A sleep schedule after 4 months of age is very important. Sleeping at the right times of the day and night can make a large impact on your how well rested your child is. Often parents are concerned about how long their child is sleeping and while that is important, it is almost more important to sleep them at the right times. Here’s why:
There is a period of time, in the 4th trimester, when babies are ok sleeping whenever and wherever. Once they reach 4 months from due date that flexibility goes away. This is because they go through a change in their bodies where their internal (biological) clock develops. This can be known as the “4 month sleep regression.” As you can see, this is a growth for our little ones.
This internal clock guides their circadian rhythms – which tells their bodies when they need to sleep. If they sleep at these times, their bodies will get a more restorative rest. Sleeping at other times of the day, is still sleep, but not all sleep is equal.
Think of it this way; You have a fairly normal bedtime right? let’s say that is 10:00 pm and wake up at 6:00 or 7:00 am – you would feel well rested, right? BUT, if you went to bed at 2:00 am and woke at 10:00 or 11:00 am, you may not feel as rested. It is the same amount of sleep, but not the same quality of sleep. In the second case, you are sleeping off of your internal biological clock. You are missing precious hours of restorative sleep at the time your body clock wants to sleep.
Our little ones need more sleep than we do. And while getting a good night’s sleep is great, they also need sleep during the day to help them get through the day. Getting sleep at the right times during the day also helps them to stay well rested, keeping them balanced and avoiding “junk” sleep.
Have you ever taken a nap and woke up more tired than before you took the nap. Perhaps you even asked yourself why you even took that nap. It was not worth it. This is junk sleep, this is sleeping off of your internal biological clock. Ensuring that your child is on an age appropriate sleep schedule helps to avoid the junk sleep.
Lastly, know that keeping the balance is also important. You will want to make sure that they are getting the right amount of sleep in the night AND in the day. They work together. If naps are not great, that can impact their night sleep. The same goes for night sleep, if night sleep is not great, it can shorten naps.
If you are struggling finding the right balance for your baby or child’s sleep, our team at Good Night Sleep Site can help.
Certified Sleep Consultant
Good Night Sleep Site Florida