Info for Infants
What to Expect
Infants on average sleep approximately 10 hours a night and nap for 3 to 4 hours during the day. At 2 months, infants typically take between 2 to 4 naps a day, and by 12 months, they take 1 or 2 naps.
Infancy is a special time in a family’s life. While the year is fleeting, the days and nights (oh the nights!) are long. Especially those sleepless nights. As the months pass and developmental milestones are reached, caregivers begin to prioritize sleep once again and often wonder what is normal and realistic for their babies in regards to their sleeping abilities.
Common factors that may temporarily interfere with sleep include, illness, teething, change in routine, developmental milestones such as sitting, standing, and crawling.
The first 3 months of a newborn’s life are erratic, as are their sleep patterns. It is when parents often go into ‘survival mode.’ Most new born baby’s sleep is variable. Some babies wake every few hours while others are able to sleep for longer periods of time. However, the common theme is that new born babies wake to feed. Oftentimes, they wake even when they don’t need to feed. This is all normal and typical.
Within the first 3 months of infancy, babies can benefit from healthy sleep habits such as sleeping in a safe environment , a sleep conducive environment, and a calming and predictable bedtime routine.
The second quarter of infancy is marked by many cognitive and physical changes. Your baby is learning to interact with you and their surrounding world. They also are gaining physical strength and may be able to move around in a way that they could not before. This is the age when your baby develops their internal “alarm clock.” Night/day reversal has often resolved by this age. If that’s the case, parent’s often wonder why their baby is not sleeping through the night.
Oftentimes at this stage in infancy babies develop strong sleep associations. Perhaps, related to the cognitive and physical changes that occur.
Sleep associations are external factors that your child learns to depend on for sleep such as rhythmic movements, feeding, or being held, to name a few. The problem occurs when these sleep associations are necessary to sleep. Breaking a habit of any kind takes a well thought out plan, determination, and consistency. All factors that are essential for teaching your baby to break their habits and get a good night sleep.
Your baby is interacting with the world around them in a way that they could not before. Life with your baby may be fun! Many are able to reciprocate your affection in their own heart-warming way. You may find yourself beginning to find your groove... hang on to that feeling for the brief moment while it lasts because things are about to change!
Oftentimes at this age, babies begin to show signs that they are prepared to drop their nighttime feed. It is important to look for their cues. Perhaps, they are not feeding as well in the morning or during the day, perhaps they are waking multiple times in the night.