3-6 Month Baby Sleep Schedule

image001 During the first three months of your baby’s life, you probably felt like you spent every minute of the day either feeding the baby or watching him sleep. Now that he has gained some weight, the 3-6 month old will be sleeping for longer periods and staying awake more during the day. What is 3 month baby sleep like? What about 4  month baby sleep schedule? Although specific sleep schedules will be variable at this age, it is important to help your baby begin to establish those patterns that will be with him for the rest of his childhood, among which differentiating between night and day is essentially beneficial for both you and the baby.

3-6 Month Baby Sleep Schedule

Baby Begins to Sleep Through the Night

Just when you thought you would spend the rest of your life getting up every three hours, a miracle happens and your baby sleeps through the night! At first, she might sleep 6-7 hours at a time but soon she will be sleeping as many as ten hours each night. Babies this age need about 14-15 hours of sleep each day so naps will still be necessary. Typically, babies in this age range will take as many as three naps during the day; by age 6 months, most babies will only be taking a morning nap and an afternoon nap.

What to Expect and How to Respond

1. At this age, begin to develop good sleep patterns by starting sleep training. If your baby awakens during the night, allow him to cry for a time so he can learn to soothe himself back to sleep. If you do have to go in and soothe the baby, go in quietly and stay just long enough to comfort him.

2. By the end of 6 months, most babies will sleep through the night – usually 8 to 10 hours. If you are still feeding through the night, begin to think about night weaning at the age of six months.

3. Occasionally, a baby who has been sleeping through the night will begin to awaken during the night. The baby may simply be waking up and crying to see you. Be consistent and this behavior will eventually change.

Establish Healthy 3-6 Month Baby Sleep Schedule

At this age, babies begin to respond to consistency so it is important to keep this in mind as you help your 3-6 month old baby establish a healthy sleep schedule.

1. Set Biological Clock

As much as you may be sleep deprived right now, you need to be sure that your 3 to 6 month old gets into a regular sleep pattern. If her internal clock is set properly, she will get up, take naps, and go to bed at about the same time. Support this physiological phenomenon by getting her out of bed at a regular time each day.

2. Set Regular Bedtime and Nap Times

Now is the time to set consistent bed and nap times. Schedule naps at regular times during the day and stick to that schedule by putting your baby in his crib at the regular time. If your baby has trouble getting to sleep at the set bed time, try setting the bed time a half hour EARLIER. Remember that one of the biggest causes of a baby not going to sleep at bed time is that he may actually be too tired, so you should learn to put your baby to the crib when he/she is sleepy but not overly-tired.

3. Develop a Bedtime Routine

Again, consistency is the key. Start the routine about 30 minutes before bed time and do the same routine each night. You might start with a warm bath, a lullaby and rocking. As the baby becomes drowsy, put him to bed before he actually goes to sleep.

4. Train Your Baby to Differentiate Between Night and Day

Be aware of your baby’s signs of exhaustion and plan naps and night time sleep around those signs. Play with her after feeding so she does not get into the habit of needing to eat before she can go to sleep. Take your baby on short trips to the store or the park so that she learns that daytime is the time to be active. Dim the light and keep her room quiet at night so that your baby knows night is for sleeping.

5. Encourage Your Baby to Sleep Independently

Everyone wakes up several times each night and it is not too early to begin to teach your baby to soothe himself back to sleep at night. Encouraging your baby to sleep independently starts with putting him to bed when he is sleepy but not asleep. If your baby cries during the night, you must decide whether you will comfort him or let him cry it out. Both of these techniques will work – the few days it will take for either technique will be well worth the effort. You can also offer something that your baby can attach to and soothe themselves, such as pacifier to chew on.

6. Cope with Night-Time Feeding

At this age, your baby may still need a night time feeding. You can begin to minimize this need by feeding as late in the evening as possible – perhaps right before you go to bed. Gently awaken the baby and offer a feeding. Limit your interaction and activity at this feeding. As the baby grows, he may need more food so be sure he is getting plenty to eat during the day.

What Sleep Problems Will You Meet at This Stage?

At this age, your baby will be learning a ton about his environment and may be reluctant to go to bed. You may also encounter problems when trying to transition your baby to a cot or hear your baby crying when he/ she is not willing to sleep through and night. Do not get frustrated and be sure the bedtime routine is well-established and that you follow the routine.

This is also the age where babies can begin to get ear infections and upper respiratory infections. Just as in an adult, these minor illnesses can disrupt sleep. If there is no underlying cause for a sleep problem in a 3-6 month old, consistency will be the most important factor in overcoming these problems.