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Health Information For Parents
Just when you think that getting more shut-eye is a far-off dream, your baby will begin to sleep longer stretches at night. Baby’s sleep cycle is getting closer to yours, and your little one may be feeding less often at night.
But don’t assume you’ll be hitting the snooze button just yet. At this stage, “sleeping through the night” is considered to be a stretch of only 5 or 6 hours.
Because babies this age are more awake, alert, and aware of their surroundings during daylight hours, they’re more likely to be tired at night and sleep. But the range of normal is still very wide.
Infants up to 3 months old should get 14–17 hours of sleep over a 24-hour period, says the National Sleep Foundation. Many will have settled into a daily sleep routine of two or three naps during the day, followed by a longer “sleeping through the night” stretch after a late-night feeding.
The American of Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends room-sharing without bed-sharing for or at least the first 6 months or, ideally, until a baby’s first birthday. This is when the risk ofSIDS(sudden infant death syndrome)is highest.
Room-sharing is when you place your baby’s crib, portable crib, play yard, or bassinet in your own bedroom instead of in a separate nursery. This keeps baby nearby and helps with feeding, comforting, and monitoring baby at night.
While room-sharing is safe, putting your baby to sleep in bed with you is not. Bed-sharing increases the risk of SIDS and other sleep-related deaths.
Follow these recommendations for a safe sleep environment for your little one:
If you haven’t already, start a bedtime routine that will be familiar and relaxing for your baby. Bathing, reading, and singing can soothe babies and signal an end to the day. Some babies like to be swaddled (wrapped in a light blanket), which can be done until they start to roll. Be consistent and your baby will soon associate these steps with sleeping.
If you rock your baby to sleep before bedtime, your little one may expect to be rocked to sleep after nighttime awakenings. Instead, try putting your baby into a crib or bassinet while drowsy but still awake. This way your baby will learn to fall asleep on his or her own.
Some babies squirm, whine, and even cry a little before falling back to sleep on their own. Unless you think that your baby is hungry or ill, see what happens if you leave your baby alone for a few minutes — he or she might settle down.
If your baby wakes during the period that you want him or her to sleep, keep activity to a minimum. Try to keep the lights low and resist the urge to play with or talk to your baby. Change or feed your baby and return him or her to the crib or bassinet.
If your baby is waking early for a morning feeding, some small changes may allow a slight shift in schedule. You might try waking your baby for the late-night feeding at a time that suits your sleep schedule:
It may take a few nights to establish this routine, but being consistent will improve your chances of success.
Some infants at this age will start sleeping through the night, but there is a wide range of normal. If you have questions about your baby’s sleep, talk with your doctor.
By this age, your baby should be on the way to having a regular sleep pattern, sleeping longer at night, and taking 2 or 3 naps during the day.
Sleep problems are common in the second half of a baby’s first year. It’s best to respond to your baby’s needs with the right balance of concern and consistency.
Nighttime feedings may be a thing of the past, but in this second year of life your tot might be rising for other reasons. Learn more.
Bed-sharing increases the risk of sleep-related deaths, including SIDS. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends room-sharing without bed-sharing for the safest sleep environment.
Find out what the experts have to say.
Your baby is learning to communicate through facial expressions like smiling or frowning as well as crying, squealing, babbling, and laughing. And those sounds are early attempts to speak!
Whether you’ve chosen to breastfeed or bottle-feed your baby, your infant will let you know when it’s time to eat.
The reflexes they had just after birth start to disappear as babies this age gain more control over movements and interact more with their environment.
Here are answers to some common questions about breastfed babies and sleep – from where they should snooze to when they’ll finally start sleeping through the night.
Your baby is experiencing the first sights, sounds, and smells of the world through all five senses. What are your baby’s responses to light, noise, touch, and familiar faces?
Put away those newborn clothes. This month your baby will grow at a surprising rate!
When you choose a crib, check it carefully to make sure that your baby’s sleep space is safe. Here’s how.
Guard against sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) by learning how to safely put your baby to sleep.
All new parents want their babies to sleep well. Here’s what to expect in that first year, and how to help your baby sleep.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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