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Creative Child

Gentle Sleep Tips

Baby Sleep Patterns
by Rebecca Eanes

Baby Sleep Patterns

Speaking of Naps

If an older baby is suddenly developing worsening sleep habits, it may be time to transition from 3 naps to 2 or from 2 naps to 1. While it may be tempting to cut naps altogether in hopes of baby being so super tired at night, he sleeps for 12 solid hours, this usually backfires. Good sleep begets good sleep, and missing a nap entirely may lead to sleep deprivation. Read this article by gentle sleep author Elizabeth Pantley on nap transitions.

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The Routine

A good bedtime routine cues baby that sleep is coming, and it can start as early as 3 months and should be implemented by 6 months of age. Some recommend a routine of 15 minutes while others suggest an hour, so I say do what works for you. The routine should be calming, so no active playing, tickling, or TV.

Consider creating 2 or 3 routines that you alternate, perhaps one with mom and another with dad, so that your child doesn’t need one particular parent or set of events to sleep. This makes it easier when the routine has to be disrupted for other siblings or a trip away from home.

Most parents put babies to bed too late in the evening in hopes that they’ll sleep later in the night, but sleep expert Elizabeth Pantley suggests the ideal bedtime for babies is 7 p.m. You can tweak that either way by about 30 minutes, but try to stay close to that magic hour.

Pro Tip: You may want to try to roll baby over to his side to rouse him just a small bit before you head to bed, which may reset his baby sleep patterns and help you sleep longer before his next waking.

This article, 10 Adorable Sleeping Babies, is the reason why sleep deprivation exists!  

Rebecca Eanes is the bestselling author of multiple books including Positive Parenting: An Essential Guide, The Positive Parenting Workbook, and The Gift of a Happy Mother. She is the grateful mom of two boys. 


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