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Sleeping Patterns in Babies - Setting good sleeping habits

"For how long should my baby sleep?” “Is it normal for my baby to wake up in the middle of the night?” “How do I set in a routine for my baby?”

These are probably a few questions in your mind regarding your baby's sleeping pattern. This article aims to explore an average baby's sleeping pattern and put forward some tips to set in good sleeping habits.

An average newborn sleeps for most of the day and night. They wake up only for feeding every few hours. There is no set schedule at first for when baby wakes up and sleeps; many newborn babies have their days and nights confused. Newborns sleep for a total of about 8 to 9 hours during the day, and in the night, they sleep a total of about 8 hours. As your baby has a small stomach, they will wake every few hours to eat and be changed. At six weeks, they usually begin to learn the rhythm of day d night.

Note that most babies do not start sleeping through the night until they are at least three months old; this can vary from one baby to another. Some do not sleep through the night until they are almost a year old. However, in most cases, your baby will wake up every 3 hours to eat. How often this occurs depending on their age and what they are being fed.

From 3 to 6 months of age, your baby may have three daytime naps of about 2 hours each. Most babies sleep a total of 14-15 hours a day, with some of them sleeping about 8 hours a night. Your baby may wake up at least once in the night. From six months onwards, your baby's sleeping patterns are more like yours. Your baby will sleep an average of 13 hours a day. The longest period of sleep will be a night, an average of about 11 hours. Daytime naps will reduce to 2 times of about 1 to 2 hours each. Your baby may wake only once at night and need setting back to sleep. It is also around this time that your baby may start worrying about being away from you, and as a result, it may take them longer to fall asleep. It may also, for the time being, increase the number of times your baby wakes up.

After 12 months, your baby sleeps better. As it gets closer to their first birthday, your baby tends to sleep longer and wake up less often. They may also take a nap once or twice a day. A year-old baby is likely to rest for 8 to 12 hours in the night, waking only once or twice in that time.

You can help set in good sleeping habits for your baby in the following ways:

Notice the signs when your baby is tired

Common signs of tiredness are rubbing the eyes, yawning, fussing, looking away from you, crying, jerky movements, clenching fists, and sucking. Responding to these signs early on prevents your baby from becoming distressed, and they can fall asleep quickly.

Establish a routine

You can try to set a routine by keeping your baby active during the day. Conversely, at night, try not to keep your baby active; you can also dim the lights. You can also set in a bedtime routine. Give your baby a warm bath before sleeping, change them into nightclothes, and read a bedtime story or sing a lullaby.

Separate Eating from Sleeping

After the first month, do not let your baby fall asleep as you are rocking or feeding them; this allows your baby to figure out how to fall asleep on their own.

You can hold your baby until they fall asleep for the first six months. You can use gentle, rhythmic patting, talking, or stroking before putting them in a cot. The repetitions are a cue for relaxation and sleep. From 6 to 12 months, you can stay until your baby falls asleep in the bed. If your baby wakes up crying, return to the room and wait till they fall asleep again.

These are a few things to know when your baby is sleeping.

One would like to hope that this article was helpful and informative about sleeping patterns for babies. It is important to know that your baby will not have a regular sleep-wake cycle from the get-go. Now, if your baby's sleep pattern suddenly changes, do check for symptoms of an illness; it could be an ear infection or new turn of development.


Getting you baby to sleep. (n.d.). Retrieved from

How to Set Good Sleep Patterns for Your Baby. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Setting good sleeping habits

Newborn Sleep Patterns. (n.d.). Retrieved from P02632

Sleep patterns for babies. (n.d.) Retrieved from patterns-for-babies

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