Every parent wants to know how much their baby should be sleeping. Usually this is because the parents aren’t getting enough sleep and need to know that what they are going through is normal. Babies between 3 and 6 months of age have varying sleep schedules. Some babies may sleep 12 hours straight with a couple short naps during the day. Other babies may sleep one long 6 hour stretch and then a couple more 3-5 hour stretches during the day and afternoon. Other babies may sleep and wake at regular intervals to eat more, especially breastfed babies. Most babies in the 3-6 month range have learned to sleep longer stretches at night, however.
There is no “normal” sleep pattern you should be looking for in your 3-6 month old. Each baby is different and you need to do what you can to promote the longest sleep pattern at night. Of course, every parent will want to respond to their baby’s cries as soon as they hear them to help the baby return to sleep. Also, this gives the baby the security he/she needs,
Some parents find their babies sleep best when co-sleeping while others prefer a crib in the parents; bedroom. It’s best to keep the baby close by to help promote a good sleep pattern. In order to promote a healthy sleep pattern at night parents should make sure baby is stimulated during the day so sleeping a long stretch at night is more likely.
Parents should also pay attention to their baby’s cues. These could be cues to play or cues to sleep. Meeting your baby’s needs requires paying attention and meeting those needs as best as possible. Babies in the 3-6 month age range enjoy going for walks, tummy time, sitting in a baby seat with toys, visiting with others, music, or just being held in a sling with mom or dad. Being active during the day helps show baby that daytime is for being active and nighttime is for sleeping.
It takes time, but by 3-6 months most babies have been “trained” that nighttime is for sleeping and will be able to sleep for 6-12 hour stretches. This comes to the relief of parents who are usually very tired by this stage and ready for a break!