A good night’s sleep for your baby means a peaceful slumber for you. In the first year of parenthood, being able to get a few hours’ unbroken rest every so often is important for your physical and mental wellbeing. To begin with I would worry that Katie was waking up through the night, but I soon learned that this was completely normal and discovered some simple things that would help her to sleep through the night.
How much sleep does my baby need?
Depending on the age of your baby, they will require different amounts of sleep. Here is some guidance based on my learnings from my daughter:
* Newborns: 16.5 hours, including regular naps.
* One to three months: 14 to 16 hours, including three naps.
* Six to twelve months: 13.5 hours, including two or three naps.
* One year: 12 to 15 hours, including two naps.
Saying this, every baby is different, and it is perfectly normal for your little one to sleep for less time (or, if you’re lucky, longer!) than the required amount.
How can I help my baby sleep for longer?
I found that it is completely natural for your baby’s sleeping habits to be a little random at first – Katie would sleep soundly every night for a week, but then I found she would start to wake up for three hours for a couple of days. You cannot magically change your child’s sleeping pattern, but I found that you can implement these simple tips to help them (and you) get as much sleep as possible.
1. Distinguish between night and day: Babies do not have a natural sense of night and day, so, to make it clear which is which. I did this by making my daytime feeds with Katie chatty and interactive, while keeping the night-time feeds nice and quiet. If you only play with your little one during the day, they are less likely to stir at night for attention.
2. Getting Katie into a bedtime routine helped massively: Simple things like giving her a bath, getting her into fresh pyjamas and putting Katie into a comfy sleeping sack helped her realise that it was time to sleep. A bedtime routine can consist of anything you like, and is an effective method for regulating your baby’s sleeping pattern.
3. Use a sleeping sack: I designed Slumbersac sleeping bags to give parents, like myself, comfort in knowing that their babies are safe, cosy and comfortable throughout the night. Sleeping sacks normalise your baby’s body temperature, stopping them from getting too hot or cold while they sleep – this helps them sleep through the night without any unnecessary interruptions.
But please don’t worry, you cannot expect your baby to settle down instantly and not make a peep all night – if they are hungry, wet, cold, hot or just wide awake, they will let you know about it – Katie certainly did! I hope that following my tips will help to ensure that, in general, your baby gets the amount of sleep they need, and, hopefully, normalise their sleeping pattern so that you can get some well-deserved rest too! We need it!