From the age of about 4 months, your baby can tell the difference between night and day. Now you can all start enjoying more regular sleeping habits. Now is the time to introduce bedtime routines and a teddy bear.
A 3-month old baby sleeps 13 to 15 hours a day. At this age, something happens that can make a big difference to your life: your baby starts distinguishing between night and day. What a relief!
The relationship between sleep and food
For the first few months of life, a baby often falls asleep during its feeds, whether it is breastfed or bottle fed. As it gets older, the baby stops falling asleep so easily. Use this to your advantage. Try to gently introduce the habit of putting your baby to bed during the day after it has played and eaten. This sleeping routine doesn't always have to be linked to mealtimes. Try this: Put your child to bed. Try speaking to it quietly or gently lulling or rocking it. Stay close by the whole time so your child feels secure until falling asleep.
Many infants protest against going to bed, and it usually takes a while for them to fall asleep – between 10 and 30 minutes. If your infant cries, offer comfort, reassurance and support.
Children love evening routines
Try adopting the basic principle that your child should go to sleep of its own accord, rather than you coaxing it to sleep. It can help to introduce a bedtime routine. Start by telling your infant that it's time to go to bed. Children love routines. For instance, the day could end with a bath, putting on pyjamas and reading a story or listening to a song before it's time to say goodnight.
A comfort blanket or teddybear
From the age of about 4 months, babies are capable of establishing a bond with a teddybear or comfort blanket. They serve as a temporary substitute for the parents. When you're not in the room, your child feels reassured by having the teddybear or blanket.
More about sleep
When your child is in harmony and sleeping well, it's good for everyone. Here are some more tips and advice.
Putting your baby to bed
Comforting your baby
Better sleep for your baby
Good sleep habits
Create routines for your baby
Helping your baby to sleep soundly
Baby's sleep, 6–8 months