During the first year of life, infants spend most of their time in the sleeping state. Assessment of sleep during infancy presents an opportunity to study the impact of sleep on the maturation of the central nervous system, overall functioning, and future cognitive, and temperament development.
In terms of actual numbers, an infant from one to three months of age may sleep sixteen to eighteen hours a day in periods that last from three to four hours. By three months the period of sleep lengthens to about four or five hours, with a decrease in the total sleep time to about fourteen or fifteen hours. At three months, they also start to sleep when it is dark and wake when it is light. By 4 months there are 2 distinct napping periods, mid-morning and late afternoon. By 6 months the longest LSP is 6 hours and occurs during the night. There are two 3-or-more hour naps with a total average sleep time of fourteen hours.
Is a Sleep Coach the answer to your problems?
New parents will try just about anything to get a fussy baby to sleep, from rocking, nursing and singing. Now, groggy moms and dads are trying a new tool: A sleep coach.
About one in five parents of 6-month-olds report problems getting their babies to sleep. Parents say the coaches help cut through confusion about what sleep-training methods are best. New parents have slogged through sleepless nights for generations. But the landscape has gotten trickier.
Numerous books in recent years have promoted varied approaches, from cuddling the baby nonstop so he never cries, to putting him in his crib and ignoring his cries until morning.
SLEEP-TRAINING TIPS FOR NEW FAMILIES
- Start sleep-training when your pediatrician says your baby is ready – usually around 3 months.
- Learn your child’s sleep cues that she’s getting sleepy.
- Limit the amount your baby falls asleep outside their designated sleep space.
- Set a soothing bedtime routine and stick to it.
- Put your child in the crib awake but drowsy.
- Be consistent in your behavior during bedtime and awakenings.
- Keep the room dark and at optimal temperatures.
- See your pediatrician to rule out medical causes of sleep problems.
The common mistakes most families make is failing to implement the correct approach.