Baby Sleep Guide (0-12 Months): A Must-See For All Parents

Say ‘Goodbye’ to sleepless nights – today

Struggling with your baby’s sleeping schedule? Are you both constantly sleepy and tired? Feeling like your personality is bent from exhaustion?

Don’t worry, we have your back here at NewBabySmell.com with our tried and tested sleep tips…

Be reassured – newborns do sleep a lot (honestly – though it may not feel like it some days), but they just don’t sleep for very long periods at a time, so it can feel so much worse than it is…

Fortunately though…

There are things you can do to help your newborn – and yourself. 

Stick with us for the very latest top tips for increasing the zzz’s in yours and your babies lives. 

In this article we’ll cover the following:

  • Total sleep hours guide for babies 0-12 months – exactly what to expect – remember forewarned is forearmed!
  • Your Baby’s Sleep Routine – understanding what affects it and what action you can take to improve it;
  • Answers to ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ on sleep
  • Much more…

Are you ready for the chance to catch every zzz you can?

Then let’s roll, sleepyheads…

Related: Best 5 Humidifiers For Babies

Child Sleep Guide – By Age – PLUS! Baby Sleep Tips

“Happiness consists of getting enough sleep. Just that, nothing more.”

Robert A. Heinlein, Starship Troopers

At first, your newborn baby may want to sleep day and night because this is nature’s way of gradually introducing babies into the outside world.

Luckily though,

Your newborn baby’s sleep schedule will slowly change as his age changes, as he will spend more time waking up, which may allow you to adjust his sleep schedule.

You might be asking yourself how much time should my baby sleep? or how often should he nap?

Actually, I’ve been there

That’s why in this article I’m sharing with you a sleep guide schedule that might help you measure your baby’s sleep hours.

It is very useful and helpful, especially if you are first-time parents. Yep!

It is time to check it out Mommies and Daddies…

Total sleeping hoursSleeping hours at nightSleeping hours during the dayAge
16 to 187 to 88 to 90 -1 month
16 to 187 to 88 to 90 -1 month
14 to 168 to 106 to 82 – 4 months
12 to 169 to 104 to 64 – 6 months
12 to 169 to 103 to 56 – 9 months
12 to 149 to 102 to 49-12 months
Baby sleep Guide ( 0 – 12 Months)

Pretty cool, right?

But remember, these are only averages – meaning they only show the average length of time your baby should sleep.

Let’s say, for example, if your baby sleeps for an hour or two less or more than the average time mentioned in this guide, then his sleep is considered normal. 

Your baby may have fewer or more sleep needs than what is written in the Baby Sleep Guide.

For further information about older kids’ sleep habits, visit Elementary Schooler sleep guide.

How To Get Newborn To Sleep Well?

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, infants at the beginning of this stage take short hours of sleep and often wake up during the night.

With that being said Mommy…

For the first few weeks, expect to have nights of disrupted sleep. Ouch!

But the good news is that

At this age, you can already start establishing a sleep schedule that will pay off later.

Here are some suggestions:

If your baby sleeps while breastfeeding or while you’re carrying him, put him in a sleeping place, such as a Moses basket, bassinet, or stroller.

Cozy and comfortable place is what your little one really needs…

If he is awake, stimulate his attention and connect with him.

By distinguishing between the periods of sleep and wakefulness, you will help him link sleep with the place it is intended for. Pretty cool, right?

Another good one for you…

For the first two or three weeks, swaddling may help calm your baby. Yeah!

Swaddling prompts some infants to sleep, but others don’t enjoy it.

But here is the thing Mommy…

Do not swaddle your baby after the first month of life, as swaddling may interfere with his ability to move and grow.

How To Get Babies To Sleep – Three To Six Months?

If you’ve moved your baby to the crib, he may find it difficult to adjust.

Of course, the little one is not used to the bigger place…

Unless your baby has calmed down and settled despite all your best efforts, you can give him a pacifier to help him fall asleep if you want to.

keep in mind Mommy…

If he wakes up and doesn’t find it, he will cry until you put it in his mouth. Oppose!

