Sleeping patterns vary with each child and gradually evolve over the first year. Sleep habits are influenced by the baby's temperament and feeling of being well fed and the parents' response to waking episodes. Some babies naturally seem to need more sleep than others.
A newborn moves between sleeping and waking during a 24-hour day. In the next 3 months, maturing of the brain allows the baby gradually to sleep for longer periods. By the third or fourth month, most babies sleep for their longest period (up to 7 to 8 hours) during the night and develop set nap times.
Periods of murmuring and restlessness every 50 to 60 minutes are a normal part of the baby sleep cycle. These periods are known as "active sleep." The restlessness usually lasts a few minutes, and if babies are left alone, they usually fall back to sleep.
The sleep cycles include:
At first, babies often sleep through loud noises. But, at about 3 to 4 months of age, many babies become easily disturbed by noises like the phone ringing or a dog barking.
By 9 months of age and into the second year of life, it can be hard for some babies to let go of the excitement of the day. Also at this age, many babies want to exert control over their actions. Because of these things, your baby may resist going to sleep at the times you want.
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