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Most parents are likely to be confused in their efforts to solve their baby’s sleep problems. A common question that may riddle them could be the amount of time a baby is required to sleep for it to be considered normal – does your baby need to sleep for a longer time, or is he getting too many naps during the day? A baby sleep chart can be the answer to these queries. It can be a convenient way to ascertain the average sleep hours your toddler needs and is clocking each day. It can also help ensure that your baby is sleeping a normal amount everyday.
Baby Sleep Guide Chart by Age
At first, your new-born may wish to slumber his days and nights away as it is nature’s way of gradually introducing babies to the external world. Slowly, the newborn sleep cycle chart will change with him spending greater amounts of time being awake, which can give you the chance to tweak his sleep schedule. But parents are often not sure about how much their baby ought to be sleeping, or the number of times they should nap. A baby sleep time chart may help make things clearer. Remember, these are merely averages – meaning, the average duration of time your baby should be sleeping. If your baby is sleeping 1 or 2 hours lower or higher than the cited average time in the chart, his sleep is in the normal range. Your baby can have lower or higher sleep needs than written on the baby sleep schedule chart.
|Age||Day (hours)||Night (hours)||Total Hours|
|0 – 1 month||9 to 10||7 to 8||15 to 18|
|1 – 2 months||9 to 10||7 to 8||15 to 18|
|2 – 4 months||6 to 8||8 to 10||14 to 16|
|4 – 6 months||4 to 6||9 to 10||14 to 15|
|6 – 9 months||3 to 5||10 to 11||14 to 15|
|9 – 12 months||2 to 4||10 to 11||14 to 15|
What If Your Baby Sleeps More Than Needed?
The sleep patterns of a baby are unlike that of a grown-up. His rapid-eye-movement (REM) sleep is much longer. After a baby is 6 months old, his brain starts regulating sleep in a way similar to adults. Also, as he grows, his sleeping needs will change. With time, babies develop sleeping patterns as per their body clock or circadian rhythm. You will most probably witness reduced naps during the day, and longer stretches of sleep at night.
There are no conclusive studies available that tell us the ideal amount of sleep for a baby. You can always gauge if your baby is well rested based on how he behaves throughout the day. If he’s throwing a tantrum the whole day, it can mean that he needs to sleep a bit more. Different babies have different needs, so the total number of hours your baby needs can vary greatly as compared to another. For example, studies indicate that breastfed babies are likely to sleep less compared to formula fed babies.
In case your baby is sleeping more than the average, there is no need to worry. It should not be a cause of concern as long as he is feeding and growing well. However, in case he is sleeping less than average, it may do good to investigate the reasons for it. Consult your doctor for further guidance.
How to Get Your Baby to Sleep Through The Night
Some useful tips that can get your baby to sleep through the night:
- Setting a good bedtime routine for your baby may prove beneficial as it can encourage him to feel safe and secure. It can also prevent him from waking up too early or staying up at night. You can begin the bedtime routine by giving him a warm, relaxing bath and dressing him up in sleepwear. You can sing him a lullaby, talk in a soothing tone, indulge in cuddles and kisses before settling him down for the night.
- Creating a pattern for every day may aid in setting your baby’s expectation that he must sleep, and facilitate that sleep. He may not recognise the routine for the first few nights, but be persistent and unwavering. Try and wake up your child at the fixed time every morning and put him to bed at the same hour so that all his days can start and finish in a similar way.
- Babies usually don’t comprehend the change of day and night. However, you can begin to influence this right from your baby’s birth. Duplicate night time in the house by turning off all gadgets, dimming the lights and creating a cosy, comfortable setting conducive for sleep.
- During the day, ensure abundant light filters through the windows along with engaging your baby in playful activities to keep him awake for reasonable periods of time so that he can sleep at night.
- Focus on age-appropriate nap times. Keep the awake times between naps less for younger babies and steady for toddlers.
- Massaging your baby gently with lotion or oil before putting him to bed can help him relax, thus inducing better and longer sleep.
- Babies are accustomed to hearing noises while in the womb, such as the mother’s heartbeat and breathing, rushes of fluids and blood that constantly reassure them. When babies enter the outside world, the sounds of the new environment can make them jolt or jump. Use of white noise may help in blocking the new sounds (a door slamming, loud footsteps, unfamiliar voices) which can scare a baby and disrupt his sleep. Using white noise like radio static, sound from a running fan throughout the night can help your baby sleep well.
- Babies constantly cover various developmental milestones like rolling over, holding their neck erect, crawling, walking etc. that can affect their sleep patterns. At times, babies can experience a sleep regression around the development phases. You may notice the first regression when your baby turns 4 months old, and others in the span of next one year or so. For this, you can refer to a baby sleep regression chart for more information. Try and remain patient during a regression. Remember that it is merely a temporary stage which will pass soon.
- It is likely that if your baby doesn’t have independent sleep skills, his sleep may suffer. You can sleep train your infant – it involves providing him with tools which may help him fall asleep independently. Also, try shifting his bedtime to an earlier time, like about 7 pm as this can help him maximise his sleep.
- Introduction of solids will turn things for the better. At dinner time, feed your baby about 1 or 2 servings of vegetable or cereal which may fill his tummy well. Let him play for a while until he appears sleepy and ready for bed. Go through his bedtime routine and put him down for the night.
- If nothing seems to work and you have tried everything in your capacity, seek personalised sleep consulting to solve your baby’s sleep problems. An expert can help form a personalised sleep strategy for your baby and then support your family through each step of implementing it.
A baby sleep chart can be a wonderful guide to keep things on track. It can help parents pinpoint their baby’s sleep problems and even aid in coming up with answers to resolve those issues. In any case, parents need not worry too much as things will settle down soon. You will find your baby adjusting to a normal routine with time.