Pediatric Specialists of Plano

Rest easy with help from our baby sleep tips

At one time or another, all parents struggle with baby sleep habits. Sleep-deprived caregivers wonder how they can just get their little one to sleep through the night. If you’re struggling through sleepless nights with your baby, help is here. The Plano pediatricians at PSOP Kids have tips to help you and your infant get a good night’s sleep.

How long should your infant sleep?

It’s common to wonder how many hours your baby should sleep. In fact, many parents hope that their baby will sleep through the night at just a few months old, but infants are unique individuals. Each baby’s sleep schedule will be slightly different. However, the following information provides a general guide for what to expect from baby sleep.

  • Generally, newborns sleep 16 or more hours each day. However, most of this sleep occurs in stretches of just a few hours.
  • By three to four months, many infants are sleeping at least five hours at a time.
  • At some point in the first year, your little one should start sleeping 10 hours a night.

As parents, our pediatricians know how difficult it can be when you’re facing late night feedings and intermittent sleep. However, keeping perspective can help. Know that the sleepless nights won’t last forever.

How to help your baby sleep safe and sound

You can take steps as a parent to encourage your baby to become a good sleeper. Our Plano pediatricians offer the following tips about crib safety and bedtime routines that can help.

  • Create a calming bedtime routine. An overstimulated baby can have trouble falling asleep. Establishing a routine that includes bathing, cuddling, reading, swaddling or singing can help your infant transition into sleep.
  • Put your infant to sleep when he or she is drowsy. At bedtime, your baby should still be awake, but drowsy. This will allow him or her to associate the crib or the bassinet with falling asleep.
  • Have your infant sleep alone in a crib. It can be tempting to let your little one sleep in bed with you, but co-sleeping can be dangerous for infants. For example, the baby can become trapped by the headboard or the blankets, which could lead to suffocation.
  • Practice crib safety. It’s important to make sure to put your baby to sleep on his or her back. Additionally, our team recommends keeping the crib free of blankets, pillows and stuffed animals.

Finally, allowing your baby to sleep with a pacifier can promote safe sleep by preventing sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

Patience is key when it comes to sleep

No discussion of baby sleep advice would be complete without mentioning that your baby’s ability to sleep through the night is not a reflection of your skill as a parent. It mainly comes down to your child’s habits and preferences, which you can help influence through communication and bedtime routines.

If you would like to learn more about infant sleep habits, contact us to schedule an appointment with our Plano pediatricians.

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