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Sleep

 

My baby sleeps all day and stays awake all night.

Don’t worry – this problem only lasts for the first three weeks. It happens because it takes babies a few weeks to develop their day and night rhythms.  Here’s how to help:

During the day: Don’t let your baby sleep for longer than three hours at a time, and don’t tiptoe around when he’s asleep – make plenty of noise and he’ll soon learn that day time is noisy and night time is quiet.

At night: Don’t talk or smile at your baby when you feed him, and only use a bedside light (not the main light). This will help to teach him that day time is fun and night time is calm but dull.

How do I know if my baby is tired?

Until the age of six weeks babies tend to drop off easily when they are tired. But once they start smiling and becoming more sociable, you’ll notice that your baby starts to resist sleep even if he’s full of milk and winded. Try not to let your baby become overtired because he’ll find it even more difficult to get to sleep.

Signs that my baby is feeling sleepy: avoiding eye contact, yawning, rubbing his eyes, grizzling and pulling his ears.

When should my baby nap during the day?

Until babies are about three months old, it’s very difficult to get them into much of a daytime napping pattern – what tends to happen is that they drop off to sleep in the sling, the car or the buggy whenever they feel tired.

You can aim to let them have around three hours sleep a day.  Don’t even think about abandoning daytime naps in the hope that your baby will sleep better at night – it doesn’t work like that. You’ll end up with an over tired, over-emotional baby who finds it more difficult than ever to sleep well at night.

Three months, three naps

By the time your baby is three months old, he can have three naps a day. His first nap will be for about 30 minutes and about an hour and a half after he wakes up. Then he’ll have a longer lunch time nap – this is a good nap to really encourage because he’ll continue to sleep after lunch until he’s around three. And you’ll get a well earned break for up to two hours.

His third nap is late afternoon when he’ll sleep for around 30 minutes – do make sure he wakes up a couple of hours before bedtime. This is the first nap to be dropped, usually at five months old.

You’ll notice that sometimes your baby doesn’t seem tired later in the day and keeps going until bedtime. This won’t happen every day but will become a more frequent pattern until after several weeks your baby rarely, if at all, needs his final nap.