Child Development pages

Baby Sleeping Guide

A brief guide to helping you and your baby sleep

One of the biggest challenges to a new parent is coping with a newborn in the house and getting adequate sleep while catering for the child who is also fighting for sleep time.

Amount of Sleep

In the first six months, babies normally sleep somewhere between 10 and 18 hours a day, averaging about 15 hours. In the first couple of months, babies have no regular sleep pattern, but by 6 months they are normally sleeping somewhere around 12 hours a night. They also sleep for long periods during the day. By then, most babies will be in a reasonable routine that gives parents the opportunity to rest and sleep themselves.

It is important for both parents to develop a consistent approach to helping their baby sleep. It is important to put them down to sleep as soon as they appear tired. Signs of tiredness include getting grizzly and irritable, or yawning or frowning. Using techniques such as patting and rocking may help to put them to sleep, but the danger is that babies will become dependent on this and not learn to fall asleep by themselves. Dummies or pacifiers can be useful to settle the baby, but for other reasons it is often not recommended. By three months of age most babies will be learning how to settle themselves.

Babies can be noisy and often restless sleepers, so parents should not rush in when the baby stirs or whimpers. Leave the baby to fall asleep by themselves.

Try to put the baby down to nap in the room that they sleep in, and it may need to darken the room. Yopu don't need to always creep around th ehouse to avoid noise - babies need to become conditioned to a normal level of noise.

related pages