. Sleeping - Manitoba Parent Zone | Healthy Child Manitoba
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Sleeping

Sleep. What a wonderful thing! Infants need a lot of sleep so they can grow and be healthy. Infants need between 14 to 16 hours of sleep a day, but rarely do very young babies sleep longer than three hours at a time. This short time frame can be really hard on parents so when your baby sleeps, you should also sleep. Sleep will be sporadic and interrupted for a while and you really do need to sleep to be healthy and have the energy needed to care for your baby. So get some sleep whenever you can!

At first your baby may sleep at different times of the day but at around three months of age a pattern may start to form. Your baby may start to sleep for longer periods of time at night and less often or for shorter periods of time during the day. Don't worry if your baby seems to have night and day mixed up – there are ways you can help her adjust her sleeping patterns to fit your family.

One way to help your baby recognize that it's time for sleep is to develop a routine before naptime and bedtime. Your routine may include reading a story to your baby before resting or giving your baby a bath before bedtime. If you do the same activity with your child before he goes to sleep he will start to know that it is time to rest after these activities.

Another way to help your baby develop good sleeping habits is to cuddle with your baby before a rest to help her relax but try to put her in her crib before she falls asleep. Your baby needs to learn to fall asleep on her own and starting this habit right away will help both of you as your baby grows!

Your baby will make noises and move around while sleeping. This is normal. If your baby stirs during the night give her a few minutes to fall back asleep before picking her up. This is an important step for her to learn so she can eventually sleep through the night.

Babies should always be placed on their backs for a nap or bedtime – never on their sides or on their stomachs because these positions have been associated with sudden infant death syndrome or SIDS. For more information about the sleep habits of babies click on the links below: