One of the most vital questions that come to every newborn’s parents mind is how much sleep does your baby need through the night? Parents often try to find out the appropriate naptime routine of the kids but unfortunately, there’s no set schedule in the initial days and the newborns might sleep more during the day and less at night or vice versa. It’s completely normal for parents to get confused about the daytime and nighttime sleeping ritual of your babies but you need to know that how much sleep your baby will need will entirely depend on their daily activities and schedule. If they’re more active during the day then they might feel sleepy at night and if they’re awake the whole night they might sleep during the day. If you’re now also confused about your baby’s sleeping ritual then here’s the age by age sleep guide for them.
Newborn - 4 months
During the initial days, babies need an average of 16-18 hours of sleep every day. This might seem too much but since babies are not able to decipher between day and night during the initial months they sleep about half during the day and more than half during the night. Their sleep is also spread out over afternoon naps if they feel too exhausted or dizzy. Your infant’s sleep pattern is similar to a tortoise during the initial months but they soon adapt to the changing needs as they grow older.
If you feel that your baby will be a champion sleeper after the fourth month also then you’re in a big dilemma. After your baby enters his fourth month his internal clock takes time to kick in and hence he is able to take only 13-14 hours of sleep each day. Their sleeping habit also changes as now they have 8-9 hours of nighttime sleep and 2-3 hours of nap in the daytime.
By the age of a 1-2 year, your baby will officially get the tag of a toddler but his sleep requirements will not drastically change. Toddlers will require at least 12-13 hours of sleep each day and their sleep pattern will fragment into small naps. You might observe your baby sleeping for 11 hours at night and 2-3 hours during the day. As he goes through a normal cycle of his sleep schedule his sleep will become lighter and he will get disturbed even by a noisy alarm or truck passing by.
The changes that your kid will go through in his sleep pattern during 3-5 years can help him become a peaceful sleeper. During this age, the sleep needs decreases to 10 hours of nighttime sleep and 1-2 hours of daytime sleep. They also might not require a daily nap but if they feel tired they can occasionally engage in small naps during the day. Your kids will become more intelligent at this stage in avoiding their sleep and won’t go to sleep easily without being rocked at night.
With the verbal skills to understand the big bedtime rules your kids will become more intelligent in making their sleep choices. However, they won’t be able to sleep the whole day or night as earlier because of increased demand from school and other daily activities. Sleep disorder is also experienced in kids during this stage because of separation anxiety, use of electronics and mobile phones. However, it’s highly recommended that your child takes at least 9 hours of sleep during this age.
Getting your baby to sleep and nap won’t be difficult once you understand their sleep requirements. You don’t need to blindly focus on the sleeping schedule but you need to bring out appropriate changes according to the needs of your kids. Sweet dreams!