Baby Sleep

Babies do not have regular sleep cycles until about 6 months of age. While newborns sleep about 16 to 17 hours per day, they may only sleep 1 or 2 hours at a time

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Baby sleep facts and myths every parent should know

  During the first few weeks, newborn babies are asleep more than they are awake. A baby’s sleep needs are, on average, between 16 and 22 hours per 24-hour period. It varies a lot among babies, but it can also vary from day to day for the same baby. As a new parent, you might think that you’ve found a routine at the beginning. But it’s common that this changes frequently. The duration of your baby’s sleep periods can also change. On some days their waking and sleeping times are longer, and on other days your baby might sleep more but for shorter periods of time. Here are some facts related to baby's sleep: NEWBORN SLEEP PERIODS ARE SHORT A newborn baby usually sleeps around 18-20 hours a day. This sounds like a comfortable existence for new parents, doesn’t it? But then why do many new parents experience such a lack of sleep in the early days? It probably has to do with the duration of the sleep periods. A newborn sleeps for a while, is awake for a while and then falls asleep again. And it can be this way around the clock during the first few weeks. Eventually the baby will adapt to ‘our’ circadian rhythm, remaining awake for longer periods of time during the day and sleeping for several hours at night Just as with adults, a baby’s sleep is made up of different cycles of deep and light sleep. “A newborn does not sleep deeply all the time, but instead switches between sleeping deeply, being drowsy and sleeping lightly. In between, the baby is either awake and lively, alert and cranky, or screaming and crying.” FEELINGS OF HUNGER AND BEING FULL CONTROL HOW A NEWBORN SLEEP. In the first few weeks, food and sleep dominate the newborn’s world. Eating takes a lot of energy, making your baby tired and so making them fall asleep. And when they wake up again, hunger is often the cause. Newborn babies sleep according to their own internal clock and fall asleep when they need to. A change usually takes place around 4-7 weeks, when your baby begins to become curious about its surroundings and may sometimes need to be soothed to fall asleep. NEWBORNS FOLLOW THEIR SLEEP RHYTHM FROM THE WOMB So much of everything that happens when a baby is born is cleverly designed by nature. But the fact that newborn babies have a different circadian rhythm than their parents is less ingenious. No one is really sure why. Newborns tend to stick with the sleep pattern they had in the womb, sometimes a week after birth, sometimes up to several months. Almost all babies in the womb are more awake and active during the late evening and night, and sleep soundly during early morning and morning Naturally, this poses a challenge for many new parents. “Of course, it feels frustrating when your baby is awake when you want to sleep. But be patient when it comes to sleep – your baby will gradually begin to sleep longer through the night. A one-year-old will definitely have outgrown their newborn sleep cycle. There’s no user manual to follow when it comes to newborn sleep. But she’s happy to share some good pieces of advice and tips for new parents. Getting constant advice from your parents, in-laws, and friends about your baby’s sleep cycle? For new parents, one of the hardest things to do is understand how to manage to get some rest while making sure that the baby is resting enough too. You are probably overwhelmed at the thought that you are not going to get any shuteye once the baby arrives. What you need is the right information about good sleep and your baby. In fact, there are several myths about sleeping babies that you need to know about to ensure that your baby gets all the rest that he needs in these growing years. Myth 1: You get to decide when your baby sleeps and for how long. Newborn babies spend most of their time sleeping. That said, they will only sleep when their body is ready. Their waking up depends entirely on cues such as hunger or wetness of the diaper. Instead of creating a schedule, it is best that you follow your baby’s cues to ensure that he is well rested. Myth 2: Babies can be allowed to sleep on the side Sleeping on the back is not safe for babies as it can lead to them rolling over onto their stomach. This increases the risk of issues like Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. In fact, a campaign called “Back to Sleep” was initiated to urge parents to put babies to sleep on their back for safer and sounder sleep. Myth 3: Swaddling does not help put the baby to sleep Swaddling is one of the best and most tested techniques to get your baby to sleep. This is exceptionally calming for the baby. The only issue is that a tight wrap around the baby can lead to overheating. In addition to that, knowing the right position to swaddle the baby also makes all the difference. Learning this from your pediatrician can be very useful in helping your baby fall asleep faster. This is indeed not an outdated method as most people may suggest. Myth 4: If your baby sleeps in the car or during a stroll, it does not count. What matters is that your baby should have a sound sleep. This can even be away from his crib, and he will still get as much rest as he needs. If you notice that your baby has fallen asleep in an area outside the crib, you need to put him back in. Allow the baby to wake up on his own before you change his place of sleep. Myth 5: Babies sleep better when you add some rice cereal to their feeding bottle. This method is not proven to have any effect on the sleep cycle of children. In fact, it can also be quite risky to give your baby rice cereal when they are too young. Babies are unable to digest it until they are at least four months old.   Content source Featured image source

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Possible Causes of an Upset Baby

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Understanding baby sleep: 4-6 months

