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 they go to bed at eight, they 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 they can learn to fall asleep on their 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 them 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 their sleep at night.

Your Baby's Development This Week

Your baby has a lot to say! They may not be able to form words yet, but they are making more and more sounds and using their tone of voice to tell you how they are feeling.

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

  • Your baby enjoys playing with you, and may tell you they are mad, by crying, when the game stops.
  • They have begun to vocalize! These simple sounds are the building blocks of their first words.
  • They are 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 they grow, you’re learning that they have a definite personality. And it may be different from yours! Remember, even as a baby, your child is a person all their own.
  • Relationships with caregivers. Your baby needs to learn to develop close and trusting relationships with others. Let them 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 their position when they are awake and alternate which direction you place your baby’s feet in their crib.
  • Don’t let your baby overheat. Make sure their 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 them on their 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

Sources

SOURCES:

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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