By 3 months of age, your once lethargic bundle of joy will likely be more bright eyed and ready to adopt an entirely new pattern of sleep. Unlike their newborn counterparts, 3-month-olds are more aware of their surroundings and have started to form bonds with parents and other important figures in their lives, increasing the likelihood that they will be hesitant to part from these individuals when sleep time arrives. As you begin to tackle the task of creating a sleeping pattern for your tot, consider what sleep behaviors are typical of babies in this age group.
How Much to Expect
Three-month-olds generally sleep 15 out of every 24-hour period, reports KidsHealth. Parents should expect two-thirds of this time to be during the nighttime hours, meaning that you can expect your child to sleep in stretches, for a total of 10 hours, from evening to morning. Unfortunately, these 10 hours of rest aren’t often in a continuous stretch, as these tots still often wake for feedings or require soothing throughout the night.
Sleepy Time Signs
You can increase the effectiveness of your efforts to put your 3-month-old baby to bed by learning the sleepiness signs of your child. Many 3-month-olds show outward signs of exhaustion when they become tired. These signs include rubbing eyes, yawning or fussing more than normal, reports the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital. If you see your baby exhibiting these signs, encourage sleep by placing him in a calm setting and soothing him as he drifts into slumber.
Make Nighttime Wake-Ups Short
While nothing can make your 3-month-old sleep through the night without the occasional wake-up, you can decrease the amount of time that your infant spends awake during these times. Keep these breaks in sleep short by not stimulating the child. Don’t make faces, play or otherwise stimulate the baby, as this may pull him even further from sleepiness. Whenever possible, avoid turning on the light in his bedroom. Don’t allow noise to seep into his sleeping space. These distractions may make it more difficult for the child to fall back to sleep as rapidly as you would like.
Changing the Baby’s Sleep Schedule
By the time your baby is 3-months-old, you can have an impact on your tot’s sleeping schedule. KidsHealth suggests that parents of 3-month-olds begin to shape their child’s sleeping schedule. If your child, for example, commonly wakes up for feeding at an inopportune time, such as 3 a.m., change this pattern by waking him around 11 p.m. or midnight for a feeding, before you go to bed. His newly full belly will likely reduce the likelihood that your baby will wake up in the wee hours of the morning.