A series of guides, sleep schedules, and average sleep needs that outline realistic sleep expectations for each age.
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Realistic Sleep Expectations
By now, your newborn’s body has likely started producing Melatonin (our sleepy hormone), and has truly differentiated its daytime sleep from nighttime. What you’ll see emerge now, as they begin to be able to spend slightly more wakeful time between sleep, are more distinct naps. By the 4-5 month mark, you will slowly notice bedtime inching earlier in the evening to somewhere between 6-8pm.
Sleep needs continue to be very variable at this age however, and babies are still not likely to fall into a predictable nap schedule. Naps can vary in length from day to day, and from nap to nap. You might start to notice that a short nap (under 30 minutes) doesn’t seem very restorative for your baby. Continue to do whatever is needed to help your baby get the naps that leave them feeling happy and rested, reminding yourself that you are not creating “bad” habits by parenting your little ones to sleep.Reach out to Steph
Wakeful windows for newborns
Wakeful windows are still quite short at this age. Here are some average guidelines to keep in mind:
The most talked about developmental leap happens around the 4 month mark. Most refer to this as the 4 month sleep regression. When we look at what is actually happening though, the word “progression” seems more fitting. Between the ages of 3-5 months, your baby’s world is changing drastically. They are leaving that 4th trimester and newborn bubble. They are more aware, only now understanding that they are their own person.
Gross Motor Skills
Your baby is likely working hard on acquiring their first big gross motor skill: rolling. A couple of important things to keep in mind. Once you see signs of rolling, that’s your cue to transition your baby out of a swaddle. Ensuring your baby’s sleep environment is free from clutter, padded sides, blankets and pillows is also just as important.
Babies this age are in the “indiscriminate phase” of attachment, where they begin to show preference for primary and secondary caregivers over others around them.
Babies continue to feed frequently at this age, with milk/formula being their primary (if not only) source of nutrition. Parents who have given birth and are feeding from their bodies will undergo a hormonal shift during this time which can result in a decreased flow (not a decreased supply). Along with a baby who is more easily distracted during feeds, this can create some fussiness and difficulty achieving efficient feeds. Working with a lactation consultant during this phase can often improve not only feeds, but your baby’s sleep.
Your baby is still in the very early stages of being able to self-regulate. Falling asleep independently is still not the norm, as most babies require some co-regulation (through rocking, bouncing, feeding, singing and touch) to drift off to sleep. Parenting your child to sleep is not only normal, but how your baby will continue to build their own self-regulatory skills.
Support options for parents of 3-5 month olds
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Newborn Sleep Package
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The Sleep Parenting program is amazing in that it offers unparalleled support through teething, sickness, developmental leaps, travel, daylight savings, etc. The time allotted takes into account that your baby is going to change and what you're really developing are the skills to be able to respond and support your child through those challenges which lead to longer naps, better overnights and thankfully a rested and happy mama. I am so thankful.