How Do Babies Sleep During Their First Three Months?

How do babies sleep during their first three months of age? During this stage, their sleep tends to be quite irregular. Here are some tips to help you regulate your little one's sleep cycle.
How Do Babies Sleep During Their First Three Months?

Last update: 19 August, 2020

The arrival of a baby, especially when it’s your first, produces major changes in parents’ lives – on the one hand, due to the lack of experience and, on the other, lack of sleep. With that in mind, we want to talk about how babies sleep during their first three months of life, a period characterized by irregular sleep patterns.

In the article below, we’ll look at how babies sleep at three months and why they wake up so often. We’ll also tell you when they start to sleep for longer periods of time. Keep reading to discover all this and more.

How do babies sleep during their first three months?

Every baby is unique when it comes to how they sleep – each one has their own pattern and rhythm. If babies have siblings, they may have a sleeping pattern that’s completely different from that of their older siblings. Each child possesses specific characteristics and his or her own rhythm.

All that being said, the way babies sleep during their first three months has certain general characteristics that we’ll look at below.

Sleep consists of two phases

During their first three months, babies’ sleep consists of two phases: the REM phase and the non-REM phase. It’s normal for babies to wake up frequently during this stage. It keeps them from becoming hypoglycemic and, at the same time, helps maintain the mother’s milk supply.

Another reason why babies wake up so often is their reduced stomach capacity. Their stomachs fill up and empty quickly and, for this reason, they need to eat every few hours. What’s more, the time they spend awake helps them get to know their environment and stimulates brain development.

Sleep starts with the REM phase

That fact that sleep begins with REM sleep is good since it allows babies to rest better physically throughout the day.

How Do Babies Sleep During Their First Three Months?

Sleep is mostly REM

During this sleep phase, the brain integrates learning, and, in this way, the mind develops.

Sleep is ultradian

When we say that babies’ sleep during their first three months is ultradian, we mean that they don’t differentiate between day and night. Therefore, there are some babies that sleep more during the day, while others sleep more during the night. This is normal during the first three months.

Sleep is polysequential

Sleep may be spread out throughout the day or in several sequences. As adults, we have unisequential or bisequential sleep. This means that we sleep at night and may take a short nap during the day.

During the first three months of a baby’s life, mothers adapt to their little one’s sleeping patterns. That way, when the baby sleeps, mom can also get some rest. This is important so that mothers can have enough energy to care for, feed, and tend to their babies.

How can you help regulate your baby’s sleep during their first three months of life?

Many experts agree that, when children nurse at night, the lights should be dim and stimuli should be minimal. This will help your baby rest and not wake up as often. Below are some more tips regarding how to regulate your child’s circadian rhythm.

How Do Babies Sleep During Their First Three Months?
  1. If you change your baby’s diaper during the night, do so very carefully so there’s as little movement as possible.
  2. If you need light during nighttime feedings, use very soft light or a nightlight.
  3. Stay silent while feeding your baby.
  4. Lay your baby in the crib while he or she is sleeping (if he or she sleeps in a crib).
  5. Try to make the last nighttime feeding be around 11 o’clock. That way, you’ll stretch out the sleeping period and it will be around 5 or 6 am the next time he or she asks to nurse. This helps parents rest better.
  6. Over the course of the day, keep your baby stimulated and allow him or her to see sunlight. Play with your baby and don’t avoid noises, since your baby needs to get used to them. That way, you’ll help your little one start to distinguish between day and night.
  7. It’s normal for newborns not to sleep right away when you lay them down. It may take 30 to 50 minutes before they fall into a deep sleep. During this time, they may cry and need to be held and embraced. This helps them feel safe so they can relax and fall asleep.

Conclusions regarding how babies sleep during their first three months

Now you know how babies sleep during their first three months and how you can help regulate their circadian rhythms. If you follow the above advice, you can help everyone rest more effectively – both parents and child. You’ve got nothing to lose!


This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.