Understanding Normal Sleep Patterns of newborns aged 0-3 Months

As a parent, understanding your newborn’s sleep patterns can feel like deciphering a mysterious code. From sudden awakenings to seemingly random naps, the sleep habits of babies aged 0-3 months can be a source of both wonder and frustration. In this blog post, we’ll delve into what constitutes normal sleep patterns in infants during this crucial developmental stage.

1. Sleep Cycles:

Newborns have shorter sleep cycles compared to adults, typically lasting around 50-60 minutes. Within these cycles, they transition between deep sleep, light sleep, and REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. It’s common for babies to briefly wake up between cycles, which may result in frequent nighttime awakenings.

2. Sleep Duration:

Babies in the 0-3 month age range require a lot of sleep, often totaling 14-17 hours per day. However, this sleep is fragmented, with newborns typically unable to distinguish between day and night. As a result, they may sleep for short periods of 2-4 hours at a time, both day and night.

3. Day-Night Confusion:

During the first few weeks of life, many newborns experience “day-night confusion,” where they mix up their sleep patterns. This means they might be more wakeful and alert at night and sleepier during the day. While this can be challenging for parents, establishing a consistent bedtime routine and exposing your baby to natural light during the day can help regulate their circadian rhythm.

4. Hunger and Sleep:

For newborns, hunger often dictates their sleep patterns. Babies have small stomachs and need to feed frequently, sometimes every 2-3 hours. As a result, they may wake up frequently throughout the night for feedings. Over time, as their stomachs grow and they consume more milk or formula per feeding, they may sleep for longer stretches at night.

5. Swaddling and Soothing:

Many newborns find comfort in being swaddled, as it mimics the feeling of being in the womb. Swaddling can help prevent the startle reflex from waking them up and promote longer stretches of sleep. Additionally, gentle rocking, white noise, or rhythmic movements can soothe babies and help them fall asleep.

6. Safe Sleep Practices:

It’s essential to prioritize safe sleep practices to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). This includes placing your baby on their back to sleep, using a firm mattress with a fitted sheet, and avoiding loose bedding or soft objects in the crib.

7. Individual Variability:

While these are general guidelines, it’s important to remember that every baby is unique. Some may naturally sleep longer stretches from an early age, while others may need more support in establishing healthy sleep habits. Pay attention to your baby’s cues and consult with a pediatrician if you have concerns about their sleep patterns.

In conclusion, the sleep patterns of newborns aged 0-3 months are characterized by frequent awakenings, short sleep cycles, and a mix of day and night sleep. Understanding these patterns and implementing strategies to promote healthy sleep can help both babies and parents navigate this challenging yet rewarding time.


Come and meet parents of similar aged babies at our sensory storytelling classes!


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Sleep Regression! What is it, what can you do about it and how to get through it!

If the words ‘Sleep Regression’ fill you with fear and making you want to run for the hills hold tight mama.  Sleep Regression makes it sound like the opposite of progress is happening but actually you are wrong!

Think progress.

Your baby is growing physically or neurologicaly distracting them from going to sleep!


What is it?

Sleep regression is the time when your baby’s sleep patterns shift, they wake up often during the night, and they have a hard time going back to sleep. And if your baby is awake, so are you.


What causes sleep regression?

Experts explain that sleep regressions usually happen for two reasons: a developmental leap or a shift in nap schedules and overall sleep needs. When it comes to development, 8-month-olds are doing a lot. At this age, many babies are learning to scoot, crawl, and pull themselves up.


What age do babies experience sleep regression?

Sadly, sleep regressions can occur at any age, including 4 months, 6 months, 8 months, 18 months and 2 years. The 12-month sleep regression occurs at or near baby’s first birthday, though some children begin regressing at 10 or 11 months.


How long does a it last?

How long does sleep regression last? Baby sleep regressions usually last about two to four weeks — the time for your little one to get used to a new routine or milestone or to recover from an illness — although the exact duration depends on the cause and can vary from baby to baby.


What can I do to get through it?

These are natural developmental periods in your baby’s life that are helping them to grow, mature and develop but the following tips might help…

Remind yourself that this will pass

Give your baby the chance to self-settle, watching for cues that they are tired before putting them down to sleep.

Keep up with good sleeping routines

Call in the troops, It’s not easy to mum day and night managing tiredness on top of tiredness. Ask for help from friends and parents when possible or even pay somebody to help during the day or overnight occasionally if you can’t gain the help elsewhere

Come along to Adventure Babies, chat to others parents going through the same or similar, wear your baby out with sensory storytelling fun and enjoy a coffee afterwards! 

Help your baby sleep through the night

A hot topic for all new parents! The million-dollar question for most new parents is “When will my baby sleep through the night?” Being a new parent is an exciting but exhausting journey and most new parents are desperate to know what is normal for a baby in terms of sleep and how can you help them to sleep better? Just remember that sleep is a developmental process and sleep needs change at different stages of development so even if you are feeling exhausted this stage will change and things will move on. Progressive lengthening of sleep periods and their shifts to night-time sleeping begins in the first 6 months of your baby’s life.


Body clock

Try to get your baby used to the rhythms of day and night-time. Even from day one try to make a distinguished difference by making sure the lights are on or curtains open during the day time with lots of background noise and action. During the night-time keep noise and lights to a minimum, don’t talk to your baby when feeding or changing them during night-time waking’s either.


Again, try to establish some kind of routine as early as possible. I don’t mean strict timetables; I always fed my baby when they were hungry although if that suits you go for it. I think with a newborn baby having a pattern of events is really helpful in them knowing what happens next. For example, I would always try to follow a feed, change nappy and play pattern adding in a bath time, massage and story before the bedtime change and feed. Hopefully your baby will learn that this means a longer sleep is in order. When they woke through the night, I always fed mine.


Manipulate sleep patterns

The goal that we are working towards here is longer stretches of sleep happening at night. Lengthen the last waking before bedtime and watch out for long afternoon naps. It always feels so good at the time, but you will pay for it!

Approach ‘Night waking’s’ with caution

Sometimes when babies ‘wake up’ at night we just need to learn to leave them for longer so that they can self sooth and drop back off to sleep. Now I was always guilty of jumping in too soon because as a new mum with a new baby I was on high alert. Any whimpering of your new baby sounds like a foghorn at 4 in the morning and I always worried that the neighbours would be woken so I jumped to attention and fed my baby but actually allowing them a few minutes to see if they are really awake gives them the chance to settle themselves and transition into the next stage of sleep.

Be flexible

Don’t put yourself under too much pressure. Your baby will sleep through the night one day. A tired anxious mum isn’t going to give off relaxing and sleep-inducing vibes so if you aren’t getting enough sleep try to look for creative ways to give yourself a break using the resources you have.  Accept help from partners, family and friends. Can your partner temporarily change their hours so that they can take over in the morning for a couple of hours and start work a little later?


So, it sounds so easy! To enjoy restful restorative night’s sleep, you will need a bit of observation, a bit of trial and error, a lot of flexibility and some luck. I would really recommend tuning out the unhelpful comparisons too and remember that with a baby things change pretty quickly so if you feel that your baby isn’t a brilliant sleeper it doesn’t mean that you are fated this forever! Join an Adventure Babies class and meet other mums with similar aged babies who will be going through the same things as you.