This article was originally published in Mother & Baby Magazine (UK). Author: Jo Tantum. She have over 27 years experience working with babies and parents worldwide. If you need any advice about your baby, whether it’s sleep, natural routines, reflux or twin issues, then Jo and her team can help you. For more info visit www.JoTantum.com or www.prestigeparenting.com. Image courtesy misfire, via bigstockphoto.com
Firstly, before looking at the chart reading and bursting into tears because your baby isn’t doing this, remember that all babies are different and this is just a guideline to help you see what babies usually do, and to help you plan a baby sleep schedule.
Secondly, if your baby is waking often in the night and hardly napping in the day, he could be suffering from a medical issue. This would usually be silent reflux or reflux (GORD), or a dairy intolerance, usually cows’ milk protein allergy (CMPA). These will stop your baby from sleeping well, as he is uncomfortable and in pain. You will need to see your GP and ask to be referred to a Paedtrician/gastroenterologist specialising in these baby issues.
Don’t worry – they are actually more normal than you think and often the medication given can change things around very quickly.
There are lots of forums and mummy blogs that can help reassure you that you aren’t the only one whose baby is suffering from one of the above conditions.
Thirdly, I know it can be really tough when your baby doesn’t sleep and it can be something as simple as where they are sleeping and when.
There is only a 15-minute window of opportunity from your baby showing you tired signs, to then being overtired and grumpy. When this happens that’s when you have to use a ‘sleep prop’ to get your baby to sleep.
A ‘sleep prop ‘ is something your baby has before they go to sleep, like rocking, going out in the pram or car seat, a dummy, or feeding to sleep. If he has it every time he goes to to sleep, he will wake into a light sleep at night and need that prop again.
This chart is based on babies’ natural sleep patterns. I have spent the last 27 years charting thousands of baby sleep patterns. So I hope it helps your baby sleep better – and for you to better understand your baby’s sleep.
If your baby was premature then start when he reaches his birth date. Until then, follow naps every 45 mins-1 hour, 6 naps, 7-9 hours sleep per day, 19-21 hours total.