It is normal for your (and your) sleep patterns to change over the first few months. It is hard to establish a routine for sleep because of the changes in your baby’s sleeping patterns and the new-born you have to take care of. When your baby turns three months old and has a longer time between meals, it is important that you establish a routine in order to help them develop good sleeping habits.

Educational childcare in Auckland considers good mental and physical health to be so important that it is one our Core ValuesSleep is a vital part of children’s development because it supports their mental and physical growth. Children’s brains work even when they are asleep, even in their infancy. Research has shown that babies move in their sleep as a sign of their bodies learning how to connect their brains with their muscles. Good sleep habits are important for children as they age. Sleep deprivation can cause children to have an altered level of the leptin hormone. This hormone tells them that they’ve eaten enough. A child who has this hormone affected may continue to eat even though they are full, which could lead to obesity.

Some children may need more sleep at night, while others might sleep less and take shorter naps during the day. Although there is no one time that suits every child’s needs, it is recommended that children aged 0-3 months sleep between 5-18 hours per night and those between 3-12 months and 9-14 hours each day.

How can you help your infant fall asleep, and stay asleep throughout the night?

  1. Families can create a bedtime routine for their infant at 6-8 weeks. To help your infant relax, bedtime routines should be calmed and quiet. You will find a routine that is comfortable for your infant. Make sure you keep it consistent. This will help your baby know when it’s time to go to bed.
  2. Babies have trouble sleeping through the night because of their tendency to mix up nights and days. It is crucial to teach them the difference between day and night. Open the windows during the day to let in the sunlight. This will allow them to be more active and playful. Keep the bedroom dark at night and the air calm. This will signal to them that it’s time to go to sleep.
  3. Begin to do calming activities as your baby gets nearer bedtime. You can give your infant a bath, rock them on a rocking chair, sing a quiet song to them, or read a book to them.
  4. Baby should be able to fall asleep, but not sleep. This will teach your child to go to sleep on their own and not on others.
  5. Use a white noise machine. Similar sounds are familiar to babies from their time in the womb. These sounds will not only be familiar and soothing, but they will also help to drown outside noises that might wake them up.

Remember that babies are unique and each family is different. What works for one family might not work for the next. You will likely need to experiment to discover what works for you, but once you have established a routine for your family, it is important that you remain consistent.