Do I believe a three month old can be on a consistent, predictable sleep schedule?
Do I believe there may be some similarities from day to day, but nothing too forced?
Sleep slowly starts to become organized in the brain, but it’s not until the four month “birthdate” in which sleep is more on a concrete schedule due to a large brain development. The three to four month period is a great time to begin working on healthy sleep habits, but also knowing that a true schedule shouldn’t be in place.
If you’re anything like me, examples help. Here are a few randomly selected days from my three month’s old sleep data (I love data!):
4:00 am – night feed
8:30am – up for the day
9:30 – 10:45am – nap #1, rocked to sleep and slept in Rock N Play (RNP)
12:15 – 2:45pm – nap #2, rocked to sleep and slept in RNP
4:30 – 5pm – nap #3, started to look tired and began a nap routine at 4pm, but it was too late at that point. We had some tears and took awhile to fall asleep.
6:50pm – asleep for the night
3:00am – night feed
6:30am – up for the day
8:00-9:00am – nap #1, he fell asleep independently in his crib
10:50am – 1:20pm – nap #2, assisted to sleep, slept in RNP
3:00-4:00pm – nap #3, I snuggled and held my boy for this nap
6:30pm – asleep for the night, he fell asleep independently in his RNP
3:40am – night feed
7:00am – up for the day
9:00-9:50am – nap #1, fell asleep independently in crib
10:55am – 11:35am – nap #2, assisted to sleep, RNP
1:10pm – I laid him down drowsy, but awake to give him the opportunity to possibly fall asleep independently. After 10-15 minutes of talking and a bit of squawking, I knew he wasn’t able to do so, so I assisted him to sleep
1:30 – 3:30pm – nap #3, assisted to sleep, crib
6:15pm – I knew he was ready for bed as he was showing signs of sleepiness, but we were out for dinner. He happily hung out and fell asleep on the way home.
7:20-7:40pm – nap #4, fell asleep in car
8:20pm – asleep for the night, assisted to sleep
3:00am – night feed
**Notice that a later bedtime did NOT change his night feed time, meaning he received less restorative night sleep than usual. Later bedtime does not mean later wake up (instead means your little one missed some great night sleep)
4:15am – night feed
6:20am – up for the day
8:00-9:40 – nap #1, fell asleep independently in crib
11:00-11:40 – nap #2, fell asleep independently in crib
1:00-4:00 – nap #3, assisted to sleep in RNP
6:20pm – asleep for the night, assisted to sleep
**All sleep time are when he was actually sleeping, NOT when we started the sleep routine.
What to note from these random days of sleep data:
• The awake periods are short: 1-2 hours of awake time max
• I tried to give C the opportunity to fall asleep independently. Sometimes he succeeded, other times not…and that’s okay. You should give your child a chance to fall asleep independently to know if they are able to do it.
• We always practice safe sleep: either in his crib or a Rock N Play
• Nap times and lengths are never consistent. That is to be expected at this age.
Beginning around three months, babies are becoming much more aware and interested in the world around them. This means the casual stroller nap or swinging to sweet zzz’s are on their way out. Baby won’t fall asleep as easily or just anywhere. Now is the time to set up a healthy sleep foundation:
• Find a safe, consistent sleeping place for your baby.
• Make sure the room is dark.
• Implement a soothing routine.
• Give him/her the chance to fall asleep independently.
Instead of focusing on a rigid sleep schedule for your three month old, focus on healthy sleep habits. Doing so will make that transition into the four month’s huge cognitive and emotional turning point much easier.
Through her informative and supportive blog posts and one-on-one help, she’s here to guide your child into restorative naps and peaceful nights - while making you wonder why you didn’t contact her sooner.
When she’s not consulting?You’ll find her hanging with her 2 children, getting her sweat on at the gym or baking and indulging in warm ooey-googey chocolate-chip cookies….hobbies that balance each other out!
Meet Valerie + prepare yourself for Amazing Sleep ahead…amazinglittlesleeper.com