Baby Sleep Tips

Baby Sleep Targets By Age

0-4 months: 15-18 hours (in a 24 hour period)

4-6 months: 11-12 hours nighttime sleep + 3-4 hours daytime sleep (in three naps)

6-12 months: 11-12 hours nighttime sleep + 2-3.5 hours daytime sleep (in two naps)

12-18 months: 11-12 hours nighttime sleep + 1.5-3 hours daytime sleep (in one or two naps)

18-36 months: 11-12 hours nighttime sleep + 1.5-3 hours daytime sleep (in one nap)

Dealing With Sleep Regression

(Partially excerpted from The Dream Sleeper. Printed with permission from Jossey-Bass.)

If your normally solid sleeper falls off the track, it’s a good idea to go back to basics and do a little investigating.

  • Could she be ill (maybe she has an ear infection)?

  • Did you just return from a vacation where she may have been off schedule?

  • Is she going through a major milestone such as learning how to walk or a language burst?

These are some common reasons for sudden sleep disruptions. However, there are times when there appears to be absolutely no reason for sudden sleep struggles. Even the best sleepers (our children included) have unexplained bumps in the road. When that happens, we recommend taking a deep breath. If they were once a good sleeper they can get back to that place again. Remain calm, try tightening up on your sleep schedule (sticking to strict nap and bed times) and make sure bedtime is as simple as possible.  After a few days of firm boundaries she should feel comforted by having boundaries around sleep.

Daylight Saving Tips – Spring Forward

Daylight Saving Time springs the clocks forward at 2 a.m. on Sunday. Although most of us plan to be catching some serious zzzs through the undramatic time shift, the event can cause some discomfort the next morning (i.e., it arrives far too early for most). Making a few small tweaks the day before the shift can help keep your little ones – and your – sleep on track.

We recommend you start the Daylight Saving time transition on Saturday. Getting a head start will give you the benefit of an extra day of adjustments before Monday’s work and school schedules pick up again.

  • Situation 1: If your child takes no naps, try to encourage him to get to bed a full hour earlier Saturday. For example, a 7:00 p.m. bedtime would be 6:00 p.m. on only the Saturday right before the time change.

  • Situation 2: If your child still takes one nap during the day, move it up by 30 minutes. Then, move bedtime up by a full hour. For example, a 1:00 p.m. nap would take place at 12:30 p.m. And a 7:00 p.m. bedtime would be pushed up to 6:00 p.m.

  • Situation 3: If your child takes two or three naps during the day, move things up gradually throughout the day on Saturday so your child is tired for an earlier bedtime. For example, a 9:00 a.m. naptime would take place at 8:45 a.m.; a 1:00 p.m. nap would take place at 12:30 p.m.; and a 7:00 p.m. bedtime would be 6:00 p.m.

  • On Sunday morning the clocks will have sprung forward and your child may wake up earlier. However, he or she should be rested thanks to the earlier bedtime.

Pushing these nap and bed times early on Saturday may be challenging. Your child may not be as tired as usual so try to plan in plenty of activity, fresh air and sunshine. If you have a usual pre-sleep routine stick to it as if nothing has changed. It may take your child a few days to adjust fully but eventually things will “spring” into place.

HINT: If you don’t have blackout shades on your windows, now is the time to act. It will likely still be light at bedtime after the time shift. Adding blackout shades will help both big and little kids settle into sleep faster. Black garbage bags taped to your child’s bedroom windows make good makeshift shades in a pinch.