Becoming a parent is perhaps the most wonderful thing you’re ever likely to do.
But it does bring about it’s challenges. One of them being sleep – for both you, and your baby.
Getting them to rest for an appropriate amount of time can be tough. First, however, you need to determine what an appropriate amount of time is.
This blog should give you a basic idea of what your baby needs.
And a baby that gets the right amount of sleep is a very happy baby indeed.
Sleeping at Night
As with the rest of us, babies will get most of their sleep through the night.
Depending on how old they are, they’ll probably need a different amount.
When they’re first born, expect your child to get about 8.5 hours of sleep every night.
It should go up a little as they get older, but this is offset by the fact they’ll get less during the day – we’ll get to that later.
So after a month, they could get up to nine hours at night.
When they’re three months old – they’ll want a bit more. Expect between 10 and 11 hours.
And between six and 12 months your baby will regularly sleep for 11 hours.
Sleeping in the Day
Unfortunately, as we get older the idea of having a nap in the middle of the day becomes less and less acceptable.
Babies don’t have that problem. They can sleep as much as they want.
When they’re first born, babies will typically sleep for about eight hours throughout the day – likely split into three different naps.
This brings the total sleep to about 16 and a half hours in a day.
After a month, they’ll only need six to seven hours sleep during the day, and after three months this will go down to four-five hours.
A six-month old will need just three hours, at nine and 12 months just 2.5 hours.
This is all over two or three different naps.
So whilst babies start off needing 16.5 hours of sleep in total, after a year that will go down to 13.5 hours.
Every Baby is Different
These are recommended sleeping times. Obviously every baby is different, and won’t get the necessary amount each day.
Sometimes they’ll even get a little more than you expected.
A lot depends on what else is going on with their bodies at the time. For example, a baby that’s teething will probably wake up in the night more often.
The best thing to do is to get them into a routine. Decide on an appropriate bedtime, and stick to it as closely as you can.
And accept that you’ll have bad nights occasionally. Sometimes there’s not even a reason for it.
If you are worried about your babies lack of sleep (or if you feel they’re getting too much sleep), don’t be afraid to ask your doctor about it.
It is normal for a child to have varied sleeping patterns – but if it puts your mind at ease then it’s worth having a quick chat.