Majority of parents are not even aware of the fact that their newborns can have something called a “baby sleep schedule”. Ever since the newborn comes home, parents start struggling to adopt standard timings to settle in. Every day brings new experiences, and each day makes it more necessary to follow a routine that is soothing for both the parents and the baby. It’s only logical that a regular bath time or a reliable naptime would be very comforting.
From birth till 2 months of age, the first thing advisable for parents to do is to simply watch their baby’s sleep patterns. A baby is unpredictable, this means he will be going to sleep when he’s supposed to be feeding, and desire to be fed when parents will be expecting him to sleep. Babies struggle to adjust to the environment outside the womb, which is why parents need to be careful when trying to get the baby adhere to a schedule. In fact, some schedules are so strict that they can be harmful for the baby’s growing process, that’s why the decision of putting the baby on a baby sleep schedule needs to be taken very carefully. Around the 3rd and 4th months is when a baby’s system becomes more organized.
Understanding the Baby Sleep Schedule
Exhausted parents most often wonder why it takes their newborns so long to go to sleep or why he doesn’t sleep at night. This can be a very difficult period when parents are trying to catch up on some much needed sleep themselves too. Understanding the sleep cycle of babies can be helpful for everyone to get through this testing period.
An Average Baby Sleep Schedule for Newborns to 2 Year Olds
The following baby sleep schedule is based on average statistical experiences of baby sleeping from newborns to 2 year olds:
Funnily enough, when babies are just a few months old, i.e. around 3 to 5 months, they usually start with a schedule of staying awake for 2 – 3 – 4 hours. That is, the baby is awake for 2 hours in the morning before having the first nap, then stays awake for 3 hours around late noon, and that’s not it as he stays awake for almost 4 hours just before bedtime. Remember that not all babies are average sleepers.
A Baby sleep schedule can be a very good start to having some kind of a routine for babies. However, all babies are different. So, whatever parents do, they should not be focused too much on the clock rather than theirs and the baby’s well-being.
Establishing a Baby Sleep Schedule
Newborn babies obviously have no idea of how to put themselves to sleep. Many parents use techniques like rocking or feeding to help their baby fall asleep. Establishing sleep routines at bedtimes is generally a good idea. The trick is to create a routine that works for the parents and not against them. Parents should try to put the baby down while he is sleepy but has not yet fallen asleep. The goal in doing this is to let the baby learn how to fall asleep on his own. Parents’ maybe creating a grueling baby sleep schedule to keep up with if the baby is only able to fall asleep with their help.
When babies wake up in the middle of the night for feeding, it is important for parents to feed the baby as soon as possible and put them back to sleep. This helps in keeping the baby’s sleepy feeling intact, and therefore, makes the transition of falling back to sleep easier. Some babies sleep lighter than others and may rouse way before they are expected to. The trick is to create a sleeping environment that helps the baby go through the lighter sleep periods with as few as possible wake-ups in between.
If a baby is happy and content, he sleeps at night and stays awake during the day, and does not wake up extremely early every morning; this implies he is surely comfortable with his schedule. If parents feel that something is not right, it would be a good idea to check averages to have a clue about which direction to work in.