Reaching the four-month milestone is a big achievement for your child. They are now able to distinguish between night and day and are falling into a predictable pattern of sleeping and waking. Here, we discuss the sleep patterns for a baby at four, five and six months. Sleep Pattern at Four Months At four months, your child needs approximately 14 hours of sleep. Of this, 11-12 hours are spent sleeping through the night, whereas the rest of the sleep hours are covered by naps during the day. Though the naps might not be that distinguishable at this stage, they would definitely be sleeping longer without waking up for feeds. Four-month old babies can go for 8 hours without a feed. If you notice that your baby’s sleep pattern has reversed totally, with them waking more at night and sleeping during the day and missing their naps, do not worry. This is called sleep regression and is a temporary phase. It is usually seen during the fourth and sixth month when the child goes through a growth spurt. Sleep Patterns at Five Months Your five-month baby would require around 14 hours of sleep every day. They can now go for as long as 10 to 11 hours without a feed. Though the pattern of their naps would not be permanent at this stage, you would notice it developing rapidly. They would sleep for around three to four hours during the day, distributed over three to four naps of 90 minutes or longer. You need to ensure that the child naps properly in a crib rather than a swing or a stroller. The ambience for their napping also needs to be created because they would try to fight it off so that they can play. But keeping them awake longer tires them, ultimately leading to sleeping fitfully at night. Look for signs of sleepiness, like rubbing eyes, losing interest in things around them or quietening down, to help them fall asleep faster. This is a good time to move the baby from the bed to the crib to ensure a longer uninterrupted sleep. Place their favourite toy or a blanket around them to quell separation anxiety and help them sleep better. Sleep Patterns at Six Months At this stage, your baby would be sleeping for 14 hours a day with night-time sleeping being more restful with one or no feed times. Now that the baby is introduced to solid food, they remain full longer and therefore sleep better. Also ensure that you feed them more frequently in the late evening, known as cluster feeding, so that they can go the night without needing to feed. By now, you would notice a clear pattern of three naps appear. The time for these naps might be flexible at this moment, but would be around the same period during the day. Ensure that you keep an early bedtime for your child as staying awake longer exhausts them, which makes falling asleep more difficult. This is the best time to start sleep training them so that they fall into a particular sleep-wake-feed routine. This would introduce routine in their lives which help them sleep and grow better.

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Baby Sleep Patterns

Babies have different sleep patterns. Some take long day naps while others only have quick naps. Some wake up frequently through the night while others may sleep through or wake up occasionally. Their sleep patterns can also change a lot in the first year. While each baby is different, it may help you to understand how babies’ sleep cycles differ from those of adults and also what to expect at each stage. Normal baby sleep versus adult sleep Babies under 1 are naturally lighter sleepers compared with adults. They spend more of their sleeping time in ‘active sleep’ instead of ‘quiet sleep’. In an active sleep, babies breathe shallowly and twitch their arms and legs. Their eyes flutter under their eyelids. Babies can be easily woken up from active sleep. By comparison, adults and adolescents tend to have a more quiet sleep, where they lie still and breathe deeply. Everybody has a cycle, where their sleep varies from light to deep. Adults’ sleep cycles are usually about 90 minutes. Babies’ sleep cycles are usually about 40 minutes, so they tend to wake up more often. Birth to three months • Newborns sleep on and off through the day and night. • The total sleep varies between babies — it can be from around 8 to 18 hours a day. • They tend to sleep only in short stretches because they need to be fed and changed regularly. • Newborns generally sleep very lightly: they spend half of their sleeping time in active sleep. • Also, a newborn has not learned to sleep when it is dark. They usually start to learn this rhythm of day and night when they are about 6 weeks old. You can help your newborn to learn to sleep more at night by exposing them to light and playing with them during the day and providing a dim and quiet environment at night. Three to six months • At this age, your baby might have 3 daytime naps of up to 2 hours each. • Most will sleep 14-15 hours of sleep in total a day, with some babies sleeping up to 8 hours at night. • The amount of active sleep starts to reduce and they begin to enter quiet sleep at the beginning of their sleep cycles. • They still tend to wake up at least once during the night. Six to 12 months • From about 6 months old, your baby’s sleep patterns are more like yours. • At this age, babies sleep an average of about 13 hours in total a day. They tend to sleep for the longest period at night, averaging about 11 hours. • Your baby will start dropping their number of daytime naps to about 2. Their naps are usually about 1 to 2 hours. • In general, babies may wake up less frequently during the night because they don’t need to be fed as often. • Most babies will wake only once during the night and need settling back to sleep. Some will still wake up more often. • At this age, babies may start to worry about being away from their parents or carer. This may make it longer for babies to fall asleep and may temporarily increase night waking. • Regular daytime and bedtime routines may help your baby to fall and stay asleep. After 12 months • From 12 months old, babies tend to sleep better. As they approach their first birthday, babies tend to sleep longer, wake up less often, take a nap once or twice during the day and sleep more at night. By the time they turn one year old, babies are likely to be sleeping 8 to 12 hours a night, waking only once or twice in that time. Content Source

Why do babies wake up at night?

