Understanding your baby’s “sleep window” is one of the keys to helping a baby learn to sleep. It will keep fussing to a minimum and allow your baby to go to sleep on their own with a relative amount of ease. Every baby has a sleep window. A sleep window is that “sweet spot” when your baby will go down to sleep most easily. It is a place in your baby’s natural circadian rhythms when they have just begun getting drowsy and they are not yet over tired. The problem with a baby’s sleep window is that it is extremely easy to miss unless you are actively looking for it. Especially when your baby is young. You may only have about 5 minutes (or less!) to get your baby down for his nap before you have an overly tired crying baby on your hands! The older a baby gets the more pronounced his sleepy signs usually get. Typically sleepy signs that most baby’s exhibit are as follows: Yawning, fussiness, red eyes, red eyebrows, glazed eyes, avoiding eye contact, rubbing eyes, heavy eyelids etc. When you have a young baby, (younger than 6 weeks) you may need to watch your baby even more closely so as not to miss his sleep window. Many times young babies have a tendency to just close their eyes and go to sleep. That is fine as long as some of the time you are actively seeking to lay them down in their crib drowsy but awake.
Which means you want to try and stay on top of the sleepy signs. Many times moms also don’t know how to “read” their young baby. Their baby is fussing because they are tired and need to be put down to sleep but mom may try to feed them again or rock or bounce or sing. More often than not this keeps a baby awake instead of meeting their need for sleep. This generally leads to an overtired baby who is either now crying uncontrollably or is wide eyed and “wired” and won’t go to sleep no matter how hard mom tries! Keeping a daily log of your baby’s eating and sleeping patterns is a good way to start learning your baby and you should start to see patterns develop as to how long your baby can comfortably stay awake before he starts showing sleepy signs and needs to be put down to sleep. By the time a baby is about 3 months old they can usually comfortably stay awake approximately 1 1/2 hours (this includes their feeding time). Understanding your baby’s sleep window will help you to better understand your baby and meet his need for sleep. If you would like to speak with Mamie personally to learn more click here.