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How can I understand my baby's sleep needs?

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Your baby may sleep 10-18 hours a day, sometimes 3-4 hours at a time. But babies don’t know the difference between day and night. So they sleep with no regard for what time it is. That means your baby’s wide-awake time may be from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m.

By 3-6 months, many babies are able to sleep for a stretch of 6 hours. But just as you think your baby is getting into a nice routine -- usually between 6-9 months -- normal developmental stages can throw things off. For instance, when your baby begins to associate bedtime with being left alone, she may start crying just to keep you around.

SOURCES:

Mindell, J. , 2006; vol 29: pp 1263-1276. Sleep

Mindell, J. . HarperCollins Publishers; 2005. Sleeping Through the Night, Revised Edition: How Infants, Toddlers, and Their Parents Can Get a Good Night’s Sleep

KidsHealth.org: "Sleep and Newborns."

Mindell, J. , May 1, 2009; vol 32: pp 599-606. Sleep

Ferber, R. . Fireside; 2006.  Solve Your Child’s Sleep Problems: New, Revised

HealthyChildren.org: "Getting Your Baby to Sleep," and news release: "AAP Expands Guidelines for Infant Sleep Safety and SIDS Risk Reduction."

Franco, P. , May 1, 2005; vol 115: pp 1307-1311. Pediatrics

Reviewed by Dan Brennan on May 7, 2019

SOURCES:

Mindell, J. , 2006; vol 29: pp 1263-1276. Sleep

Mindell, J. . HarperCollins Publishers; 2005. Sleeping Through the Night, Revised Edition: How Infants, Toddlers, and Their Parents Can Get a Good Night’s Sleep

KidsHealth.org: "Sleep and Newborns."

Mindell, J. , May 1, 2009; vol 32: pp 599-606. Sleep

Ferber, R. . Fireside; 2006.  Solve Your Child’s Sleep Problems: New, Revised

HealthyChildren.org: "Getting Your Baby to Sleep," and news release: "AAP Expands Guidelines for Infant Sleep Safety and SIDS Risk Reduction."

Franco, P. , May 1, 2005; vol 115: pp 1307-1311. Pediatrics

Reviewed by Dan Brennan on May 7, 2019

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Why is setting a bedtime routine important for helping a baby sleep through the night?

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