Is there are surefire baby sleep routine that will get your little one sleeping soundly and easily?
Your precious angel has passed those newborn months in what seems like a flash. Now, as you marvel at his chubby little legs and sweet smile and wonder just where the time went, you might also wonder when your baby’s sleep will get better.
While your baby’s first few (sleepless) months can wear you out, know that this is perfectly normal, mums.
Your newborn didn’t understand the difference between day and night and his regular wakings through the night helped keep his little tummy full and gave him a sense of security and love by being close to you.
But as he grows older, he should learn to get a better sense of when to sleep and when to stay awake. This is because, between the ages of three to six months, your baby is developmentally ready to adopt a regular sleep-wake cycle.
How Long Should a Baby Sleep?
Although there is no magic number of hours that is set in stone for a perfect night’s sleep for babies, there is still a baby sleep chart that helps guide you on what is commonly known as the norm in a baby’s sleep pattern.
Remember these are just basic guidelines for sleeping. Many babies may sleep more or less and that is normal for them.
- Newborns will rest a combined total of 15 hours a day. This is nighttime and nap times combined.
- 3-month-old babies will start to sleep a little longer at night with shorter nap times but will still use about 15 hours a day
- By the time they reach 6 months old, they will sleep almost 11 hours a night with only 2 nap times per day.
- A 9-month-old will slumber 11 to 12 hours per night and take two naps during the day for 2-3 hours.
As with all developmental milestones, this is not set in stone and it’s quite normal for some babies to take longer to sleep through the night.
But if you think your little one might be taking just a bit too much of his sweet time to sleep better (and for longer) at night, know that you are not alone.
A survey conducted among over 1,500 mums (from Singapore, Thailand, Philippines, and Indonesia) with babies between 0 to 2 years old, found that 60 per cent of these little ones wake up at least two to three times in the night, and 30 per cent take at least 30 minutes to fall asleep.
The Importance of Sleep for Babies
We know that sleep is good for babies, but just how essential adequate sleep is might leave you surprised.
- Proper brain development in little ones between the ages of 4 to 12 months (and certainly above) requires adequate and quality sleep.
- The sleep pattern that your baby develops in his first year sets the stage for years to come. A regular sleep cycle in infancy will carry forward a host of health benefits as your child grows older.
- Inadequate or poor sleep as a baby may result in the development of chronic illnesses such as obesity, in adulthood or even later in childhood.
There are a few good indicators that will let you know if your baby is not getting enough rest.
If you notice them always yawning or being excessively cranky, there is a good chance they are not getting enough sleep either during their nap time or at night.
Your child will let you know if they have had enough sleep or need to get more. Do not panic if they seem like they are sleeping more than they should.
Learning exactly how much sleep your baby will need is not hard. It may seem impossible for the first few days and weeks, but just have patience and know that things will get better and easier.
Below are some of the most common concerns parents face when it comes to their baby’s sleep routine.
Is It Normal for Babies to Sleep a Lot?
There is no reason to worry about your baby sleeping too much suddenly unless there are other symptoms.
In general, newborns shouldn’t be sleeping through feedings for longer than 19 hours a day, unless they are not feeling well or have feeding difficulties.
The following are some of the most prevalent reasons why your baby seems to be sleeping too much:
- They are going through a growth spurt.
- They could be suffering from a minor sickness, such as a cold.
- They could be suffering from a major infection. This is a rare occurrence, although it can occur.
- Because of their jaundice, some newborns sleep excessively. The skin of a newborn with jaundice will be yellow, and the whites of their eyes will have a yellow cast. Being tired, having difficulty eating, and being fussy or angry are all signs of more severe jaundice.
- A baby may have another medical problem that leads them to sleep excessively in rare cases. Premature babies often have different sleep habits than full-term babies due to breathing and heart problems.
- Because they are not receiving enough feeding, newborns may sleep excessively. They could become dehydrated, lose too much weight, or possibly fail to flourish.
Sleepy baby syndrome: what should I do if my baby is sleeping too much
Before calling a doctor, consider the following strategies:
- ensuring that the baby is not overheated or underheated
- feeding the baby whenever they show signs of hunger
- ensuring proper food intake, breastfeeding the baby or offering a bottle every 1 to 2 hours.