A common question breastfeeding mothers have is how to cope with their baby waking up at night. They may be feeling exhausted or even resentful about constantly broken sleep. Or they may have been told it is not normal for a baby to wake at night after a few weeks of age and that their baby is manipulating them and needs to learn to “self-soothe”. Some mothers may wonder whether to try night weaning, sleep training or whether to stop breastfeeding to find the answer to unbroken sleep.  Given below are some of the reasons why babies begin waking up more frequently at night:  Too busy to breastfeed: As babies grow, they become more aware of their surroundings. Typically around four months of age is a common time when mothers notice their baby may be forgetting to breastfeed in the day as they are easily distracted by new adventures. This can mean they wake up more at night to breastfeed to make up their calories.  New developmental stage: It is quite common for a baby who previously slept through the night to start waking more at night once they are mastering a new skill. Developmental changes such as learning to roll over, crawl, teething, or a growth spurt can all affect night waking and this can continue for quite some time in cycles. Hunger: It’s accepted that tiny babies wake at night because they are hungry. If you have a low milk supply, it may cause them to wake up. If your baby has a lot of trouble sleeping, fusses at the breast and has poor weight gain, review their growth chart with your health professional and contact a breastfeeding specialist to boost your milk supply. Illness: If your baby is unexpectedly waking at night or finding it difficult to sleep, check if they are sufferinig from any health issue. Ear ache or teething pain are common causes for difficulty sleeping. A breastfeed is a great comfort for a baby or toddler who is not feeling well. Reverse cycling: If you have recently gone back to work or are busy with time away from your baby; increased night waking can be a reaction to spending less time in your arms during the day. Some babies prefer to make up for missed breast milk at night by reverse cycling (feeding frequently at night). Waking from cold: Babies often wake from the cold, particularly once they are active enough to kick off blankets. The temperature between 3-5 am is often significantly cooler than when you put your baby to bed. If your baby is waking around 3-5am and can self-settle at bedtime, then cold is highly likely to be the reason.  Content source Featured image source

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Top 7 New Born Baby Sleep Tips

If you’re interested in learning some awesome new born baby sleep tips, then you are in the right place. When your baby sleeps better, you will notice a more patient, more tolerant, more engaging baby after a good night’s rest or quality nap. Be encouraged. It’s never too late to foster excellent sleep habits in a baby, and ultimately help yourself get some much-needed rest as well. 1. Swaddle From birth to about age four to five months, babies innately possess a startle reflex, in which they feel as if they are falling. The sensation of falling causes jerking movements, and the baby will incidentally wake up. Keeping a tight swaddle prevents babies from startling themselves awake, helping the new born baby sleep both better and longer.   2. Dream feed The dream feed is the feeding given to the baby right before you go to bed, and it helps prevent the baby from waking up just after we moms finally drift off to sleep. Isn’t this the pinnacle of sleep deprivation? You just fall asleep and the baby wakes up. The dream feed can really help your new born baby sleep for longer while you sleep. 3. Limit the length of naps during the day It’s hard to wake a sleeping baby, but sleeping too long of a stretch during the day can rob night-time sleep. If the baby sleeps past the 2 – 2.5-hour mark, go ahead and wake the baby up, feed him, keep him awake for a bit, and then lay him down for another nap. If you feel the baby truly needs longer naps, feel free to increase the nap limit to 2.5 hours. Breaking up sleep during the day will help your new born baby sleep better at night. 4. Use white noise No one wants to miss a party, so if your baby is listening to all the fun going on in the house it can be hard to fall asleep and stay asleep. Place a fan on medium in the baby’s room rather than directly next to the baby, so it does not blow directly on him or sit too close to his sensitive ears. Using white noise also helps immensely when you are traveling.  5. Follow the eat, wake, sleep cycle The baby wakes from sleep and immediately eats. Then the baby is awake for a while to play. Then the baby goes back to sleep…. This cycle has several purposes. First, it encourages full feedings by allowing the baby to eat immediately after waking. The baby will have the most energy immediately after waking, making him more inclined to take a full feeding and go longer between feedings. Also, by feeding the baby after sleep rather than before sleep, the cycle prevents the baby from associating food with sleep or using food as a sleep prop. When using this cycle, a feeding before bedtime is typically only feeding before sleep. Note: New-borns require frequent feedings and rest to ensure healthy growth a development in the early months. Always feed your baby as frequently as your baby needs to ensure healthy weight gain. 6. Use a pre-nap and bedtime routines It is well known that babies thrive on routine, structure, and predictability. Creating consistent routines for your baby will help bring order to a very chaotic world. Choose a pre-nap routine that works for you. A pre-nap routine may include taking the baby to his room, close the blinds or curtains, place the baby in his sleep sack or wearable blanket, turn on the white noise, sing a quick song (e.g. Twinkle, twinkle), give a few cuddles, and say your sleepy words “I love you. I hope you have a good sleep.” A bedtime routine would typically be a little longer and may include a bath, a massage, reading a story, offering a feeding, placing the baby in a wearable blanket or swaddle, turning on the white noise, a few cuddles, and saying your sleepy words. Following the same exact routine as consistently as possible cues the baby for sleep, and over time the baby will learn that sleep immediately follows the nap and bedtime routines. 7. Change your baby’s diaper strategically Changing the diaper before a middle of the night feeding prevents the baby from waking up too much after a feeding is finished. When the baby wakes up change the diaper and re-swaddle to prepare him for sleep immediately following a night feeding. If you change the diaper after the night feeding, the baby may become too awake, making it more challenging for him to fall asleep. Content Source

