September 11, 2014
In the previous article, we talked about setting your newborn’s sleeping schedule. If you’re thinking that the hard part’s over once your child gets past Month 3, well, you’d be mistaken. However, you won’t be entirely wrong either, so keep your head up! As your baby gets more and more used to the way you put him or her to sleep in the first 3 months, he or she will become easier to “train” in terms of bedtime patterns and routines.
For Months 3-6, the number of sleep hours drops from 16-18 to 15 per day. That means they are slowly adapting to the normal amount of sleep required by a full grown person. During this stretch of time, babies are able to sleep through the night soundly, which is good for you and your spouse. That means you get to have more uninterrupted sleep in your cozy bed mattress. In light of these changes, you still have some work to do in establishing a healthy seeping habit for your baby.
In the first 3 months, you used to rely on your baby’s signs of sleepiness to determine whether or not it’s time to put him or her down in his crib to sleep. Conveniently, you won’t have to do that anymore because it’s time to establish a regular bedtime and consistent nap times.
This will need to be strictly enforced; otherwise, you’ll just end up messing your baby’s sleeping cycle. Some babies naturally fall asleep between 6:30 to 8:30, so it’d be wise to set a bedtime within this timeframe. As for naps, plan them to be consistent both in terms of time and duration.
This can include the usual as changing your baby’s clothes to pajamas, reading a bedtime story, singing a lullaby, turning down the lights to something sleep-inducing like warm orange lights, and a good night kiss. You may not realize it because you think that they’re too young, but babies are quite sensitive to consistency. Keeping up a bedtime routine, no matter how basic, is essential.
Now that your baby is used to sleeping for long hours with less random wake-ups at night, you can start crawling back to your normal sleep routine. It’s a bit of a reward, but it’s also just a short break in the long journey of becoming a responsible parent. Just as you have set up a consistent bedtime schedule for your baby every night, it’s also right for you to set up a regular waking schedule. That’s right, it’s time to wake your baby up at a fixed time every morning. Remember to be consistent in this as well so that you don’t mess up you baby’s circadian rhythm.
We’re just halfway through the series, dear reader. But though the path may be long, parenthood is a completely rewarding experience. Consider these to be blessings, and the way you perceive these seemingly tiresome steps will be worth it compared to the love you have for your baby.