Somewhere between 1 and 6 months, babies tend to settle into a 3-naps-a-day pattern, with each nap lasting 1 to 2 hours.
After your baby’s first birthday, she will likely be in a 1-nap-a-day pattern.
By about age 5, most kids lose their need for naps.
Should I let my baby cry herself to sleep?
It depends on the baby and her age. "Crying-it-out" sleep training methods, including the Ferber Sleep Method, are the most studied and work for many babies but not all.
Talk with your pediatrician about whether it’s right for your little one. Some babies get tired and go to sleep after crying, but some just get angrier.
Could my baby be waking up during the night because she’s hungry?
After 4 months or so, you’ll find that your baby probably won’t need to eat as much during the night. If she’s waking up, crying, and falling asleep as soon as she gets your breast or a bottle, you’ll know she’s not hungry.
If she’s waking up, crying, and ravenously finishing eating, she still needs to be fed at night.
Some babies just need to wake up and feed, then they’ll go back to sleep. Instead of denying the feeding, and having the crying, it’s best to feed her.
Is bringing my baby to bed with me -- co-sleeping – safe?
No. Pediatricians don’t recommend co-sleeping because it raises the risk of smothering, SIDS, and falling off the bed.
If you’re breastfeeding often and you want the baby close, consider putting a bassinet, cradle, or crib nearby. Be sure it meets standards set by the American Academy of Pediatricians.
Is there anything I should do to keep my baby safe while she sleeps?
Yes. To reduce the risk of your baby suffocating, strangling, or having SIDS:
- Lay your baby on her back to sleep.
- Place her to sleep on a firm crib mattress with a tight-fitting sheet.
- Remove pillows, blankets, toys, and crib bumpers from the bed.
- Don’t smoke around her.
- Breastfeed her as long as you can.
- Offer her a pacifier at nap time and bedtime.
Give your baby a lot of “tummy time” when she’s awake. That means let her play while lying on her stomach. Tummy time helps your baby develop a stronger head and neck so she can lift her face if it is covered.