Understanding Baby Sleep Patterns
At Only About Children we recognise that sleep is a fundamental aspect of wellbeing and is necessary for a child’s growth and development. Because of this we have partnered with Safe Sleep Space. Understanding baby sleep patterns will help families to know if their little ones are getting effective sleep time in.
Safe Sleep Space are a consultancy group specialising in gentle and effective sleep and settling solutions. They support our Only About Children team in developing our Sleep Policy. They also 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. At this point, they may 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.
For further reading sleep patterns see: Establishing Positive Sleeping Habits