Sleeping in the early months

From three to six months, babies are awake for longer stretches during the day and some may sleep for longer stretches at night. At this age, one or two night wakings are very normal.

Top 10 Tips

1. Ideally, try to leave the room before your baby is asleep to give them a chance to settle on their own.

2. If they’re upset, go back in and give them a pat, or if that’s not enough, they may need to be picked up and rocked. Remember that crying is your baby’s way of communicating their needs.

3. Babies’ sleep cycles are shorter than adults and they will generally stir after 40-50 minutes, open their eyes, squirm, and maybe grizzle.

4. Try to put your baby to bed before they become overtired, because it’s harder to settle an overtired baby.

5. A tired baby may grizzle, rub their eyes, stare into space, yawn, clench their fists, startle easily or have tense movements.

6. Once you’ve got breastfeeding established, you can start teaching your baby the difference between night and day. Make daytime feeds fun, with lots of talking, cuddling and smiling, and night-time feeds quiet with no talking or playing and the lights dimmed.

7. A regular routine like a bath and story before bed can help your baby sleep better and is something they will enjoy for years to come.

8. If possible, continue to have your baby sleep in your room until they’re six months old.

9. You don’t need to be quiet in the house when your baby is going to sleep. Most babies sleep through household noises; in fact some will only go to sleep if there is noise around them.

10. If your baby falls asleep in their car seat, always take them out when you get home and put them in a safe place to sleep. Babies can suffer from breathing problems in a car seat if their head falls forward.

Video note – At the end of this video, baby can be seen placed into their cot with a blanket. Please note this does not follow the current safe sleeping guidelines, and babies who are rolling should not be placed in a cot with any loose blankets or toys.

For more information around safe sleep, you can visit the below guidelines:

Ministry of Health here.

Kids health here.

Plunket here.

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