Excited to introduce new meals for your little milkaholic?

I’m sure you are, But

Don’t get excited about starting with solid foods before your baby is ready to sleep in!

baby feet

It is not recommended to give babies solid foods before they are around four months old.

Another key point to remember

Make sure your baby does not stay up too late. He may feel exhausted and thus unable to sleep.

Related: Best Crib Mattresses of 2021.

How To Get Babies To Sleep – Six To Nine Months?

At this point, your baby who hasn’t had trouble sleeping may start waking up during the night due to separation anxiety.

Yes! Your baby is sleeping, but “Hey! Where is mommy?”…

That said,

Another reason for waking up is undergoing physical and mental development.

Babies grow very fast…

Your little bundle of joy is learning to sit on his own, roll, crawl, or even pull himself up in a standing position

From now on…

You will always think about when you can lie down again. Yeah! it is not easy to be a parent…

But don’t worry mommies.. We’ve got you covered

Here are some suggestions to help your baby sleep well:

  • If your child wakes during the night to try and practice the new and exciting sitting skill, teach him how to lie down again.

Then follow the routine you chose to get back to sleep.

But this is not always the case….

  • Your baby may be going through something called a growth spurt, so feeding at night does not help him sleep better.

This may prolong the problem and make it worse because he will get used to feeding until he falls asleep.

cute baby boy
  • Your baby’s sleep may also be affected by teething…

Unless it appears pain or discomfort, stick to a regular sleep routine.

But if his gums are hurting him, rub it gently with a clean finger or give him something cold to chew on, such as a piece of slightly frozen vanilla.

Watch out Mommies…

If things get worse, don’t hesitate to consult his pediatrician to give him the appropriate dose of infant paracetamol.

  • If your child goes to bed after 8:30 PM and starts waking up during the night, you may be surprised to find that he is more inclined to sleep through the night if you make his bedtime half an hour earlier.

How To Get Babies To Sleep – Nine To Twelve Months?

Your baby may be old enough now to sleep through the night, but he may suffer from separation anxiety and have his daytime napping habits change.

With this in mind…

Get ready to adjust the routine as your child gets older!

Here are some tried and proven steps and tips for you:

  • Try to change the baby’s afternoon nap to an earlier and shorter time. Adhere to bedtime rituals and be firm about going to bed.

when it’s time to sleep, let your child know!

Try to set an alarm to go off about five minutes before you go to bed.

This way,

The call to sleep comes from an outside source, not from you!

  • Try to leave your baby’s room door slightly opened so he can hear your voice and be sure you are around.

This helps in reducing the separation anxiety feelings…

  • If your baby’s sleep problems are affecting your sleep and you feel that you cannot handle the situation, consult your doctor or try to talk with other mothers who have gone through the same problems.

It is Okay to Take care of yourself Mommy

Baby Sleeping Routine

The next step, of course, is to help your baby have a sleeping routine…

We all need to feel relaxed…

Your child will become more relaxed if he can anticipate what will happen.

The more relaxed he is, the easier it will be for him to fall asleep quickly. Yeah!

Stay with us mommy to help you adjust your baby’s sleep!

Let’s take a closer look now…

When To Start Adjusting My Baby’s Sleep?

When your baby is between six to eight weeks old, you can start following a consistent pattern every night.

Soon your child will love the stability and ease of anticipation of the upcoming events.

This will help him learn a sleep schedule, which will benefit both of you in the long run.

Implementing a Sleep Routine:

It is up to you to choose the steps of the daily sleep routine, but there is a popular pattern for it:

  • Bathe your child
  • Wear comfortable pajamas
  • Read a story
  • Embrace your child warmly or play with him calmly.

Keep in mind mommies…

You should choose what helps your little one to calm down and relax!

(see detailed options below)

Nothing Is Comfortable Than His Own Room:

While the routine starts in the bathroom or the living room… make sure to end it in your child’s bedroom!

Then again Mommy…

If you start a sleeping routine in the living room, make it clear to your child that all activities are nearing completion.

  • Set the mood for your little one by turning off the TV and turning on the lights about 30 minutes before bedtime.
  • Try quiet games… They do work like a magic, though!
  • If you have older children, encourage them to play very softly.

