If you’re having trouble figuring out your new baby’s sleep schedule, you’re not alone. Baby sleep is unpredictable, to say the least! Typically, newborns may sleep 16 or more hours a day in short stretches of a few hours at a time. However, by the time your child is 3 months old, he may be snoozing for five hours straight at night. And at 6 months, he could even clock in 9 to 12 hours of uninterrupted shut-eye.
But no baby sleeps by the book all the time. To help promote a peaceful night’s rest for you both, start by making the best of bedtime with these baby sleep solutions.
Keep your new baby busy.
A fun-filled day can lead to a peaceful bedtime. Age-appropriate activities, such as a stroller ride around the block and a few sessions of tummy time, will go a long way toward readying your little one for sleep. Getting out of the house, even for just one errand, will help keep your new baby stimulated — and keep you sane!
Teach your baby the difference between naptime and nighttime.
Clue your baby into the rhythms of the day by differentiating between naps and bedtime early on. This will help her understand that daytime is for playing and nighttime is for sleeping. When you put your new baby down for a nap, crack the window shades in your nursery to let some light in. Don’t worry about being super quiet around your sleeping baby — naptime is also your time to get stuff done.
Set the mood.
A tranquil nursery can help turn a boisterous baby into a sleeping baby, so keep the room dark and at a comfortable temperature. A fresh diaper before lights out is also a good idea.
Rethink your routine.
You may love winding down from a hard day with a TV show, but your new baby probably prefers peace and quiet while she’s having that last feeding of the day. Help her settle down by creating a relaxing bedtime ritual. Giving your little one a bath, reading, and singing her favorite lullabies in a quiet part of the house are all great activities to add to your routine. Just be sure to do the same activities in the same order every night. At the end of your routine, dim the lights and put your baby in her crib while she’s drowsy but still awake so she learns how to fall asleep on her own. To get her accustomed to a sleep schedule, it’s important to put your baby to bed at the same time every night.
Of course, colds, teething, dreams, and noise can all disrupt your new baby’s slumber. Adopting these baby sleep solutions will help your little one get the shut-eye she needs.