How to Help Your Baby Sleep Through the Night
Sleep is important at every age, especially in the first year of life. In fact, baby should be asleep for at least half, and up to almost three-quarters of their first year.
So, if your baby isn’t getting good, quality shut-eye, there may be some ways to help them with their sleep. First, it’s good to know what typical sleep looks like.
- A newborn baby typically sleeps up to about 17 hours per day.
- It is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics that babies 4-11 months old sleep about 12-16 hours every day.
- At around 7-9 months, baby develops a regular sleep schedule. However, there can be periods of irregularity, especially when experiencing growth spurts.
Check out what else to expect from your baby. Follow their first year milestones here!
If baby is having trouble with their sleep, here are some actions to take that may help get their sleep back on track!
Check their swaddle
If baby is still swaddling, make sure they’re comfortable and safe in their swaddle. If they seem to be having trouble getting to sleep, consider a swaddling alternative. Remember, swaddling should end when baby begins to roll (around 3-4 months).
Keep them “active”
We say “active” because your baby’s ability to physically move may be somewhat limited if they are only a few months old. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t keep their senses or their mind active. Make sure your baby spends their waking hours in an active state, by feeding or playing with them.
Learn about sleep training
Some parents consider something called sleep training for their baby. There are many different ways to go about sleep training, each involving various forms of parental involvement. Overall, the goal is for baby to fall asleep and stay asleep on their own. Talk to a healthcare provider about the best way to sleep train, and educate yourself on the different forms sleep training can take.
Create a bedtime routine
Even at a young age, baby notices patterns. When you create a bedtime routine, baby will notice that you’re preparing for sleep, which may help with self-soothing and relaxation. Consider making mealtime or bath time routines to help baby get ready for bed.
Try to stick to a schedule
Along with your nighttime routine, try to stick to relatively the same times for naps and bedtime. Of course these times will change as baby gets older, and there will be some variation from day to day! But sticking with roughly the same times every day can help.
Never break the rules
No matter what, be sure to follow safe sleep guidelines. It may be tempting to break the rules by co-sleeping or allowing baby to sleep on their side or tummy, but it is strongly advised that you don’t.