Establishing Good Sleep Habits

Month 3, Week 2

“Sleeping through the night” is a misleading phrase. Your 3-month-old may be sleeping through the night by now, but that can mean six-hour stretches of sleep. So if he goes to bed at eight, he may be waking you up at two or three in the morning!

Even if a full night’s sleep is weeks or months away, it’s never too soon to teach good sleep habits.

  • Establish a routine. At the same time each night, wind down with the same rituals, like a bath, jammies, lotion, a bedtime story, and a soothing song.
  • Put baby to bed drowsy but still awake, so that he can learn to fall asleep on his own.
  • If you need to feed or change baby during the night, keep the lights low and talking to a minimum. Too much stimulation can make it hard for him to settle again.
  • Lengthen your baby’s awake time during the day with talking and playing. By three months, your baby should be getting about two-thirds of his sleep at night.

Your Baby's Development This Week

Your baby has a lot to say! He may not be able to form words yet, but he’s making more and more sounds and using his tone of voice to tell you how he’s feeling.

You may notice these growing signs of language and social development:

  • Your baby enjoys playing with you, and may tell you he’s mad, by crying, when the game stops.
  • He’s begun to vocalize! These simple sounds are the building blocks of his first words.
  • He’s learning that smiling at you makes you smile back, and will smile at the sound of your voice.

You might wonder about:

  • Colic. If your baby has colic -- frequent periods of uncontrollable crying -- that should be coming to an end about now.
  • Your child’s temperament. As he grows, you’re learning that he has a definite personality. And it may be different from yours! Remember, even as a baby, your child is a person all his own.
  • Relationships with caregivers. Your baby needs to learn to develop close and trusting relationships with others. Let him get comfortable being held and talked to by someone else while you’re around.

Month 3, Week 2 Tips

  • Remember: Back to sleep, tummy to play. Back sleeping is the safest position for baby.
  • To avoid developing a flat spot on your baby's head, vary his position when he's awake and alternate which direction you place your baby’s feet in his crib.
  • Don’t let your baby overheat. Make sure his pajamas are light, and use a sleep sack or wearable blanket for safety.
  • Give your baby at least 2 or 3 "tummy time" sessions for at least 3-5 minutes a day. Don't leave him on his tummy unsupervised.
  • Never put your baby down to sleep on a couch, chair, waterbed, or cushion.
  • Don’t let your baby sleep in a stroller, swing or bouncer for extended periods of time.
  • For safety, keep soft bumpers, stuffed toys, blankets, and sleep positioners out of the crib.
WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Dan Brennan, MD on March 21, 2020



American Academy of Pediatrics: "Developmental Milestones: 3 Months."

AboutKidsHealth: "Colic."

AboutKidsHealth: "Temperament."

American Academy of Pediatrics: "How Do Infants Learn?"

American Academy of Pediatrics: "Getting Your Baby to Sleep."

American Academy of Pediatrics: "Back to Sleep, Tummy to Play."

American Academy of Pediatrics: "A Parent’s Guide to Safe Sleep."

American Academy of Pediatrics: "Emotional and Social Development: Birth to 3 Months."

AboutKidsHealth: "Sleep Time."

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