Good news, your sleepless nights are over! Now you can have a good night sleep and wake up feeling fresh. This because your baby has learnt to sleep by himself and his internal clock has started functioning. Your baby can differentiate between night and day and is moving towards an established sleeping pattern.
During this time the baby needs 14 hours of sleep. At 4 months, the baby can sleep for eight hours at night without feeding. At five months, your baby can sleep for 10 to 11 hours at a stretch. The baby will sleep for four hours during the day which is spread over three naps. At 6 months, the baby needs 11 hours of uninterrupted sleep at night and three and a half hours of sleep during the day. So you notice that as your baby grows the sleep time reduces; this is based on physical demands of the baby’s body. As a result, you get enough time to rest and all the fatigue and crankiness will disappear.
Your baby is now finally 4 months of age, and is growing beautifully
4 – 6 Month Baby Sleeping Schedule:
The baby is well developed now and sleeps in a crib or in a separate room where he can have undisturbed sleep. If you use a co sleeper or a bedside crib make sure both you and your baby gets uninterrupted sleep, if not, then change your sleeping place and schedule. Remember, if you don’t get proper sleep you can’t become a responsive and cheerful parent, lack of sleep also paves way for health risks and depression.
For some children the witching hour begins in the evening. This is when your baby gets tired after all his attempts at rolling in the bed and crawling. If your baby becomes fussy and starts crying at 6 pm, make him ready for bed at 5:30 pm. So the baby falls asleep before the crankiness sets in.
Around this age, most babies sleep a maximum of 15 hours in a day. This includes their night time sleep and day time naps. Typically, it is advised that now the babies start developing a regular sleeping or waking pattern. At the same time, they drop most of their night feedings. However, this doesn’t imply that a sudden-rigid sleeping program should be imposed upon the infant.
By now, your baby might have already started developing patterns that fit with your lifestyle. Still, it must be noted that babies grow the most in their sleep and so it is best to increase the sleeping hours to aid this growth.
Every child has their own developmental pattern. Carefully observe their reactions to the patterns you are trying to induce. If your baby is not ready, it will be a futile training exercise and then you must try again in subsequent months.
Sleep is vital for young children as it helps to restore energy and helps in brain development. Sleep also helps in physical development. Many hormones are secreted in the body that triggers various body processes that helps in growth. One such hormone is the protein hormone secreted by the pituitary gland and it is called ‘human growth hormone’. Many factors like proper nutrition and exercise helps the growth hormone to work on the body, however, the most important factor is sleep. Maximum growth hormone is secreted during sleep and helps the baby to develop. Though the growth hormone is secreted during the day, its intense secretion happens after the baby goes into a deep sleep.
Sleep problems like obstructive sleep apnea can disrupt the production of growth hormone and lead to stunted growth. Some children don’t produce enough growth hormone and lack of sleep aggravates the problem. This condition is called growth hormone deficiency and it affects the heart, lungs and immune system. However, this deficiency can be cured by giving a supplementary hormone prescribed by the pediatrician.
Children who lack sleep experience a change in the levels of other hormones circulating in the body. Shortage of sleep affects hormones that regulate appetite and hunger. As a result the child tends to overeat and only eats sugary foods and other food high on calorie. Lack of sleep makes it difficult for the body to metabolize the food and this leads to type 2 diabetes in the future.
Nothing is more relaxing than sleep, it is the natural stress buster. So allow your baby to sleep so that he grows to the maximum extent.