One of the biggest struggles that new parents face is helping their baby sleep through the night. You can makes this process easier by understanding your baby's sleep routine. You'll learn that there are some things you can control, and others you can do nothing about. 

Before reaching two months of age, the need for food overrides the need for sleep. If you're breastfeeding, your baby may need to eat every couple of hours. If bottle fed, slightly less often. 

Your baby will likely sleep 10-18 hours per day, often in 3-4 hour segments. Since babies do not understand the difference between day and night, these segments of sleep can occur at any time. Your little one might decide that she likes to be awake from 2 a.m. to 6 a.m. By 3-6 months, they may sleep up to 6 hours at a time. At 6-9 months sleep may get a bit crazy with developmental stages such as baby beginning to associate bedtime with parents leaving her alone. This may result in crying to prevent you from leaving.  

So how can we improve their sleep?

Have a nightly routine comprised of various activities. You can start as early as 6-8 weeks. The keys to successfully sticking with a nightly routine are: 
  • Have active games throughout the day and keep evening activities more sedentary. That way baby isn't too excited at bedtime, but still gets sufficiently tired out after a day of moving around. 
  • Be consistent with doing the same activities, as well as the order you do them in. Consistency is key here. 
  • All activities should be peaceful and calm particularly in the evening hours before bedtime. 
  • If your child likes bath time, leave it until right before bed. The warm water can help relax them. If they dislike bathing, however, giving them a bath may get them upset right before bed and that's something to avoid. 
  • What's your child's favorite evening activity? Reading, or perhaps cuddles? Save it until right before sleep and they'll go to bed happy and relaxed.
  • Maintain a consistent environment. Don't turn on lights or music after your baby has fallen asleep; try to keep conditions the same.