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Babies who are less than a year old have a lot of work to do! Being exposed to everything for the first time can be exciting but tiring at the same time. This is why babies require to sleep more than adults as they are processing a lot of information during these crucial few months.
What is My Baby’s Sleeping Pattern?
Just the way every baby is different and unique so is every baby’s sleeping pattern. Usually, after crossing the 6-month threshold, your baby might be sleeping for longer durations at night and would occasionally wake up for feeds. But how babies sleep or a baby’s sleeping pattern majorly depends on baby’s temperament and sleep routine. It is an established fact that a baby who is introduced to a sleep and feeding routine tend to sleep better. A 7 – 9 month old baby’s sleep pattern can be categorised into longer night sleep and fewer short day naps.
How Much Sleep Does Baby Need (7 – 9 Months)
By the time your baby reaches the 7-month mark, your baby’s sleep pattern is more like an adult, which means less waking up at night. Most babies by 8 to 9 months settle themselves back to sleep if they wake up at night. However, some babies might require being breastfed or bottle-fed to go back to sleep.
During the Day
After 6 months, a baby’s pattern does not change much. During 7 to 9 months, a baby may be napping 3-4 times a day. These naps can be categorized into morning, afternoon and late-afternoon nap. Your baby might be sleeping 3 to 4 hours spread over three to four naps.
Babies tend to sleep for longer hours at night from 7 months of age onwards. They can sleep from 11 to 14 hours at a stretch at night. Where some babies enjoy uninterrupted night sleep, others might occasionally wake up for a feed.
How to Establish Good Baby Sleeping habits?
You can establish good sleeping habits in your baby by doing the following:
- Make a sleep routine: By 7-9 months a baby is ready to adapt to a sleep routine. It is important that you stick to the routine so that the baby sticks to it too. The bath, massage, play-time, lullaby or changing for bed-time should be in the same order every night so that the baby gets the idea of the nap time.
- Adhere to the routine: Once a sleep routine is established, it is very important to adhere to it. It certainly does not mean to strictly go by the clock, but the general timing should be close to the usual nap time.
- Let the baby settle on its own: Once you start following a sleep routine, if you still find your baby waking up occasionally without any reason, you should allow them to settle on their own. The baby will learn to go back to sleep on its own after a while.
Are There Any Sleep Problems at This Age?
Baby sleep problems of a 7 – 9 month old include the following:
- Physical and developmental changes: Crawling, sitting, standing and rolling are few milestones that a baby achieves at this age and may wake up at night to try these newly acquired skills.
- Teething: Your baby may face teething issues at this age which may also disrupt its night sleep.
- Separation anxiety: Your baby may fear to be away from you and thus wake up occasionally to get your attention and company.
Baby Sleep and Development
A baby requires twice as much sleep as compared to an adult. For babies, sleep is a way to recharge. A good sleep leads to a happy baby and a happy baby is a healthy baby. A baby’s sleep is categorized into active and deep sleep. Though during active sleep, the baby’s development is at play but during deep sleep, the baby’s deeper section of the brain is developing. Thus, a sound uninterrupted sleep is paramount for a baby’s development.
Is Your Baby Ready for Sleep Training?
By the time your baby is four to six months old there are more structured feed and nap times. Thus, once a baby develops a regular sleep-wake cycle and feeding routine, your baby is ready for sleep training. Every baby is different and so is baby sleep training, where some may develop a sleeping routine at four months of age, on the other hand, other babies may not develop it till they are much older.
Helping Your Baby Sleep
As a mother, you must be curious about how to make baby sleep all through the night. Following are the tips to make your baby sleep well
- Make a sleep schedule for the baby and stick to that.
- Don’t make changes in the sleep routine.
- Put the baby to sleep early at night and avoid keeping them up after that.
- Let the baby sleep fall asleep on its own.
Tired Signs of a Sleepy Baby
Sometimes babies get too tired and sleepy. Under such conditions, your baby may become restless, cranky, refuse to eat, demand attention, become clumsy and clingy.
You should register these signs and adopt various sleep solutions for babies. You may have to soothe your baby before putting to sleep. But what if the baby wakes up at night; then you may sing to the baby, rock or even try feeding. If nothing works, it is recommended to get in touch with your doctor.
The importance of a baby schedule cannot be stressed enough. They are oblivious to the outside world and require to be trained adequately to sleep at the appropriate time. With the techniques given above, it should be easy enough to manage your baby.