This way, you don’t need to take your baby out of an active environment and put him suddenly in a quiet room.

All things considered

If bedtime becomes a fun event by giving your baby time, attention, and lots of embraces, then it will result in him loving his entire sleep state.

If your baby seems upset when you see you leaving him in his crib, assure him that you will come back in a few minutes to check on him.

You will most likely find him asleep when you return to him.

Remember, we all look for happy and calm nights…

Do Some Babies Accept Sleep Routine Easier Than Others?

Yes, Mommies…

Some children naturally start a sleep routine that is easy to anticipate or adapt more easily to the routine that is set for them.

But don’t worry if your baby is not the same…

Some babies refuse to settle into a certain sleep pattern. Although it may be frustrating at times, it is completely normal.

By observing your child and taking his preferences into account, you should be able to establish a simple routine over time.

Each baby is different…

baby boy

So, bear in mind that premature babies and babies with low birth weight may sleep for shorter periods.

You MUST always talk to your doctor in case you have specific concerns.

Formula Feeding VS. Breast Feeding

Wondering which one is easier to start a sleep routine?

you are not the only one!

There is disagreement over whether formula-fed babies sleep longer than their breastfed peers.

Generally, breastfed babies can wake up more often than formula-fed babies.

Breast milk is easier to digest than formula milk, which causes your baby to wake up more often for the next feeding compared to formula-fed babies.

But not everyone agrees that formula-fed babies sleep longer…

This does not necessarily mean that they will adapt to a sleep routine more easily than breastfeeding people.

Above all

Whether you are breastfeeding or formula feeding, the best way to establish a sleep routine for your baby is to understand the signs that he is feeling tired.

What Kinds of Sleep Routines Can You Try?

Since this might be of interest to all of you Mommies…

In this section of the article I’m sharing the tips and tricks I follow to set a sleep routine for my two little kids along with some bits of advice I’ve gleaned from various parents over the years.

But here is another key point to remember..

Implementing a sleep routine benefits parents too because it is a special time you spend with your child

Now, let’s start by looking at a detailed sleep routine to consider for your baby and help him adjust his sleep schedule:

1. Let You Baby Blow Off The Rest of His eEnergy:

Sometimes, it helps your baby to empty any energy reserves he has before he switches to a calm position of sleep.

Walk, run, and jump…

Play with him and let him run around, but be sure to follow with a quiet activity, such as a warm bath, a massage, or a bedtime story.

2. Warm Bath Works Like Magic:

Sitting in warm water helps calm your baby’s nerves…

Splish, splash… we are taking a bath!

Yeah, Mommy… try to make it fun as much as possible…

But, if your child feels excited or not enjoying bath time, remove him from the water.

You can comfortably cuddle your baby or read a story…

Yeah, Mommy… try to make it fun as much as possible…

But, if your child feels excited or not enjoying bath time, remove him from the water.

You can comfortably cuddle your baby or read a story…

baby playing with the water

3. Brushing Teeth Is a Must:

Your child’s routine may include washing his face and hands, wiping gums, or brushing his teeth, changing a nappy, and wearing pajamas.

It is imperative to start brushing your teeth at a young age for your child to develop this good habit.

4. Have a Conversation With Your Baby:

Bedtime is a great opportunity to talk to your baby. Yeah!

If you didn’t find what to say at first, start by talking about the things your child did during the day.

Nothing beats your voice Mommy…

Hearing your talking is enough to calm and relax him and make him ready for a comfortable night… Zzzz!

5. Wishing a Good Night For Others Is Cute:

Many children enjoy being carried around the room or home before going to sleep to wish the family a good night, their favorite toys, and other things.

How cute!!

baby sleeping

Keep this simple and calm.. as you don’t want your child to be overstimulated.

6. Bedtime Story Brings Joy:

Your baby loves cuddling and reading a story with you.

Furthermore, this will help him recognize new words.

Studies have shown that a child’s language skills can develop through a child’s exposure to many vocabulary words.

