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Friday, November 12, 2010

Enemy of Motherhood - Baby Sleep Issues, Pt. 3

Many people think of sleep as a state of complete rest where the entire body all but shuts down in order to perform a recharge and restart operation. However, this is not true. The body and mind is very active during sleep. While your baby is sleeping, he is:

1) growing
2) processing information he encountered while awake
3) developing the brain power needed for motor skills

Underslept babies and toddlers are often underweight and petite. They may seem lathargic and uninterested in what takes place around them and often are trailing behind in their motor development (sitting, crawling, etc.). If they are not getting enough sleep, they are not getting that very important growing and processing time.*

Below is a chart from babycenter.com, stating approximately how many hours of sleep babies and toddlers need every day. This is, of course, a general reference as each child is different and will have different needs, but if your child's tendencies vary from this chart by more than an hour or two, your child is probably not getting the sleep they need.

As far as a typical schedule or routine, it will vary a little, by maybe an hour or twoish, but here's a general idea of a typical day and night. (This may vary on some days, but should be very similar to this on most days.)

1-3 Months

It's hard to nail one down when they sleep whenever they need it all on their own, but you will begin to notice them developing their own sleep schedule.

3-6 Months

6:30 am - Awake for the day

7:30- 8:00 am - First morning nap

8:30 am - Awake again

10:30 am - Second morning nap

12:30 pm - Awake just in time to interrupt lunch

2:30 pm - Afternoon nap

4:30 pm - Awake just in time to interrupt dinner prep

6:00 pm - Bedtime

12:00- 4:00 am - 1-2 short 15-30 minute feed times

6:00 am - Up with or before the sun - YAY! (Did you catch the sarcasim?)

6-12 months

6:30- 7:00 am - Awake for the day (Their morning wake time will gradually get a little later.)

8:30- 9:00 am - Morning nap

11:30 am - Awake

1:30 pm - Afternoon nap

4:30 pm - Awake just in time to interrupt dinner prep

6:00 pm - Bedtime (Right around 12 months, their bedtime may gradually start getting later, but should not be later than 8:00.)

12:00- 4:00 am - 1 short 15-30 minute feed times (Up to 9 months... by that time, you should really be down to no wakings at all on most nights.)

12-18 months

7:00- 8:00 am - Awake for the day

10:00 am - Morning nap (They will phase out of this somewhere around 14ish months.)

11:30 am - Awake

1:30 pm - Afternoon nap

4:30 pm - Awake

7:00- 8:00 pm - Bedtime

18 - 24 months

7:00- 8:00 am - Awake for the day

12:30 pm - Afternoon nap

3:30 pm - Awake

7:00- 8:00 pm - Bedtime

2 Years

7:00- 8:00 am - Awake for the day

1:00 - 2:00 pm - Afternoon nap (There will come a time when they just don't fall asleep for an early afternoon nap... time to make sure they are staying active during the day and make their nap a little later, but don't skip it all together.)

4:00 pm - Awake

7:00- 8:00 pm - Bedtime

This schedule will vary, of course, depending on your family's needs. Just make sure it's follows a similar pattern and includes enough hours of sleep for your child, and you should be good.

*While sleep deprivation is not the only cause of these issues, it is a contributor in some cases.

1 comment:

  1. I can definitely substantiate/corroborate (whatever) all of this!

    ReplyDelete