Helping Your Toddler Learn to Put Himself to Sleep

Toddlers need adequate sleep to rise to the developmental challenges that fill their lives, from controlling their temper on the playground to staying on top of their own bodily functions.. The bad news is that some kids seem to be born "good" sleepers, and some aren't. The good news is that falling asleep is a habit, and all kids can learn it. While some kids have a harder time falling asleep than others, all children do eventually start falling asleep without a parent's presence, and sleeping through the night most nights. It may take some time to develop that habit, but your child can learn to put himself to sleep, and to stay asleep, eventually. Here's how: 1. Start the wind-down process early in the evening. Toddlers who've been racing around the apartment can't simply switch gears and decompress when you decide it's bedtime. The last few hours before bed should be calm and quiet. 2. Follow the same evening routine every night, if possible. Your goal is a sense of calm, safe, inevitability. Dinner, then a bath, then stories, then kissing and tucking in all the stuffed animals who share the toddler's bed, then prayers or blessings, then lights out while you sing to your little one, is an example of a common and effective routine Toddlers who are showing oppositional behavior may resist moving along with the bedtime routine. The best way to sidestep this is to have the clock, rather than you, be the bad guy. 3. Help your toddler set his "biological clock." Toddlers need a set time to go to bed every night, so their body begins to expect sleep. Most toddlers do better with an early bedtime; between 6:30 and 7:30 pm. You'd think a later bedtime would help them fall asleep more easily, but when they stay up later, they get over-tired, and stress hormones like adrenalin and cortisol kick in to keep them going. Then they actually have a harder time falling asleep, wake up more during the night, and often wake early in the morning. So keep moving bedtime earlier until you find that magic moment before your little wind up toy starts getting wound up. (Of course, toddlers who nap later may need a later bedtime.) 4. Set up a cozy bed. All children go through normal sleep cycles in which they wake just slightly and then settle into deep sleep again. Your goal is to ensure that discomfort doesn't wake your child during those periods of slight waking Warmth matters -- if your toddler kicks his covers off, make sure he sleeps in warm pjs with feet. And of course, once he's out of diapers, be sure he uses the bathroom last thing. 5. Don't give up naps too early. Although every child has individual sleep needs, most kids are not ready to give up naps until age 3. Going napless before that just makes them cranky and adrenalized, making bedtime much more challenging. Content Image Source Feature Image Source: 

Baby feeding and sleeping schedule: Breastfeeding 4 to 6-month-old

A newborn’s sleep schedules take time to set and therefore it is very tough to get into a consistent routine before 4 months of age. Bedtimes can also be quite inconsistent and erratic in the first 3 months. Now that your baby is 4 months old, this is the perfect time to get your baby into a routine as they naturally settle into a 4-5 nap schedule. Here is your 4 month old breastfeeding schedule: 8am – Wake Up & Nurse 9:30am – Nap 11am – Nurse 12:00pm – Nap 2pm – Nurse 3pm – Nap 5pm – Nurse 6pm – Nap 8pm – Nurse / Bottle (We do a pumped bottle from 8pm onward) 8:30pm – 9pm Bed *Sometimes there is a middle of the night feed around 5am. It is common for baby to still get up 1-2x per night after the first 5-8 hour stretch at this age. Note: If your baby wakes up earlier, adjust the times above accordingly. For example, if your baby wakes up at 7am, then bedtime should be around 7:30-8pm. How many naps for a 4 month old? As you can see your 4 month old is napping 4 times a day now. This schedule has naturally emerged from following a 1.5-2 hour wake time in between naps and trying to do an “Eat, Activity, Sleep” schedule. The crucial point here is that you want to feed your baby AFTER they are awake. This way they are not associating nursing with going to sleep and will likely sleep better at night. This isn’t always possible to do this based on your baby’s nap schedule. Some days the schedule may get thrown off and you may have to nurse right before your baby goes to sleep. And that’s OK! Just try to implement it as often as you can. Naps at this age are typically 45 mins to an hour. Babies at this age haven’t yet learned to connect their sleep cycles so it’s common to have a nap that is just one sleep cycle. 4 month old babies usually nap 4-5 times a day. The key is that you’re wanting your baby to get 15-16 total hours of sleep a day (including naps & night time). How often to nurse a 4 month old? As far as nursing during the day is concerned, you may follow approximately 3 hours intervals in between nursing schedules. You may also nurse on demand and therefore if your baby gets hungry before 3 hours you may feed her. But, it will be ideal also to keep the 3 hours interval in mind. 4 Month Old Breastfeeding Schedule You don’t need to stick to a schedule to the T. Every day will be different and you can adapt and change it as you need to. The key elements of a schedule for a 4 month old is knowing that they will likely need at least 4 naps in the day. Carve out the approximate times for when those naps will be (morning, noon, early afternoon, late afternoon) and plan your day around that.   Content source Featured image source          

