Baby Sleep: Get the Facts
Find out when your baby is ready to start sleep training.
We think of the first 3 months of a baby's life as the fourth trimester, a time of transition from womb to world. In terms of sleep in utero, your baby is used to being gently rocked, continuously fed, warm in the dark and always close to his mother's heartbeat and voice. Up until birth, everything has been regulated. Now, your baby needs to adjust to life on the outside. These early weeks and months are a time to welcome your baby to the world and to make him as comfortable and secure in his new environment as possible. He will need regular day and night feedings and most likely will need help to get and stay asleep. So anything you do to help your little one from nursing to rocking, from swaddling to pacifier, sound machines, bouncing- any methods or devices you come up with that help, you can feel good about. This is not a time to worry about setting up bad habits. Babies vary tremendously even from day 1 about how easy or difficult it is to get them the sleep they need. Some babies seem to be born with an internal clock and drift off to sleep easily and sleep for long stretches. Well other newborns are more erratic and seem to fight sleep at every turn. Both examples are healthy and normal ends of the spectrum. What differs is how hard your job is as parents. The good news is all babies can learn to be good sleepers once they have reached a certain age and weight. And by 3 months, we actually say 12 weeks and 12 pounds-- most babies are ready to start learning how to sleep through the night. By 4 months, can be sleeping 11 to 12 hours at night and taking 2 regular naps a day of an hour or more.