Babies benefit from routine sleep and feeding schedules—and so do their parents. As adults, our habits become inextricably linked with the needs of our kids. Babies need good sleep schedules because repetition and predictability help them feel safe and secure. And we need good sleep schedules to function properly and support our immune systems (a necessity that’s on everyone’s mind these days).
Unfortunately, disruptions to our sleep schedules can occur all too easily. But if you can manage to get your infant to sleep all the way through the night, you’ll find it far easier to get the rest you need.
The good news is that babies are naturally inclined towards regular feeding and sleeping cycles; they just need you to help them organize their days around these natural rhythms. One way to accomplish this is called parent-directed feeding. Millions of people have found success with this approach, which balances predictable cycles with the flexibility to respond to the child’s changing needs. Over the course of a year, a typical baby transitions from about nine sleep-feed-wake cycles to just three cycles. Scheduling the first and last feedings at a constant time each day helps babies consolidate routines and sleep through the night at every phase.
Need more tips to make sure that your household gets a solid night’s sleep? Start counting sheep with our Instaread On Becoming Babywise.