Sleep rhythms begin to develop at around 6 weeks, and most babies are developmentally capable of regular sleep-wake cycles by 3 to 6 months. As your baby begins to understand the difference between night and day, it’s the perfect time to help improve his sleep-time routine
Teach Your Baby to Soothe Himself
The most important aspect of getting your baby to sleep through the night is to have your baby learn to soothe himself to sleep. Put your baby down to sleep when he is drowsy but awake. Babies need to be able to fall asleep independently, so that they can self soothe when they wake in the middle of the night.
How much sleep should my baby get?
After 3 months, babies will sleep 13 to 15 hours a day. It’s important to realize though, that every baby is different and some will need more sleep, while others need less.
How often should my baby nap?
Your baby will also need to nap from 2 to 4 times a day. Cutting back on naps won’t help at night — it can be a recipe for overtiredness and a worse night’s sleep — but avoid naps too close to bed.
What to Avoid
Make sure your baby’s nighttime routine is not too long or too impractical to stick to. Avoid rocking or feeding your baby to sleep, because you may end up doing the same when your baby naturally wakes up during the night! Put your baby to bed when he is drowsy but still awake, and take turns with your partner in putting your baby to bed.
Changes in Sleep Patterns
Interestingly, your baby’s physical advances can alter sleep patterns. Many developmental milestones, such as rolling over and pulling up to stand, can temporarily upset your baby’s sleep. Don’t be discouraged if your baby, who once slept through the night, temporarily wakes up in the middle of the night. Stick to your routine to help your baby get back to a regular sleep pattern.
Create a Nighttime Routine
Even at this early age, a nighttime routine will help your baby learn that it’s time for sleep. Try our 3-step routine that includes:
Baby Sleep Routine
Our Mommy and Me group discusses the various techniques they use to help their child sleep
Melissa Rycroft on Sleepless Nights
Melissa Rycroft reveals what moms do when a baby just won’t sleep through the night
How to Get Baby to Sleep Faster
By following this simple baby bedtime routine with first time dad Louis, you can help your baby fall asleep faster and for longer.
Safe and Sound
Your baby may do some things in his sleep that make you nervous — what’s normal? BabyCenter® helps you know what to look out for.
Download the JOHNSON’S® BEDTIME™ App
Keep our baby sleep expertise at your fingertips