Night routines for babies: tips for better baby sleep

Sleep represents a special state of the brain and plays an important role in child health.

Sleep has a restorative function, normalizes the body’s energy potential, supports reparative and immunological processes, and has an anti-stress effect. Healthy sleep is an important factor in the formation of the nervous system, active growth, and proper development of the child. During sleep, the very process of growth, the formation of new body structures, and the accumulation of energy take place.

Baby sleep schedule for the first year of life is just a guideline for the mother so that she can properly distribute the child’s daily routine and rest schedule. These normative values at any age are approximate, each child has its peculiarities in this process. 

This means that if a baby’s sleep before one year of age is of a different duration than the normative, forcing him to sleep, as well as waking him before time is not worth it. A baby’s sleep is different for everyone. 

The sleep of a baby under a year, as well as that of an adult, is influenced by several different factors: physical and psychological condition, daily routine, temperament, and temperature in the room. If the baby is healthy, feeling well, active and awake during the day, but sleeps less than recommended, parents certainly do not have to worry. Of course, if we are talking about small deviations from generally accepted norms.

Here are approximate averages of sleep duration depending on age: at 1-2 months, they are about 18-20 hours; at 3-4 months, 17-18 hours; at 5-6 months, 16 hours; at 7-9 months, 15 hours; at 10-12 months, approximately 12-13 hours.

Infant sleep is variable

Newborn babies sleep quite a lot. At the same time, sleep in this period is polyphasic with frequent falling asleep and waking up, and the duration is practically no longer than three to four hours in a row, both during the day and at night. 

Mom also does not manage to sleep for many hours in a row. She has to get up at night to feed and rewake the baby, and during the day she has to play with him. 

Most babies are already sleeping for long periods at night (5-6 hours) at 6-8 weeks of age and are developing monophasic (long) sleep, which is more beneficial for the infant’s body than polyphasic sleep. But a large proportion of babies usually continue to sleep intermittently at night until they are 6 months old, or even longer.

Preparing for a night’s sleep

A clear sleep and rest routine should be established and followed. A good night’s bedtime is between 19:00 and 20:30. After this time, the child will be too tired and hard to fall asleep. Plan the daytime nap time at the same intervals each day. To begin with, you can be guided by your child’s tiredness and desire to rest. The main thing is that your baby sleeps enough.

Form a bedtime ritual. This ritual may include bathing, quiet games, and a lullaby. Kiss and wish your baby a “good night.” Regardless of what this ritual will include, it should be performed every night and at the same time, in the same order.