Sweet Dreams, Little One: Mastering Your Baby's Sleep Schedule.

As a new parent, having a new baby can be one of the most incredible, and let’s face it, exhausting chapters of your life. Amidst all the love, joy, nappy changes and adorable coos, there's one topic on everyone's minds: baby sleep!

Ah, sleep. That glorious haven where the little ones recharge their batteries and parents get their much-needed break. But if you're reading this with bleary, half-closed eyes, you might be wondering, When will my baby finally sleep through the night?

In this blog we’ll explore baby sleep patterns, helping you navigate this journey with practical tips and ideas.

The Early Days: Newborn to 2 Months

In the newborn stage, it feels like your baby doesn’t have a sleep schedule. They snooze for 15-20 hours a day, in short bursts spread throughout the day and night. Sounds heavenly, right? Well, not quite. As you've likely noticed, their waking and feeding hours often clash with yours and lead to sleepless nights for mum and dad.

Sleep tips for newborns:

  • Baby-led schedule: 

    In the early weeks, it's best to follow your baby's lead. Feed on demand and let them sleep as much as they need. Your main goal is helping them adjust to life outside the womb.
  • Create a sleep-friendly environment: 

    Your baby has just left a very cozy and dark environment. Recreate that by dimming lights, reducing noise, and considering a white noise machine to mimic womb sounds. Ewan the sheep is one of our favourites!
  • Swaddle, Swaddle, Swaddle: 

    Swaddling can provide comfort and help soothe your newborn into sleep. It mimics the secure feeling of the womb, keeping them snug and reducing startling reflexes that can wake them up. There are also new born sleeping bags such as the "love to dream" which help feel babies feel secure and settled at night.
  • Napping: 

    They'll nap a lot, usually waking every 2-3 hours to feed. Go with the flow, ensuring they're getting the sleep and nutrition they need.

2-4 Months: More Awake, More Personality!

Around this time, you'll notice a decrease in your baby's sleep hours, an increase in their wakefulness, and the start of a more predictable sleep schedule. Hurray! Babies usually are on to 3-4 naps a day, gradually reducing to 2-3 longer naps.

Sleep tips for 2-4 months:

  • Establish a routine: 

    Start making bedtime routines like bath time, reading, or singing. These rituals signal to your baby that it's time to sleep and helps them unwind.
  • Encourage more daytime feeds: 

    To help your baby sleep longer at night, try to keep them well-fed during the day so they aren’t waking in the night due to hunger.
  • Start practicing 'drowsy but awake' 

    This means putting your baby down when they're sleepy but still awake. It's the first step towards teaching them to fall asleep on their own.
  • Recognize sleepy signs: 

    Watch for signs that your baby is tired (rubbing eyes, yawning, fussiness) to avoid overtiredness. At this age, they should nap every 1.5-2 hours after waking.
  • Use hypoallergenic and temperature regulating silk bedding: 

    To minimise the risk of allergies and respiratory issues, healthcare professionals suggest opting for silk bedding as it naturally repels allergens. Furthermore, silk's temperature-regulating properties ensure that your baby remains cool and comfortable on warm summer nights, promoting better sleep quality.

4-6 Months: Discovering Sleep Independence

As your baby reaches the 4-6-month mark, they start recognising the difference between day and night, and they're able to sleep for longer stretches .Napping usually  reduces to 2-3 times per day, with a morning and afternoon nap.

Sleep tips for 4-6 months:

  • Introduce sleep cues: 

    Consider introducing a sleep toy such as a soft cuddly teddy or a lullaby or cuddle. These cues will signal your baby that it's time to rest.
  • Be consistent: 

    Maintain your established bed and naptime routine and try to put them to bed and wake them up at the same time every day.
  • Allow self-soothing: 

    If your baby wakes in the night, give them a few minutes before rushing in! They often learn to self-soothe and fall back asleep on their own.

Remember, Parenting isn't a one-size-fits-all journey, and neither is sleep. Some may need more sleep, others less. As long as your baby is growing and developing healthily, there's no need to worry if they're not sticking to typical sleep schedules. Always consult your GP or health visitor if you have concerns about your baby's sleep habits. 

Happy snoozing and here's to more sleep-filled nights for you and your little one!

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