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SLEEP! Your sleep questions answered by Victoria's sleep expert, Sukkie Sandhu of Sleep Sense Victoria
Sleep, you either get it or you don't. Here Sukkie Sandhu of Sleep Sense Victoria tries to make things easier for us fatigued mommas.
I've brought my newborn home from the hospital, what should I be expecting in terms of sleep patterns?
Newborn babies will sleep A LOT, 15 to 20 hours everyday but in short stretches of two to four hours at a time. Newborns have no concept of night and day and their little stomach can only hold enough milk or formula to last them for a few hours.
Do some babies sleep more than others? How can I encourage a wakeful baby to sleep more?
All babies NEED sleep, both daytime and nighttime. For those babies who “don’t nap” this is generally due to the fact they have not established healthy sleep habits. All healthy babies have the capability of establishing healthy sleep habits. Some tips for creating healthy sleep habits are:
- Eliminate sleep props – a sleep prop is any device or activity that your child has come to depend on in order to fall asleep. For example, rocking, soother, or nursing.
- Establish a predictable naptime and bedtime routine.
- Get to bed early – between 7 and 8 o’clock
- Use key words or phrases – such as “it’s time for night-night” or “sleepy time” provides a good cue to let your child know that the time for sleep is near.
People say I should have a nap and bedtime routine for my newborn, are they right?
Routines are essential for newborns, babies and toddlers. They thrive on routine. Setting up a nap and bedtime routine is a great way to ensure that your little one always knows what to expect when bedtime arrives.
How many naps should I expect from a newborn?
As previously mentioned, newborns sleep on average between 15 to 20 hours a day. A typical newborn will need to take four to five naps per day, and these naps should ideally last between one to three hours each. They are only awake for short periods of time. For example a two week old baby may only be awake for 45 minutes (including feeding time) before they are ready for another nap.
How many naps should I expect from a baby aged 3 - 12 months?
Age 3 to 6 months – three naps per day.
Age 6 to14 months – two naps per day. However, at what age your baby makes the transition from two naps a day to one depends entirely on him. Some babies are fine with one nap once they reach their first birthday while others will continue to do best on two naps until 18months.
How many naps should I expect from a toddler?
One nap. Most toddlers stop napping close to their third birthday.
At what age should I consider sleep training if at all?
You can establish healthy sleep habits immediately with your newborn by creating a predictable routine throughout the day. Most parents find the pattern of EAT, PLAY and SLEEP to be a great routine throughout the day which leads to the baby naturally developing a sleep schedule on their own.
If your baby’s sleep schedule has not been established, my rule of thumb is generally three months and thirteen pounds, before beginning any training.
What is the most effective style of sleep training?
There are many effective sleep training methods. I like to fully involve the parents in picking strategies that fit with their parenting style and their babies needs. I promote techniques that are the least stressful on both parents and babies but that result in babies sleeping independently.
My toddler still does not sleep through the night, is this normal? How can I encourage him to sleep?
A toddler should most definitely be sleeping through the night. You can encourage him to sleep through the night but creating routines and having firm expectations that he/she stay in their bed until morning time. An internal or external reward system works great.
What is a sleep expert and where can I find one?!
A sleep expert gives parents the tools and information they need to solve their children’s sleep problems. My name is Sukkie Sandhu, and I’m your licensed Sleep Sense™ Consultant here in the Victoria area. If you are worried about your child’s sleep, please contact me at email@example.com or phone me at 250.857.1408. Check out my website at www.sleepsense.net/victoria. I offer individualized support as well as seminars on how to get your child sleeping through the night.