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Baby Sleep Patterns

Tips to recognize your baby's sleeping habits

Babies develop consistent sleeping habits gradually. Sleeping patterns develop by about 3 months of age. Here are some tips for recognizing and encouraging consistent baby sleep patterns. When a baby is sleeping regularly, the parents can get a better sleep, too.

Baby Sleep Tips

To better recognize and learn more about your baby's sleeping habits, follow some of these tips:

baby sleep
Learn to recognize baby's sleep patterns to manage it easier

Newborn sleep

Newborn babies sleep often, but not for long stretches at a time. Very young infants need to eat and sleep on demand. Therefore, it is best to respond as quickly as possible to your baby sleep and eating needs. Keeping the baby near you is the easiest way to do this.

Usually, a baby will follow a pattern similar to eat, poop, sleep, quiet alert time, repeat. Observe your baby for when he or she is at one of these stages, and what step usually follows. If it helps, chart the steps and look for baby naps and sleep patterns.

Sleeping alone

Encourage the baby to sleep alone, but always remain nearby. The newborn baby will sleep better if swaddled in a baby blanket or held close to a parent's body. The warmth and feeling of being held is familiar and comforting to the baby. You will find your baby sleeps easier in one of these situations.

Won't sleep alone

Don't worry if the baby won't sleep alone at first. Sleeping alone is a habit that the baby will develop with practice. Baby sleep habits are not consistant for every baby. Try swaddling the newborn and laying him down on his back or side for sleep at least a couple of times a day. You can increase the number of times the baby sleeps alone gradually as the days go on.

Waking up at night

Newborn babies wake often during the night to eat. In order to encourage the baby to sleep more and be quietly alert less during the night, there are things parents can do. Have the baby sleep in a darkened room in the evening, and avoid stimulation as much as possible. Be quiet and low key when the baby is awake, and simply tend to his needs for sleep, change or feeding. Then, lay the baby back down for sleeping. Don't play with the baby during the night if possible. This will encourage the baby to be awake more often during the day.

Baby sleeping with father
Babies like to sleep with parents in the same bed, especially as they grow. But it's good to encourage them to learn sleeping alone. (Image by Pixaybay.com)

Sleeping in room with parents

It may be easiest for the baby to sleep in the same room or even bed as the parents at first, especially if the baby is nursing. The warm comfort of being near the mother may help the baby sleep better. Be sure to "sleep safely" with the baby if he is in bed with you. Limit the blankets and pillows near the baby. There are mixed reports about the safety of co-sleeping, so check with your pediatrician first. A bassinet near the parent's bed can be handy for reaching and feeding the baby multiple times during the night. There are many conflicting opinions about what constitutes safe baby sleep habits. I think parents should rely on their instincts when making a decision for their own child.

Sleeping in a crib

By about three months of age, it is fine to put the baby to sleep in a crib, even in another room. It is important for the baby to learn to sleep alone, and this is the best age to begin that. The longer you wait, the harder it will be for the baby to develop this habit. It may be necessary to comfort the baby with singing, patting, or a little cuddle and then return to the crib many times for the first 1-2 weeks. Gradually, the baby will learn how to sleep alone during the night, and baby sleep and parent's sleep will be easier.

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