want to consider sleep training.
Ø Your newborn most often wake up because he is hungry or needs to be changed. Be aware of sudden changes in your baby’s sleep patterns.
Ø Establish a regular bedtime
Putting your baby to bed at the same time every night sets her internal clocks so she is more likely to be sleepy at a predictable time. Make sure it is not too late. Over tired babies have an especially hard time calming down.
Ø Empty the crib
Keep the sleep surface free of everything but the cutest thing in the room, your baby. Blankets, bumpers and stuffed animals can be hazardous, increasing the odds of suffocation.
Ø Hands – on
When you transfer your baby into the crib at bedtime, try putting your hand gently on her stomach, arms and head to comfort and soothe her.
Ø Lights out
To help your little night owl understand when it’s bedtime, keep her room dark. Use dark curtains or blackout shades to simulate night time during the day. When it is time for her to wake up, whether in the morning or after a nap, open the curtains and let light in to help her to understand the difference.
Ø Baby massage
A soothing massage is a wonderful way to make your baby feel secure, loved and ready for sleep.
Research has shown that routine touch and massage improves sleep quality and quantity when part of a bedtime routine. Massage can also help you recognize and respond to your baby’s body language and it is a great way to make your little one feel safe and secure.
Ø Bath time
Bath time is the perfect way to start your baby’s pre-bed routine. Warm water, combined with soft and loving strokes with a washcloth can relax just about anyone.
Ø Avoid eye contact
· After giving your baby a warm bath and a relaxing massage, it’s time to send her off to sleep with a little quiet time together. Close contact between you and your little one helps calm your baby’s breathing.
· Make sure you keep the atmosphere calm and cozy. You can help your baby wind down further by reading or singing softly.
· It is best to avoid active play at this time, so your baby goes to bed sleepy but still awake. This will help her learn how to self soothe and get back to sleep on her own if she wakes up during the night.
Your newborn was used to being tightly packed in your womb, so being wrapped in a swaddling blanket duplicates the experience, helping her to sleep better.
Pay attention to your baby’s unique cues and it will be easier to determine when she is ready for bed. She might rub her eyes, become whiny or yawn.
Ø White noise
Some babies sleep easier if you turn on a white noise machine or a fan. Don’t give your baby the silent treatment.