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Seven-weeks old baby: Health, growth, care and more

At 7 weeks old, your little one is going through a lot of growth and development. Every day might seem to bring new surprises, but here’s what you can expect as a parent of a 7-week-old baby. Your Growing Baby You can expect your 7-week-old baby to continue their plotted development on the growth chart specific to their personal development. At this time, they will: Continue to gain about 1.5 to 2 pounds a month Grow about 10 inches (25 centimeters) between the time of birth and 12 months Have a head circumference that grows at about 2 centimeters a month Despite the fact that your baby is always growing and developing, babies will not always grow at a constant, regular rate. They may instead be more apt to have periods of rapid growth followed by slower growth. So, if it seems like they are moving out of those newborn onesies and into 3-month-old outfits seemingly overnight, it's normal. Developmental Milestones Although every baby is different, your 7-week-old baby should be making the following physical and developmental milestones appropriate for this age. Body Holds objects in their hand. Unlike the reflexive clutching skills that your baby has displayed so far, your little one now has more strength to be able to hold items on their own. Begins to bat at objects. Your baby might not quite be able to grab items out of their reach just yet, but you may notice them start to bat at objects, especially overhead toys, like play mats or swings and bouncer seats with mobiles. Brain After a big growth spurt in week 6, it might feel like your 7-week-old baby is settling down a bit. You may notice more frequent periods of calmness and alertness as they study the world around them. It's not random—they really are learning more each and every moment. Thanks to all of that new brain growth, take note of some of these new skills. Tracking objects or people. Feel like you’re constantly being watched? You are! Your little one is learning to keep eyes on you at all times as they gain the ability to follow objects with their eyes as they move. Test this new skill by holding an object in front of your baby’s eyes, then moving it slowly from side to side or just walk across the room. Your baby will best be able to track items or people moving horizontally; tracking vertical or diagonal movements will come in the next several months. Smiling. Your baby’s first smiles may have occurred last week or will develop this week. As the days go on, your baby will flash more and more smiles your way as they figure out that their smiles lead to mom smiles. Babies love to make you smile and even at this young age, they are figuring out how to get what they want by being adorable.  When to Be Concerned All babies develop at different rates and babies who were born prematurely or who have special needs may have different developmental milestones to meet according to their own timetables. For full-term babies who have no other medical conditions, you will want to talk to your pediatrician at 7 weeks old if your baby: Is not able to hold his or her head up Cannot track horizontal movements Appears to be developing a flat spot on either the back of the head or either side Cannot turn his or her head Baby Care Basics This week is a good time to make tummy time a consistent part of your daily routine if you haven’t done it already. Tummy time is important at this age, especially because your baby has gained the neck muscles necessary to hold up their head, but those muscles may be underutilized if your baby is spending a lot of time on their back. If a baby spends too much time on their back without changing position, they may be at risk for developing positional plagiocephaly, or a flat head. Increasing tummy time can help, but in some cases, it may require a specially fitted helmet for your baby. Without sufficient tummy time, babies may also have delays in other development milestones, such as rolling over, sitting up, and crawling, because the muscles they need are not strong enough. Get started on tummy time with these tips: Work your way up. Start with shorter periods of time, from a few minutes, and work your way up to 10- to 20-minute periods of tummy twice a day. If you haven’t done a lot of tummy time yet, your baby may not like it very much at first. That’s okay—they just need more practice. Remember tummy time doesn’t have to be on the floor. Holding your baby to your chest counts for tummy time, too, because it will still get those muscles working. Use a play mat. Many activity mats and play mats have playful, colorful patterns that your little one can look at and study to make tummy time more fun. Use a pillow. Breastfeeding pillows are especially helpful for tummy time—just be sure you never leave your baby unsupervised around a pillow or on the floor. Get involved! If your little one is resisting tummy time, join in on the fun by getting down on the floor with them. Feeding & Nutrition Your baby may still be experiencing a significant amount of gas at this age. It could be completely normal and your baby will outgrow it, or it could be caused by breast milk or infant formula. If your baby is formula-fed, try experimenting with different types of formula. Your baby’s digestive system may have changed since the newborn days, so it may be worth re-visiting other brands or types of formula that you tried in the past without success. A formula that didn’t work for your baby at 2 weeks may just work at 7 weeks. If your baby is breastfed, think about what you are consuming that may be causing gassiness in your infant. Some common culprits of foods that can lead to your baby getting gas through breast milk include cow's milk and dairy products, vegetables (like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, onions, and peppers), cucumbers, garlic, and chocolate.   Sleep This week also marks a significant sleep milestone for many infants. According to a study in Archives of Disease in Childhood, the peak age for infant fussiness and crying at night is between 5 and 6 weeks. And although your infant probably won't sleep through the night (defined as sleeping longer periods of time, not necessarily a full eight-hour stretch like an adult) until around 13 weeks, you may be moving past the peak age of evening fussiness. Hopefully, that means calmer evenings and an easier time putting your baby to sleep at this age. But be careful to not let the newfound ease make you lax on bedtime routines; it’s still important to be consistent with bedtime and sleep cues so that your baby can learn how to go to sleep on their own. Of course, keep in mind that all babies are different, so your infant might have a longer experience of being fussy, too. content source

