Baby sleep schedules
Baby schedules are important for a variety of reasons. In particular, keeping to a schedule ensures that a baby's need for sleep and food is met.
Baby schedules are important for a variety of reasons. In particular, keeping to a schedule ensures that a baby’s need for sleep and food is met and that they can grow and develop in a healthy way.
The practicalities of setting up a schedule require some thought, but once you implement a schedule, you can then mould it to your needs.
Sleep schedules vary greatly from baby to baby. Your baby’s sleeping is also affected by their nutrition, weight and general health. In other words, a baby who feeds well, is at an appropriate weight and is thriving tends to have less sleep problems than a baby who is underweight and does not feed well.
How do I start my baby on a sleep schedule?
Your baby’s sleeping needs will change as they grow up. Young babies spend much of their time sleeping, whereas older babies nap more and do not spend as long sleeping in stretches. For example, a one-week-old baby needs sixteen and a half hours sleep a day; a one-month-old needs fifteen hours sleep a day; and a nine-month-old needs fourteen hours sleep a day.
Pay attention to your baby and figure out when they seem to get sleepy naturally. Then, work from there to set a bedtime and a routine to suit them.
Babies wake up during the night to feed, but as they get older, they start to sleep for longer stretches of six to eight hours at a time and do not need to wake for feedings.
Some babies do well with a small feed before bedtime, and you’ll need to experiment to see if this applies to your baby. Do not cover your baby in too many blankets, as being overheated will interfere with their sleep.