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Stick to baby's sleep schedule during holidays

Filed in
  • Infants
  • Pediatrics

American Academy of Sleep Medicine  |  Nov 21, 2012
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With the holidays quickly approaching many people are planning to travel and that could mean disruptions in your baby’s sleep schedule. If you stick to their normal sleep routine as much as possible, during the holidays, once the holidays are over it may be easier to get back on track.

Most babies are able to start sleeping for long stretches between 3 and 6 months of age and from a very early age, parents can start establishing positive sleep habits, according to Dr. Jodi Mindell, Associate Director at the Sleep Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and author of Sleeping Through the Night: How Infants, Toddlers, and Their Parents Can Get a Good Night’s Sleep.

“By 6 to 8 weeks of age, an early set bedtime and consistent bedtime routine can make a big difference in how well a young baby sleeps. Starting around 3 months of age, parents may want to start putting their baby to bed drowsy but awake if they haven’t already started doing so.”

It’s common for babies to confuse day and night.

“To encourage a newborn to be awake more during the day and sleep more at night, parents should keep lights dim at night and be as boring as possible. During the day, wake your baby for feedings. But even more importantly, expose them to natural light during the day, especially in the morning. Heading outside for a walk in the morning will help set a baby’s internal clock.”

Babies that are overly tired take a longer time to fall asleep and interestingly wake more often at night.

Being consistent and sticking to a bedtime routine has been shown to help babies fall asleep faster at bedtime and sleep better throughout the night, adds Mindell.