6 Week Old Baby Sleep Patterns
Babies are so precious when they are sleeping. So peaceful and pure… that is until it is 2:00 a.m. and you haven’t slept for a week and that precious little bundle of joy stands between you and a night of sleep. How about when they are up all night and then sleep all day? If only you could flip that around to function like the rest of the world and everything would be great! So what exactly does a baby sleep pattern look like?
How is my Baby’s Sleep Pattern Different than an Adult’s?
The simple answer is that babies sleep a lot, especially when they are newborns. You can expect your baby to sleep 16 to 18 hours a day. This would be great but it seems to be that they sleep at all hours of the day besides nighttime sleep. An infant sleep pattern also seems to fall far short of and an adult’s and this is why babies seem to be continuously awake.
The typical response for an adult when waking up during the night is to roll over and go back to sleep. This is not so easy for a baby because they simply have not learned how to go back to sleep. Did you ever think that rolling over and going back to sleep is a learned behavior? It’s true and until your baby learns how to go back to sleep, they will depend on you to help them to get back to sleep. Sometimes white noise machines are helpful at these times to help to lull her back to sleep. Another helpful hint is to avoid super long naps during the day so your baby is actually tired when it’s time for bed. Remember that wind down time before bed should last about 45 minutes and be a time to settle down, dim the lights, and get in the mood for sleeping.
Another interesting fact about baby sleep patterns is that the infant sleep pattern has double the amount of light sleep cycles as an adult has. This tendency for light sleep can be horrible when you are sleep deprived and just got your baby to sleep in your arms and now you need to put her down on the crib mattress. Just as your baby touches the mattress, back awake! And time to start the process over. At least understanding this frustrating series of events might help make it a little easier to accept, knowing that you aren’t alone and the majority of parents will probably go through this. Remain patient and understand that it’s just part of the growing up process for your new baby.
How Can I Help my Baby Sleep Better?
As your baby matures, so will her sleep patterns. In a perfect world, by the time your baby reaches the age of 7 to 12 weeks old, they will have developed a fairly regular sleep pattern and may be sleeping through the night, or at least sleeping longer periods of time. And in an even more perfect world, this new sleep pattern will occur between the hours of 10 p.m. and 7 a.m.. The one thing that can be a light at the end of the tunnel will be that by the time your infant is 6 months old, her sleep pattern will hopefully include up to 7 hours of sleep, without interruptions.
Of course, all the usual situations still apply; have a bedtime routine, if your baby is fussy, check to make sure that her diaper is nice and clean, it isn’t feeding time, and she is nice and warm and ready for a good nights sleep. Babies cry because at this point in their lives, it is the only way that they have to communicate with the world around them. This means that the same crying noise can have many meanings so you just need to start decoding what those cries mean.
If your baby is comfortable, she is more likely to fall asleep and stay asleep. Pay attention to her face and stroke her hair. If her face is red or her hair is damp, your little nugget may be too warm and this will keep her from sleeping soundly. Just turn down the heat or remove a blanket and before your eyes, your baby will start to fall into her very own sleep pattern and fall into those circadian rhythms that help to separate the day and night, that we all follow.
High five your partner and enjoy a night of sleep!