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Make the Most of the First 2 Years / ipha.com

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2-month-old, third week: Growth, care and more

If you feel you’re investing a lot of energy with your little one, this month may turn the tide a little bit. The early weeks of parenting can be a very one sided affair, with lots of input and not much feedback from babies to let their parents know how they’re growing. But now is the time when your baby will be more animated, smiling, beginning to coo and connect with you. Seeing your baby smile can be heart melting. Even if you’ve never had much to do with babies before, you are likely to have some idea of how to talk to your own. Just remember to establish eye contact with them, speak gently and show some animation on your face. As your baby smiles in response to you, then you, in turn will respond to them. This is known as reciprocity or the “dance” of communication which happens between a parent and their baby. Here are some crucial milestones that you may witness this month:  Feeding: Your baby may show increased signs of hunger this month and demand to be fed more often. Try to follow their lead when it comes to feeding times. If you are breastfeeding and have only been offering one breast, you may find you need to start offering both breasts at feed times in this month. Sleeping: Watch for more patterns of sleep developing this month, with your baby sleeping anywhere from 1-3 hours between most of their day sleeps. They are likely to be showing tired signs after the end of their feed session and this is often the best time to place them into their cots for a sleep. Total sleep over 24 hours varies considerably and any amount between 9-18 hours is considered normal at this age. Behaviour: Many babies peak in their crying episodes at 2 months, causing their parents to become almost as distressed. There are many reasons for baby’s cry even when it seems that all of their needs have been met. Maturation of the nervous system, being overwhelmed by stimulus, becoming overtired or just wanting reassurance are some of the most common reasons. Developmental milestones: Your baby’s involuntary grasp reflex will disappear around now, only to be replaced by a deliberate grip. Make sure you have some rattles and small but safe toys which they can entertain themselves with. This is also the time when your baby will discover their hands and feet and will keep themselves amused for stretches of time. As yet, your baby is still too young to know that those interesting appendages belong to them which mean they’ll be just as fascinated each time their hands and feet happen to cross their field of vision. Baby’s brain is hard at work learning to distinguish colors. As a result, baby will probably begin to show a preference for bright primary colors and more detailed and complicated designs. Encourage this development by showing baby pictures, photos, books, and toys. Growth: Your baby is likely to have a lot of growth and weight gain in the 2nd month, with an average of 150-200 grams per week. Don’t worry if they gain a lot of weight one week and not so much the next. Weight gain is only one indicator of growth. Head circumference and length, contentedness and general behaviour are equally as important as what the numbers and percentiles on the scales demonstrate.     Content source Featured image source  

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3 month old baby sleep and feeding schedule

Now that you have had three months with your baby, you would have noticed how they have grown and developed tremendously during the past 12 weeks. You would notice them falling into a routine and developing a pattern of behavior. Here, we discuss what your three-month old’s sleeping and feeding schedule should look like and some tips to help both you and the baby to settle down. Sleep Schedule Most babies would have started regulating their sleep schedules by now. They would be sleeping for longer hours and would have more wake times during the day. Usually, a three-month baby would sleep for around 15 hours a day. Of this, they would sleep 11-12 hours in the night and need 1 long nap and 3-4 short naps during the day. As the baby grows, the catnaps would further reduce to 3 during the day with more wake time occupying their time. This is the best time to introduce them to a sleep-wake-feed pattern that would encourage them to sleep longer stretches. If you notice that your baby, who was sleeping comfortably throughout the night, has started waking up frequently at night, do not worry. This is a temporary phase and happens when a child is going through a growth spurt, either physically or mentally. Feeding Schedule Just like your child is able to consolidate its sleep, it would also be able to regulate its feed. As the baby’s capacity has increased quite a bit since they were born, they would be able to go longer between feeds. Additionally, the baby would require less of night feed now and would be more interested in feeding during the day. At this stage, the baby should be taking around 170-200 ml of formula milk every 4-5 hours and 6-8 breastfeeds every 24 hours. Things to Remember While Scheduling Keep these things in mind when you start setting your child’s sleep and feeding schedule. A three-month old baby’s feeding schedule should not go beyond 6 feeds of formula milk in a 24-hour period. This means approximately 950 ml of formula milk. A child needs at least 15 hours of sleep in a day, including night sleep and naps. Babies usually take four naps a day, morning, afternoon, early evening and late evening. During the wake time, you need to make time to do things like massaging and bathing, playing games, strolling in the park, reading, etc. This would help them develop their strength and learn new skills. Sample Schedule 7:00 — Wake up 8:00 — Feeding time 8:30 — Short nap 9:00 — Wake up and feed 10:00 – Massage and bath 11:00 — Feed and long nap 1:00 — Wake up and feed 1:30 – Playing or reading 2:00 — Short nap 2:30 — Wake up and feed 3:00 – Playing, exercising or reading 4:30 — Feed and short nap 5:00 – Stroller walk 6:30 — Feed 7:00 — Catnap 7:30 – Playing 9:00 — Feed and bedtime 10:30 — Top-up feed + 1-3 night feedings Ensure that the top-up feed is given at mother’s bedtime, so that she can also have a longer stretch of sleep. This is just a guideline schedule and you would have to work out your schedule according to your and your baby’s comfort. Featured Image Source  

