As a parent, I know how challenging it can be to get your 3 month old baby to sleep and find a good sleep schedule. I’ve been there twice, and for my first I was pretty overwhelmed as a first time mom with a new baby. I learned quickly, that a good sleep schedule and routine was crucial for my 3 month old baby, as they require a lot of sleep to support their rapid growth and development. However, establishing a sleep routine and a safe sleep environment can be daunting, especially if you are a first-time parent. So, let’s jump right into tips for a successful 3 month old sleep schedule that will help your baby sleep better and also give you some peace of mind.
Understanding the Sleep Needs of a 3 Month Old
Before we dive into the tips for a successful sleep, it is essential to understand the sleep needs of a 3 month old baby. At this age, your baby needs 12 to 16 hours of sleep a day, including naps during the daytime. However, it is important to note that every baby is different, and their sleep needs may vary. Some babies may sleep for longer periods, while others may sleep for shorter periods.
Another thing to consider is that at 3 months old, babies are starting to develop a more predictable sleep schedule. They may start to sleep for longer periods at night and take longer naps during the day. Be prepared they may also experience the “4 Month Sleep Progression” soon, which is a normal phase where they may wake up more frequently during the night. This progression can be less daunting if you have a a few healthy sleep habits for your baby already in place.
Developing a Healthy Sleep Routine
Developing a healthy sleep routine is so important for a 3 month old baby’s sleep. It helps them establish a regular sleep pattern, which is essential for their overall growth and development. Here are some tips to help you develop a healthy sleep routine:
Follow the appropriate awake window:
Following the appropriate awake window for your 3 month old’s sleep can go a long way in helping them to set their circadian rhythm or “Body Clock.” A 3 month old should be using a 1.5 hour awake window, with a bedtime between 7:00 pm and 9:00 pm.
Establish a bedtime routine and make it consistent
Establishing a bedtime routine is essential for a 3 month old baby. It helps them wind down and prepare for sleep. A bedtime routine can include activities such as a warm bath, their bedtime feed, a gentle massage, into pajamas and a sleep sack, reading a story, singing a lullaby and then into bed awake, not drowsy. Make sure to keep the bedtime routine consistent, as that helps cue their body and their brain that it is time for sleep.
Create a sleep-friendly environment
Creating a sleep-friendly environment is critical step for a 3 month old baby.
Ensure that the room is dark
Ensuring that the room is dark is crucial for a 3 month old baby. Use blackout curtains or shades to block out any light that may disrupt your baby’s sleep.
Keep the room cool
Keeping the room cool is essential for a 3 month old baby. Ensure that the room temperature is around 68 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit or 18- 22 degrees Celsius.
Use a white noise machine
Using a white noise machine can be beneficial for a 3 month old baby. It creates a soothing environment that helps your baby sleep better. You can use a white noise machine to create a soothing environment that will help your baby sleep better and drown out environmental noise, just be sure to keep it away from the crib and at a low decibel.
Tips for Soothing Your Baby to Sleep
Soothing your baby to sleep can be challenging, especially if they are fussy or colicky. Here are some tips to help you soothe your baby to sleep:
Managing Nighttime Feedings
Managing nighttime feedings can be challenging, especially if you are breastfeeding. Here are some tips to help you manage nighttime feedings:
Keep the lights dim
Keeping the lights dim during nighttime feedings can help your baby stay calm and relaxed. Using a nightlight (yellow, orange or red) or a dimmer switch to ensure that the room is not too bright.
Burp your baby
Burping your baby after a feeding can help prevent colic and other digestive issues, and can also help keep them from falling completely back to sleep during the feed.
Work Towards Not Feeding to Sleep
Try to keep baby from falling completely asleep during the feed, so that when you put them back into their sleep space they are drowsy or awake.
Dealing with 4 Month Sleep Regression or “Progression”.
Sleep regression is a normal phase that most babies go through. It is a period where they may wake up more frequently during the night or have trouble falling asleep. Here are a couple of tips to help you deal with sleep regression, but I encourage you to read my blog post, What You Should Know About the 4 Month Sleep Regression.
Stick to the same routine
Sticking to the same sleep routine is crucial during sleep regression. It helps your baby establish a regular sleep pattern and also gives them a sense of security.
Sleep regression can be challenging for both parents and babies. Be patient and understand that it is a normal phase that will pass.
Setting Healthy Sleep Habits from The Start
Establishing a healthy sleep routine for a 3 month old baby is wonderful for their overall growth and development. It can be challenging, but with patience and consistency, you can help your baby sleep better and also give yourself some peace of mind. Remember to understand your baby’s sleep needs and awake windows, establish a consistent bedtime and create a sleep-friendly environment. Follow safe sleep guidelines and always put your baby on their back to sleep. If you would like more tips to helping your baby sleep better, sign up today for my 5 Steps to Help Your Baby Sleep Through the Night.