7. Night Songs Are Relaxing:

Singing a lullaby has been a successful technique for helping your toddler to fall asleep.

You won’t believe this Mommy…

Your baby loves to hear his favorite voice, your voice, and the soothing soft tone calms his nerves.

8. Playing Music Is Helpful:

Play children’s songs, classical music, or any other music kind when you put your baby to sleep at night, then let the music notes relax after you leave his room.

This will facilitate the transition from wakefulness to sleep...

Music also has the added benefit of covering up other sounds that might be bothering your baby.

How To Get Your Baby Sleep During The Day

Every child has his sleep pattern!

You have to accept it Mommy…

Some prefer to sleep long hours during the day, while others prefer to sleep through the night.

Almost all children take a daytime nap. Most young children take three naps each day, and some take two long naps.

Luckily though,

After completing the first year, many babies fall asleep only once during the day.

Here are some tips to help your baby take a day nap:

1. Implementing a Routine:

A routine may help your baby know what to expect.

It also encourages him to realize what times of the day he usually feels tired, hungry, or tempted to play.

You don’t have to be tough watching the clock Mommy…

a mom with her baby boy

But letting some things happen at roughly the same time every day will help you and your baby stay on track.

2. Sleeping In The Same Place:

Theoretically, your baby should nap in the same place he sleeps through the night, which makes him associate sleep with a special and specific place.

He can of course fall asleep in the car or on his stroller if you are somewhere… But try to allow him to sleep in the same place most of the time.

If your child goes to nursery, let him nap at the same time and similar place -if possible- during his home days.

3. Quiet Time Before Napping:

Hang the curtains, read a book, or sing a soft song to announce that it’s time for a nap.

You both need these quiet moments..

cool crib toys

4. Extend Your Baby Sleep Preparation:

It is a very common mistake among mothers to wait too long before taking their baby to fall asleep.

Make it happen Mommy…

When your baby is sleepy, you will have a chance to fall asleep easily and quickly.

Keep in mind, though

If you wait longer, your baby will be very tired and will become more difficult to sleep.

Learn how to read your child’s indicators.

Some children rub their eyes while others stare into space. The moment your baby tells you he’s tired, stretch him out to get some sleep.

5. Teach Your Child To Sleep Alone:

At about three months old, your baby should start learning how to calm himself to sleep, whether it’s by sucking his thumb, cuddling on a blanket, his favorite toy, or simply withdrawing to sleep.

Start by giving your baby a chance to put himself to sleep instead of rocking or feeding him until he falls asleep.

Once your baby learns to support himself, you will find that he falls asleep for longer periods.

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

So Mommy, if you’re interested in learning more about SIDS, you can get all of the details here…

What is Sudden Infant Death Syndrome?

As the name suggests, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) refers to the unexpected death of a baby.

This syndrome usually occurs during sleep: a healthy baby falls asleep and stops breathing, with no apparent medical cause.

The causes of this syndrome are not known…

However, some recent studies hypothesize that in affected children, brainstem nerve cells containing serotonin are abnormal and do not provide respiratory and cardiac protection if oxygenation difficulties occur during sleep.

Oh, and most of all.. The age!

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome occurs before 1 year of age, most often between 2 and 4 months

Baby Sleep Guide To Prevent SIDS:

The good news is that…

As some risk factors associated with SIDS are well known, the risk of sudden infant death syndrome can be effectively reduced by following the following recommendations:

1. Always Lay Your Baby on His Back (whether it’s for the night or a nap): 

The number of SIDS cases has declined wherever most parents have followed this guideline. 

Here is it..

..when your child rolls onto their own tummy (usually around 6 months of age), the risk of SIDS is much lower and they no longer need to be forced to sleep on their back.

baby sleeping

However,

If your child is suffering from gastroesophageal reflux, he or she should still sleep on their back, as this position has not been shown to be effective in reducing reflux. 

If your child has a malformation of the airways, consult the doctor to find out in which position it is best to lay him down.

2. Choose a Firm and Flat Baby Mattress:

Do not put a pillow, quilt, bed surround, or lint in your bed, and use a fitted sheet that fits the size of the mattress and secure it well under the mattress. 