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Your 2 months old baby growth and development

All your efforts and hard work as a doting parent will begin to show during your baby’s second month. Your baby isn’t quite capable of providing you with feedback about how they are currently doing but this month can be a bit more rewarding. Expect more smiles and a lot of cooing as your baby becomes animated. You are sure to get a strong emotional connection than earlier as you revel in the joys of motherhood. Second Month Baby Milestones: Motor Skills Two-month-old babies are gaining more control over their bodies. That means they can hold their head a little steadier while lying on their tummies or being supported upright. In the second month of life, babies continue to have a strong sucking reflex. You may notice your baby likes to suck on a fist or a few fingers. This is one of the best ways babies have of comforting themselves. At 2 months, your baby doesn’t yet have the coordination to play with toys. But she may bat at a colorful object hanging in front of her. Your baby may even briefly hold a toy that you place in one of her hands. Second Month Baby Milestones: Sleep Your baby’s sleep patterns are evolving, but at two months, they still aren’t fully established. At this age, babies sleep 15 to 16 hours a day. But those hours are sporadic, and they usually aren’t ready to sleep through the night. This is especially true for breastfed babies, who generally wake up to eat every three hours or so. Hang in there for just a few more weeks and you’ll be able to get some much-needed rest. You may even be able to get to a full night’s sleep earlier by helping your baby learn how to fall asleep on her own. All babies need to be put to sleep on their backs to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). You can provide plenty of tummy time when your baby is awake and supervised. Also, remove all soft objects from baby’s crib, including pillows, blankets, stuffed animals, and soft bumpers. Second Month Baby Milestones: The Senses At two months, babies can see objects -- and people -- from up to 18 inches away. That means you still need to get pretty close, but your baby will be able to see your face pretty well while feeding. She should also be able to follow movements when you walk close by. Baby’s hearing is improving, too. Your 2-month-old will especially enjoy listening to the sound of your voice. Second Month Baby Milestones: Communication For a 2-month-old, most communication consists of crying. But you may hear a few gurgles, grunts, and even some sweet coos. Your baby should recognize your face and voice, and respond to them. You might even see the first adorable hint of a smile. One of the most important things you can do at this age is talk to your baby. Even though 2-month-old babies can’t talk back, they will respond to the sound of your voice, and it will encourage them to start forming their own first words in the coming months.     Content source Featured image source

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4-Month-old daily routine that will work for you

Getting into a routine with your baby is an important thing. You will gradually learn to read your baby's cues to develop a pattern of eating, sleeping, and playing that meets your little one's requirements and works for your family. It can be a big assistance to notice what other moms and dads are doing. As you're creating a schedule for your baby, you must remember that most of the 3 and 4 months old babies require the following things: Wake and milk feed at 6 AM: Depending on the last time your little one was fed, this first feed of the day might be a big one. Make sure to take note if your baby is not super hungry —this might be a sign that you need to cut back on feeding in the middle of the night. For those breastfeeding, you'll probably be very full in the morning, particularly after a long stretch of rest and not feeding. Naptime at 8:15 AM - 9:15 AM: Don't be surprised if your baby needs a nap before this time, two hours awake is just enough time to tire the little one out at this time in the morning. Just keep an eye on how long they sleep. Too long might mean that they don't get enough to eat during the day, making them hungrier at night. Bathing and Milk feeding at 9:15 AM: It's up to you to decide if a bath feels right at this time of day. After bathing, it is time to feed your baby.   Naptime at 11:15 AM - 12:15 PM: Let your little one recharge for another 30 minutes if they don't wake up on their own. Milk Feed at 12:15 PM: Feeding time has come (again) and this may not happen for another half an hour, when baby awakes. Naptime at 2:15 PM - 3:15 PM: Babies are like cats with their naps, sometimes only needing 15-40 minutes at this time (or a little longer if they want). Let the little one sleep for another 30 minutes if they don't wake up on their own at this time. Milk feed at 3:15 PM: Time wake up the baby and feed. Last milk feed at 6:00 PM: Your little one is at the age where you can start thinking about trying to keep them from falling asleep at the bottle or breast. Maybe break up the feed and bedtime with a song or story to create some positive sleep associations. Sleep time at 7 pm: Time for bed. Sweet Dreams! Content source Featured image source    

