I've said this before and I say it again, "Don't trust anyone who says a baby sleeps for around 18 -20 hours." It is not true. The first 8-12 weeks are the most toughest where sleep is concerned for they don't sleep at a stretch for more than 2 hours. And neither will you. Sometimes you will find yourself waking up even every half an hour either to change their nappy or to feed. Feeding and sleeping is very erratic in the first month.

I remember there was no routine established for LG in the first 4 weeks and it was highly erratic. After putting him to sleep I wouldn't know if he would wake up in 10 mins or would sleep for an hour. The sleep pattern establishes itself after 8-9 weeks in some babies, I've heard. With LG, he slept undisturbed for 6 hours the first time at 12 weeks and I rejoiced that day. Long afternoon naps (1:00 - 4:00 p.m.) also set in after 6 weeks.

Feed your baby till he is satisfied if you want him to sleep at a stretch for 3 hours. This has worked for me. His sleep routine from 12-24 weeks:

Tucked in to bed at 9:00 p.m. Sleeps anytime between 9:15 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.

Wakes up anytime between 7:00 a.m. - 8:00 a.m.

Power naps at 10:00 a.m. 11:30 a.m. and one shortly after bath.

Afternoon nap between 1:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m./5:00 p.m.

Power nap between 6:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.

As LG grew, the duration and frequency of the power naps decreased especially during the teething and crawling phase. At 7 months, now his afty nap has also gone down from 3 hours to 1.5-2 hours. And he does this in 2 rounds.

LG gets irritated /cranky when you keep him awake or distract when he is sleepy and wouldn't sleep for quite sometime later on. So I try my best not to do that. One thing he struggles is to get into that right position to sleep and hasn't learnt in these 7 months :)

Some sleep habits that I I have inculcated from when he was 10 weeks that helps him and everyone in the family too:

  1. I put him to bed at the same time everyday which is anywhere between 8:45 p.m. - 9: 00 p.m.

  2. I let him know it is bed time by switching off the bright lights and switching on the dim ones. After a while he realized it was time to sleep.

  3. All distractions are removed during bedtime such as his toys, rattles etc.

  4. His favorite pillows take their place.

  5. I have consciously tried not to use any sleeping technique such as rocking him or putting him on my shoulder and walking him. He sleeps by himself. almost always, I am lying next to him until he is asleep. Days when he gets too excited by my presence and wants to play even when his eyes are droopy I leave him alone and he goes to sleep in a min.

I believe in early to bed and early to rise. So sometimes it comes as a shock when someone says their kids keep them awake until 3:00 a.m. and that they are out until 11:00 p.m. Its a personal choice after all and I have absolutely nothing to comment on that. Its just a night's sleep can never be compensated with the sleep you get during a day.