Understanding sleep patterns for babies

15 Aug 2019

At Oac, we recognise that sleep is a fundamental aspect of wellbeing and is necessary for a child’s growth and development, which is why we are partnered with Safe Sleep Space.

Safe Sleep Space are a consultancy group specialising in gentle and effective sleep and settling solutions. They support our Oac team in developing our Sleep Policy and provide Educator training on safe sleep practises, sleep patterns and sleep requirements.

How much sleep does my baby need?

The National Sleep Foundation has improved recommendations for how much sleep is required for babies.

  • Newborns up to 3 months of age: 14 – 17 hours of sleep per day
  • 3 to 11 months of age: 12 – 15 hours of sleep per day

Many parents fixate on these numbers, but remember they are only a recommendation and each baby is different. If your baby is healthy and happy, they are probably getting enough sleep and the need to count every hour isn’t always required.

Understanding baby sleep patterns

It is completely natural for a baby in the first months of life to have variable sleep patterns, which include multiple sleeps of 2-3 hours during the day and night. Often predictable sleeping patterns are not seen in babies until they are 4 – 5 months.

Parents, understandably, are often wanting to encourage their baby to sleep throughout the night. It is recommended that parents don’t hurry their baby into longer sleep until the age of 5 – 6 months when they only need to feed once or twice overnight. A Sleep Study in 2013 found that babies will naturally develop sleeping patterns at this age.

Safe Sleep Space have a number of useful resources on their Facebook and website plus our Educators are here to support you in establishing healthy sleep patterns for your child.

Find your nearest childcare centre across Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.