Baby bathInfants normally sleep for 16-17 hours. When you return home with your baby she will have irregular sleeping habits which if not regulated will create lots of problems for you. You must be wondering that it is impossible to establish proper sleep habits for your baby. But that is not so. At an early age you can teach your baby good sleeping habits. The following chart will show how much sleep your baby requires.

1 week old 17 hrs, including 4 naps
1 month 16 hrs, including 3 naps
3 month 15 hrs, including 3 naps
6 month 14.5 hrs, including 2 naps
9 month 14 hrs, including 2 naps
1 yr 13.5 hrs, including 2 naps
1 and half yr 13 hrs, including 1 naps
2 yrs 12.5 hrs, including 1 nap
3 yrs 12 hrs, including 1 nap
4 yrs 11.5 hrs, naps not required
5 to 10 yrs 10-11 hrs, naps not required
11 to 15 yrs 9 to 10 hrs, naps not required

Tips to establish regular bedtime habits:

  • Make it a habit to bathe your baby 1 hour before putting her to sleep. Bathing will make her feel good and relaxed and she will be comfortable and sleep for a longer period of time.
  • Limit how long baby sleeps during the day. If your baby sleeps for long intervals of time during the day, she'll be more likely to wake during the night.
  • It is best to make your baby learn to go to sleep on her own. Therefore at first signs of drowsiness, put baby down to sleep. When you hold the baby in order to put her to sleep or rock her to sleep, she may come to rely on you to help her fall back to sleep when she wakes up in the middle of the night. This practise will create problems for you therefore the best way is to make her practice on her own to soothe herself back to sleep when she wakes periodically at night.
  • When you have to feed or change baby during the night, don't stimulate her too much, or wake her with movement and noise. Keep her calm and quite as far as possible. With less stimulation, she can easily fall back to sleep.
  • If your baby cries at night don't jump out of the bed to see what's wrong. Delay your reaction to baby's fussing and wait a few minutes before going in to check on her. It's likely that she'll settle herself and go back to sleep shortly after waking anyway.
  • If however her crying continues, quietly check on her without creating too much noise. Avoid turning on lights, picking her up, rocking her, or playing with her. If however her cries increase in intensity, wait just a few minutes longer and check on her again. But if she is too much restless or just can't seem to settle down, try to think about what might be troubling her. She might be hungry or must have soiled her nappy etc. Tend to her needs, and she will soon fall asleep again.

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