Newborns 0 to 8 weeks
SLEEP REQUIRED 15 – 17 HOURS – in FEED/NAP PHASE
The phase that usually has most new parents lulled into a false sense of security with an angelic little one who feeds and sleeps and hardly squeaks. Then their newborn jaundice wears off and they wake up full of energy. Ironically this happens just as mothers experience an energy crisis when the adrenaline keeping them going runs out of steam.
Typically newborns sleep around 16 hours per day only waking for feeds, approximately 8 in 24 hours, lasting 30 to 60 minutes at a time. They should not be played with, stimulated or kept awake at this age sleep, as always, is vital to them. Keeping babies awake in the day does not have a positive impact on the nights quite the opposite actually.
At around 8 weeks your baby’s eyesight is developing quickly (as is every other part of the brain and body) they will perhaps start smiling and taking an interest in the world around them, consequently having more ‘awake time’. This ‘awake time’ occurs after feeds and that’s the perfect moment to engage and play with your baby. Also around this time due to the sharpening of the optic nerve the beginnings of the circadian rhythm start to take shape. More attention should be given to ensuring light exposure during the day hours (between 7 am – 6 pm) a dimming of lights between 6pm and 7 pm (pre bath and bedtime) and then total blackout at night 8 pm to 7 am. These good habits will stand by you as time goes on. It’s the easiest way to guide your baby into natures sleep rhythm.
3 – 6 months
SLEEP REQUIREMENT 14 – 15 HOURS – 3 DAY NAPS
Babies are biologically ready to sleep through the night between 3 to 4 months. However due to rapid cognitive development this can be a missed opportunity for many parents. I have personally been guiding babies to sleep through the night by 3 months of age for over a decade so I speak from experience. Give them the right conditions, remove the barriers to sleep and a full nights sleep for all is possible.
6 – 12 months
SLEEP REQUIREMENT 14 HOURS – 2 DAY NAPS
Your baby should now be sleeping 11 to 12 hours through the night along with 2 day naps (one short morning nap and one longer afternoon nap). If your baby is not sleeping by this stage there is likely a reason for it, but normally this is due to an inappropriate sleep association. This arise from a number of reasons, such as breastfeeding to soothe/sleep, reflux and milk intolerance, severe colic, twins and triplets, pre term or low birth weight babies to name just a few.
If you are Experiencing lack of sleep at this stage and would like to resolve the problem you can get in touch with us (or any other sleep practitioner with a proven track record) we would be delighted to help restore sleep to your family.
SLEEP REQUIREMENT GRAPH
For easy reference this graph shows the day and night sleep requirement for children from 0 to 6 years.
It’s not really sleep regression at all. It is actually sleep cycle maturation. Developing from newborn sleep cycles into our normal adult circadian rhythmREAD MORE
Believe it or not sleep is even more important to your baby than it is to you!
This guide and graph explains how much sleep your baby really needs.