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{Good Nights Sleep}

>> Thursday, October 14, 2010

Baby Sleep Guide

By the editors of Parenting magazine, Parenting.com
Ask a mom of a newborn about her child's sleep and she'll likely look at you through bleary eyes and mutter, "What sleep?" The fact is, it's perfectly normal for babies to have erratic sleep patterns -- some rest for little more than an hour at a time! But all of them need as much sleep as they can get in order to develop properly. Read on to learn about sleep training, avoiding a "flat head," whether you should co-sleep, how to protect your child against sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), and more -- so your baby (and you) can get more zzz's.
Setting a sleep schedule, especially once your child is at least 6 months old, is a good way to make sure she's getting enough rest. Make nap times and bedtimes as consistent as possible, and build in a cushion of time beforehand to help her unwind -- show her a book, rock her, or give her a warm bath before bed.

How much sleep do babies need?

The number of hours of rest a baby needs varies with age. Here's what doctors recommend:

Age: 1 week
Day Sleep: 8 hours
Night Sleep: 8 1/2 hours
Total: 16 1/2 hours

Age: 1 month
Day Sleep: 7 hours
Night Sleep: 8 1/2 hours
Total: 15 1/2 hours

Age: 3 months Day Sleep: 5 hours
Night Sleep: 10 hours
Total: 15 hours

Age: 6 months
Day Sleep: 3 1/4 hours
Night Sleep: 11 hours
Total: 14 1/4 hours

Age: 9 months
Day Sleep: 3 hours
Night Sleep: 11 hours
Total: 14 hours

Age: 12 months Day Sleep: 2 1/4 hours
Night Sleep: 11 1/2 hours
Total: 13 3/4 hours

Sleeping through the Night

Here's how to get your newborn sleeping for longer periods of time. By Sheryl Berk, Parenting

Most parents assume that "sleeping through" means their baby will snooze past dawn. But at this stage, a solid five hours is all you should expect. It's usually not until the 6-month mark that a baby can sleep for a longer stretch, says Sue Zafarlotfi, Ph.D., clinical director of the Institute for Sleep-Wake Disorders at Hackensack University. If you're frustrated by your night owl (or early bird), try taking a few steps to improve his snoozing habits.

First, keep him active when he's awake, then follow a consistent sleep schedule so he'll learn when to wind down. Finally, put your baby down in the crib when he's drowsy and let him drift off on his own. (We know -- it doesn't always work!) If he wakes, give him a few minutes to settle back down. When you do have to intervene, keep the lights low and your voice soft. Eventually a new day will dawn -- and you'll realize you both slept through the night that came before it.

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