What to Expect & How-to Guide

At Premier Pediatrics, we prioritize infant sleep. While our articles cover essential information, we also offer a quarterly Zoom workshop with Julie Wright, co-author of The Happy Sleeper. Join Premier parents in discussing infant sleep challenges. Limited availability for interested parents beyond our Premier family. Contact us at care@premierpediatricsny.com for more information.

Understanding the First Month: Erratic Sleep & Promising Changes

During the first month: Establishing Sleep Patterns and Development

In the first month, babies sleep on-demand for about 16 hours a day. However, their sleep timing can be unpredictable, with some waking every 3 hours for a feed and others experiencing irregular stretches of sleep. As new parents, this can be challenging, but remember that it gets easier. Around week 6, infants become less fussy, develop circadian rhythms, and sleep for longer stretches overnight.

Organizing Sleep: The Second Month & Beyond

During the second month: Consolidating Sleep and Navigating Daytime Variations

Infants in the second month begin to consolidate their nighttime sleep, experiencing stretches of 4 to 8 hours. However, daytime sleep can remain erratic. Rather than focusing solely on nap length, it’s important to pay attention to the amount of awake time during the day. Aim for approximately 90-minute “wake windows” to prevent overtiredness and evening crankiness.

Developing a 24-Hour Cycle: The Third & Fourth Month

From the third to fourth month: Establishing Consistent Sleep Times and Circadian Rhythms

Infants start getting the hang of a 24-hour daily cycle during this period. They sleep for longer stretches overnight and become more alert during the day. It’s a good time to introduce a consistent sleep time that anchors their developing circadian rhythms. Most infants enjoy a bedtime around 7 pm by 3 months, but remember that every baby is different.

Navigating Sleep Regression: The Challenges of the Fourth Month

Around four months: Dealing with Sleep Regression and Promoting Consistency

Prepare for the “sleep regression,” which can be better understood as a neurological burst. Infants experience a surge in their nervous system and may resist sleep, wanting to seize the day or night instead. As a parent, don’t get frustrated—it’s a natural phase that will pass. Stay consistent with your approach, even if you need to check on your baby more frequently. Overreacting might lead to long-lasting bad sleep habits even after the regression ends.

Achieving Full Night Sleep: Fifth Month Milestone

By the fifth month: Encouraging 12-Hour Overnight Sleep and Excellent Sleep Habits

After overcoming the four-month sleep regression, your baby is ready to sleep for 12 hours without waking to feed. Hopefully, you’ve been working on developing healthy sleep habits and reducing external sleep associations. Celebrate the proud moment when your baby achieves their first full night of sleep!

Restful Nights in Their Crib: Sleep Progress at Six to Seven Months

Around six or seven months: Enjoying Beautiful Overnight Sleep and Nap Patterns

Babies around this age sleep beautifully throughout the night in their own crib. Additionally, their naps start falling into a consistent pattern. You’ll no longer need to track wake windows. Typically, a 7-month-old establishes a daytime sleep routine with 3 or 4 naps. To reinforce this schedule, establish abbreviated nap routines for consistent daytime sleep.

Remember to consult Premier Pediatrics for more information and assistance with your baby’s sleep journey. Contact us at care@premierpediatricsny.com.