Every parent wants more sleep and the battle to get more can be all-consuming. As a practitioner who speaks to a lot of parents with babies, I know how varied and exhausting baby sleep – and the lack of it – can be.
A huge issue with baby sleep is that our expectations can be set too high. While some babies can sleep for many hours, many cannot and that is totally normal. Expecting this and planning around it could make the biggest difference to stress levels and support.
Baby sleep facts
- Newborns may only sleep for up to 2 hours at time
- By 3 months, some babies will sleep for longer periods. 47% will wake 3-4 times
- By 5 months, 50% babies will be able to sleep for 8 hours on some nights (but not necessarily in one block of sleep)
- At 6 months, 84% of babies will wake atleast once
- By 12 months, 73% babies can sleep for 8 hours on most nights (but not necessarily in one block of sleep) and 50% will need help to help to settle if they wake in the night
- By 3-4 years old, 50% of preschoolers may wake at night
Babies start to learn the difference between day & night from about 4 months old when their circadian rythym starts to establish. This doesn’t fully develop until about 12 months.
Total Baby Sleep over 24 hours, including naps
- 0-3 months = 11-19 hours
- 3-11 months = 10-18 hours
- 12 month+ = 9-16 hours
There are huge variations in baby sleep, which can also be impacted by hunger, thirst, over-tiredness, discomfort, teething, brain development, growth spurts, learning and needing reassurance as their world expands. No two days – or nights – are the same for a baby. And if you think about your days and nights, they won’t be the same either.
As long as your baby is getting the right amount of sleep for him, then all is good.
What does your baby need to encourage sleep?
- To feel safe and secure
- To be comfortable
- An environment to encourage sleep
- To be ready for sleep
What do you need?
- Patience, understanding, chocolate, coffee
- Support with your baby and household chores
- An opportunity to rest and catch up on sleep
- An early night when you get the chance and a lie in would be great too
- To remember that it will get better and you aren’t doing anything wrong
To talk about your baby’s sleep, your coping strategies and any potential changes that could be made, you can message me here.