Sleep is crucial to a baby’s development. Newborn babies usually sleep for about 17 to 18 hours a day for the first few weeks and 15 hours a day by the time they are three months old. However, they hardly sleep for more than three to four hours at a stretch.

By the time babies are three months old, they tend to sleep more at night and stay awake longer during the day. But it’s amazing just how different babies can be – some sleep for hours on end, while others hardly seem to sleep at all. It’s important that your baby gets required sleep otherwise they tend to be grumpy and cranky.

Six to nine months is an age when your baby is becoming more physically active and learning to sit up, roll over and crawl, and she may get exhausted by the end of the day and need good sleep. Kids get overtired easily. When they do, they find it harder to get to sleep. Once you can spot if the baby is tired, you’ll be able to settle your baby to sleep before grumpiness sets in.

For babies, it is important to set bedtime routines early. Establish a specific bedtime, as well as consistent nap times during the day to regulate her sleep patterns otherwise they have a hard time falling asleep. Your baby needs to follow a regular sleep-and-wake-pattern and recharge with naps during the day.

One year old babies usually sleep for about 10 to 12 hours at night and napping twice a day for an hour and a half to two hours at a time. Keeping consistent times for bed and naps will help to regulate her sleep patterns and soon you will find that she actually enjoys a predictable routine.

Some tips:

• A massage or a warm bath will relax her and induce sleep.
• Read a bedtime story or two, sing a lullaby.
• Make sure the bedding and temperature is comfortable.
• You could buy a baby sleeping bag that is right for your baby’s age and weight.
• Help your baby associate darkness with sleep, minimize light, noise and activity.
• To encourage good sleeping habits, put the baby to bed drowsy but awake to make them learn how to fall asleep on their own.

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