Sleep schedules from 6 months to 4 years
Looking after a child is a full-time job. They demand constant attention and need watching at all times, either in person or via a baby monitor. As a parent, you have to always be available to feed them, play with them, clean them, and put them to sleep. Although highly rewarding and enjoyable, it can be very demanding, and often leads to a lot of sleepless nights for both child and parents.
While looking after a child is a lot of hard work, things can be made much easier by establishing a daily schedule. This helps to keep them in a good routine, creating sustainable and healthy habits.
Your child can benefit from the structure that a sleep routine gives them, as it can make bedtimes and nap times more relaxed, as they already know that it’s time to settle down to sleep and may find it easier to drift off. This structure also allows parents to schedule some time for themselves around the needs of their child, which is incredibly important for their own health and wellbeing.
This is how much sleep your child:
is getting each night
You are losing:
of sleep each night.
Taking naps with your baby during the day is a great way to catch up on those lost zzzs
Around this time your baby will be starting to eat solid food alongside their regular milk feeds.
Most foods will have to be mushed or pureed at this point, but it’s a fantastic opportunity to experiment with different flavors to find which foods your baby enjoys.
Your sleep schedule should also change to start establishing mealtimes as a regular part of the day.
Getting into a sleep routine can seem like a bit of a luxury after the months of often unpredictable sleep from your baby. Newborn babies don’t develop a circadian rhythm until they are between 3-4 months old, so getting into a proper sleep schedule at this time is unlikely but not something to worry about.
During the first few months of your little one’s life, sleep is so important because your baby is going through a period of huge growth, growing around 1-1.5 inches in length in the first month alone. Plenty of sleep is essential to support your baby’s growth and development so they will spend most of their time snoozing but will wake up regularly for feeding.
We wanted to find out when the best times are during the day for a baby or toddler to sleep. Our aim was to create a guide for parents, allowing them to create a sleep schedule for their child which will provide structure to their day and ensure that their child is getting enough sleep.
To do this, we used expertise from the Sleep Lady for suggested sleep schedules for children aged 6 months and over. By using this information, we were able to produce our very own baby sleep schedule, showing the best times for naps, how long they should last, and when your baby should be put to bed.
The data is presented as a calculator, allowing parents to enter their child’s usual wake-up time, as well as how many months old their child is. The calculator will then present them with an appropriate sleep schedule for a baby of that age, adjusted to fit the specified wake-up time. The NCT suggests that most babies wake up between 6.30 am and 8 am in the morning, so we chose 7 am as the default wake-up time as it is well within that bracket.