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5 Fascinating Bedtime Stories for Babies

Do you get the feeling that your little baby is growing too fast and you want a new way to strengthen the bond that you two shares? Bedtime stories are a wonderful way to bond with your baby or toddler. Reading children a bedtime story inculcates a love of reading in them and improves their understanding of the language. When you snuggle up in bed with your toddler and read him a soothing bedtime story, it has a calming effect that lulls the baby to sleep. It is a great idea to use picture books and even books with sound effects, as babies find these books very interesting. In most cases, while the moral of the story is important, the tone and actions used help capture the baby’s attention. Once your baby grows a little old you can also tell them inspirational stories. Best Baby and Toddler Bedtime Stories Here are 5 of the best bedtime stories for babies and toddlers. These are the most popular bedtime story books that will definitely have a calming effect on your baby and soothe him to sleep. 1. Goodnight Moon This is one of the most popular short bedtime stories for toddlers with pictures. This picture book is written by Margaret Wise Brown and is about a bunny who would say goodnight to everything around him. Written as a rhyming poem, Goodnight Moon describes how the bunny says goodnight to various inanimate and living objects around him, such as a dollhouse, a red balloon, two kittens, the moon, etc. Babies love rhyming words and the calming rhythm of the story, and it swiftly lulls them to sleep. 2. The Very Hungry Caterpillar This story written by Eric Carle is one of the well-known toddler stories for bedtime. This book has colourful pictures and differently shaped pages with holes showing the caterpillar eating through various foods. On a Sunday morning, from an egg perched on the leaf, a caterpillar hatches and starts to look for food. He eats a leaf but is not satisfied. He then eats through increasing quantities of various foods for the next five days.  On Monday the caterpillar eats through 1 apple, on Tuesday 2 pears, on Wednesday 3 plums, four strawberries on Thursday, and five oranges on Friday. On Saturday, the caterpillar has an enormous feast of one piece each of chocolate cake, pickle, ice-cream cone, salami, Swiss cheese, lollipop, sausage, cherry pie, cupcake, and watermelon. After this, the caterpillar has a terrible ache in his stomach from eating too much food. He feels much better on Sunday once he returns to his regular diet of a green leaf. Later, he spins a cocoon to wrap himself and remains in it for two weeks. As the two weeks pass, the caterpillar emerges out from the cocoon transformed into a colourful, beautiful butterfly with majestic wings. This book teaches toddlers about counting, names of various foods, days of the week, and the life cycle of a butterfly. 3. Dr. Seuss’s Sleep Book You can find numerous toddler bedtime stories online, and Dr. Seuss Bedtime Stories are amongst the most popular. Dr. Seuss’s Sleep Book talks about many different creatures from various lands going through their bedtime routines before falling asleep. It starts at the County of Keck where there is a small bug named Van Vleck who yawns so wide that you can see down his neck. The yawn spreads to some birds who are building their nest to sleep for the night. The story goes on to describe even stranger creatures and the weird ways they sleep. It then talks about different things that creatures do when they sleep, such as dreaming, snoring, sleep-talking, and sleepwalking. The book then talks about various kinds of sleepers until the number of sleepers is in the billions. Finally, there is a page of sleeping creatures snuggling against each other with their eyes shut and smile on their faces. The book ends with an empty page containing just the words a good night. 4. Hush Little Baby This book is written by Sylvia Long and is a modern version of the old bedtime lullaby. The original lullaby has lyrics that promise a child various rewards such as a Mockingbird, a diamond ring, and a looking glass for being quiet and going to sleep. The one by Sylvia Long tells the story of a mother bunny that soothes her baby bunny to sleep by singing about different wonderful things in nature, such as a flying hummingbird, the evening sky, the call of crickets, a shooting star, and the harvest moon. The book ends with the mama bunny promising the baby bunny a lullaby. The book contains fascinating miniature pictures of the objects mentioned in the story. 5. The Crunching Munching Caterpillar by Sheridan Cain This book contains cheerful and bright pictures that show a caterpillar who is always hungry, but wishes that he was able to fly. The caterpillar is busy crunching and munching on leaves when various flying creatures visit him. He is visited by a bumblebee, a sparrow, and a butterfly. When he expresses his desire to fly like each of them, he is told that he is too large and bulky, has legs for walking, and lacks wings for flying. The caterpillar then wraps himself in a leaf and spins a cocoon around his body. He then naps for a long time. When he wakes, he stretches himself and discovers that he has become a beautiful butterfly with wings. Content Source Feature Image Source