There is nothing sweeter than a sleeping baby. However, sleep concerns often plague new parents who wonder what a normal infant sleep schedule is and how to get their infant to sleep more so the entire family is well rested. The idea of a “normal” sleep schedule for young infants is actually quite wide and parents should understand that no two infants are the same.
Remember, too, that babies will cycle through various sleep phases as adults do. These include REM, light sleep, deep sleep, and extremely deep sleep. Between one and three months of age your baby may begin sleeping through the night. This phrase is usually what confuses most parents because they expect “sleeping through the night” to mean sleeping for at least eight hours. However, at this young age sleeping through the night is only sleeping for a stretch of five hours!
Babies who are stimulated during the day are more likely to sleep at night. That’s why it is so important for parents to keep baby awake and entertained during the day. This can be through music, exercise, going for a walk, tummy time, or any other activity like singing or reading a book. These activities signal to baby that it is time to be awake. Then, at night, parents will need to be quiet and not engage baby and keep the house dark. When baby awakes for a feeding or diaper change it is important to meet his needs without talking or signing. This shows baby that it is time for sleep.
When your infant is three months old he will most likely be sleeping for 15 hours each day, in sections of 3-5 hours. Usually, after a late night feeding babies this age will be able to sleep for up to seven hours straight followed by 2-3 naps during the day.
If your baby is sleeping more during the day than at night then find ways to encourage more sleep during the nighttime hours and ways to keep baby happy and awake during the day. It takes some adjusting too and sometimes parents need to be creative, but eventually babies will get on a schedule and begin to sleep longer stretches of time.