- keeping a log of the baby’s sleep schedule
How To Make Baby Sleep Through the Night
Is your baby awake at night but not crying? Some babies begin sleeping on a day/night reversal pattern at a young age. During the day, your baby sleeps well, but at night, he or she is awake and active. It’s aggravating and exhausting, but know that it is just for a short time.
Moreover, some babies are so enamoured with their parents that they can’t sleep. Your infant is curious about what you’re doing and she is itching to play with you, even in the middle of the night. Some parents find that sleeping in the same room with their infant allows them to feel close to them while also allowing them to get some rest.
Lastly, babies are extremely sensitive. They may be thrown off their sleep schedule if they are exposed to too many stimuli. When you eat too much chocolate, this gets transferred to your baby through your breastmilk, or maybe there was just too much daytime play. These can all be sources of stimulation.
The fact that a baby is awake at night is typically a sign that something in the mother’s diet isn’t agreeing with the baby’s stomach. Other parents report that a hectic day full of noise and activity makes it difficult for their infant to relax.
If your sweet angel is more interested in playing than sleeping at night, read on to discover the magic mum-tested baby sleep formula!
Baby Sleep Routine To Help You Overcome Struggles With Baby’s Sleep
Having too much sleep during the day and staying up at night are two of the most common sleeping challenges that parents face during the first months. However, you must remember that it will not always be the case and you can do something about it.
Once your little one hits the three-month mark and starts to understand the difference between night and day, it’s a good time to help improve his sleep-time routine. But if you realise that your baby is finding it a bit challenging to settle down to sleep, maybe it’s time to change his pre-sleep routine.
Try this simple three-step baby’s sleep routine to help your little angel drift off to sleep faster:
Baby’s sleep routine step 1: A warm bath
Not only is bathtime a good way of bonding with your baby, but the combination of warm water and a gently fragranced baby wash will soothe your baby, preparing him for bedtime.
- Water alone isn’t enough to cleanse your little one’s skin. This is why it’s important to choose a mild, baby-specific wash that gently cleans, moisturises, and protects your baby’s tender skin.
- Always check the temperature of the water to make sure it is not too hot or too cold, before placing your baby in it.
Use a gentle touch when massaging your little one. Make sure your hands aren’t too cold either!
Baby’s sleep routine step 2: Baby massage
Continue your baby’s bedtime routine with the gentle touch of a massage. While massage helps with the bonding process, it’s also a really good way to help your little one feel safe and secure.
Make sure you choose a baby lotion that is gentle on your baby’s skin.
- Keep your touch gentle and soft, without putting too much pressure on your baby’s delicate skin.
- Remove rings and bangles as these may hurt your baby if they come into contact with or rub against his skin.
Baby’s sleep routine step 3: Quiet time
This final step in your baby’s three-step sleep routine is important because it teaches your baby how to calm himself before drifting off. Read a story, sing a sleep song or play a lullaby to help wind down your baby and prepare him for a good night’s sleep.
Keep in mind:
- Make sure baby’s sleep environment is calm and cosy without the distractions of bright lights or loud noises.
- Avoid engaging in boisterous play with your little one just before bedtime as this may get him wide awake and ready for more play, rather than sleepy and calm!
This 3-step routine is used by a lot of mums around the world to effectively help get their little ones to sleep faster. You can also add more relaxing elements to your routine like playing calming music, using a white noise machine, and making the room a little dimmer to usher your baby to bedtime.
Just be consistent with your baby’s sleep routine and soon, your bub will slowly get used to it and make a habit out of it. Before you know it, your little one will have her bedtime routine down pat and you will also have the quality shuteye you deserve.
Should you have any concerns about your baby’s sleep routine or other sleeping concerns, don’t hesitate to talk to your child’s paediatrician about it.
Here at theAsianparent Singapore, it’s important for us to give information that is correct, significant, and timely. But this doesn’t serve as an alternative for medical advice or medical treatment. theAsianparent Singapore is not responsible for those that would choose to drink medicines based on information from our website. If you have any doubts, we recommend consulting your doctor for clearer information.