Baby's Sleeping Pattern

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Baby's Sleeping Pattern
We are all different and babies are no exception! Every baby is different with some babies needing more sleep than others

Sometimes you read in books that the average baby spends 14-16 hours sleeping. But how many of us have an 'average baby'?

A baby's sleeping period is made up of lots of short naps along with a longer - hopefully unbroken - night's sleep. Between 7-12 weeks, most babies develop a pattern of sleep unique to them. Hopefully it suits them and with a bit of luck it'll suit you too. If you're one of the lucky parents, your baby may settle around 11pm and sleep through until the next feed sometime around 4am.

By 6 months, your baby's sleeping time should have increased to 7 hrs from the last feed. So if the last feed is at your bedtime at around 10pm, you can expect to be woken sometime around 5am.

Baby Sleeping Through The Night

Most babies between 6-12 months get into the habit of sleeping 12 hours in the night. It's still a good idea if they take a short nap in the morning, and a longer one in the afternoon as keeping them up during the day doesn't necessarily make them sleep better. In fact, it usually makes them overtired and irritable, and will find it difficult to settle down.

Babies sleep better when they're fed and comfortably full, winded, warm and dry and have had a nice cuddle.

Make sure the room, baby sleeps in, isn't too hot or too cold. If you are using blankets on the cot and the central heating is on, make sure the baby's bedroom isn't too warm. A baby who is red in the face, with damp hair, is a baby who is too hot. Turn off the radiator or remove a blanket.

Crying for no apparent reason before going to sleep is completely normal Babies often settle better if loosely but firmly wrapped or swaddled as it reminds them of being in the womb. Sleep suits and specially made sleeping bags are ideal for older babies, as they often kick blankets off and become cold.

August 2009

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