So Mommy… Just keep it simple and empty!

When covering your baby, use a lightweight baby breathable blanket and avoid using heavy ones. 

well, if you are worried he may be cold, have him wear a sleeping bag. 

AS you can probably guess…

Your baby must sleep in a crib or bassinet that meets all safety standards – including the crib mattress!

Related: The 8 Best Crib Mattresses [2021]

3. Avoid Overheating Your Baby’s Room:

 Keep the room at a comfortable temperature (20 ° C or 21 ° C [68 ° F or 70 ° F]).

4. Do Not Smoke: 

It appears that the risk of SIDS is higher in children whose mothers smoked during pregnancy or in children exposed to second-hand smoke during the first months of life.

5. Breastfeed Your Baby:

If you are breastfeeding Mommy, then you are a protective factor against SIDS. Yep!

It is highly recommended to  breastfeed during the first 6 months of an infant’s life..

That said…

The protective effect of breastfeeding is present if the baby has been breastfed for at least 2 months.

Not all of the reasons are known… 

breastfeeding mom

But the protective effect of breastfeeding is thought to be because a breastfed baby wakes up more easily than a bottle-fed baby. 

This gives protection against the dysfunctional mechanisms of the awakening of SIDS.

6. Sleeping With Your Baby:

Make a shared room with your baby if it doesn’t make you uncomfortable and if you sleep well. 

Parents can keep their baby’s bassinet in their room for the first 6 months of an infant’s life.

Proximity helps with vigilance and allows parents to better understand and respond to the signals given by their baby.

7. Use a Pacifier

Yes! the pacifier is associated with a decreased risk of SIDS. 

Offer it to him before bedtime, but if he rejects it, don’t force him to use it. 

It is recommended to wait 1 month before offering a pacifier to a breastfed child.

It is not yet clear exactly how the pacifier can protect against SIDS, but some hypotheses have been proposed. 

But how does it work?

Well, the pacifier could act as an obstacle preventing the baby from rolling over on the tummy. 

baby sleeping with a pacifier

The sucking of the pacifier also helps to keep the tongue forward, thus keeping the airways clear. 

Also,

a baby comforted by a pacifier tends to move less during sleep, thus reducing the risk of being covered by his sheet.

Related: What All Parents Need To Know About Baby Pacifiers

Frequently Asked Questions

question marks


Q1: Sleeping with your baby: is it safe or not?

The question is the subject of a debate among specialists. Some people advise against sharing a bed or “sleeping in”, while others don’t mind doing it. Yet, parents and babies can sleep in the same room but each in their bed.

Q2: What age should a baby sleep through the night?

Around two months (eight weeks), only one in four babies is a “good sleeper”, meaning that they sleep at least five or six hours continuously between 11:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. At four months of age, that number triples to about 75%.

Q3: How long should a baby sleep by age?

  • 0-3 months: On average, newborns can sleep up to 16 hours a day intermittently.
  • 3-6 months: At this age, the baby manages to distinguish between day and night. He also manages to sleep longer at night. Until he is 6 months old, he will need around 2.30 to 15 hours of sleep (8 to 12 hours at night). 
  • 6-12 months: At this age, babies sleep an average of 14 hours. Naps during the day are shorter (two naps of 1 hour 30 minutes if possible)

Takeaway – Baby Sleep Tips

A friend recently asked, “What is your best advice for dealing with kids?” I said: “Start teaching them to do things as early as possible”

Then again

Helping your baby develop good sleep habits takes patience, but establishing it at an early age will help your baby get a lot of sleep over the coming months and years.

A baby’s sleep schedule can be a great guide to keeping things on track…

It can help parents identify their child’s sleep problems, and even help find solutions to these problems.

In any case Mommy,

You do not have to worry too much -in the early stages- because things will soon settle and the child will adjust to the normal routine over time.

For more tips on how to get your baby to sleep alone, check out Whistle Copter guide

Disclaimer:

The information in this article is only a guide for educational purposes only and should not be construed as a substitute for advice from a medical professional or healthcare provider.

Similar Posts