Congratulations on your new baby!
You may have questions in the first weeks on how to help your little one sleep better. It is great that you are thinking about sleep for your baby because healthy sleep habits can help improve a baby’s mood, cognitive development and immune system.
Below is a guide through the first weeks which will help you help your baby with his or her sleepy time.
Newborn to 8 weeks:
The first 8 weeks is a time for bonding and recovery. Your baby will have no set sleep pattern and will likely be confused between day and night (sleep more during the day than the night). At this point, don’t worry about creating habits, right now it is all about keeping your baby well rested and sleeping in a safe space.
6-8 weeks to 12 weeks:
When you start to see social smiles, late in the day fussiness peaks, and day and night confusion ends you’ll also see your baby hit his/her first sleep milestone. Night sleep is starting to come together and your little one can begin to sleep for 4-6 hours at a time. Yipee!! (Get some rest too, you deserve it!)
Now is when you can begin to have a real impact on your baby’s sleep. This is a great time to create a soothing routine, create a nursery that is safe and conducive for sleep and introduce the crib as the main place to sleep. Watch for sleepy cues – at this point your baby can only stay awake for short periods of time without being ready for another snooze.
Maintain what you have been doing since their first sleep milestone at 6 to 8 weeks. You will find that night time sleep will lengthen while bedtime starts to come at an earlier time and you will find that the ability to stay awake longer begins to lengthen (this may get closer to 90 minutes). As your baby approaches the 16-week mark, you will start to see a pattern developing with day time sleep and your baby will soon be ready for a set sleeping schedule.
Be sure to practice safe sleep and I hope that you and your little one enjoy your sleepy time!
Certified Sleep Consultant
Good Night Sleep Site Florida