Sleep: 4 to 12 Months
Please note that this section contains my personal notes from my readings on this topic.
By the time they are four months old, babies need eleven to twelve hours of uninterrupted sleep at night and two naps a day of at least one hour each. They need this amount of sleep in order to develop optimally. What surprises most parents is the invariability of this developmental fact: at this age, all babies do best with fourteen hours or more of sleep during the course of a twenty-four hour period. What differs in babies is how easy or hard it is to help them get that sleep.
– A Mother’s Circle by Jean Kunhardt, M.A., Lisa Spiegel, M.A. & Sandra Kunhardt Basile; page 13
If your baby is three to four months old, was born at full term, is healthy, and weighs at least twelve pounds, he is beginning to be capable of sleeping through the night for eleven to twelve hours without a feeding. This does not depend on whether he is breastfed, formula-fed, or has begun to eat cereal. At this age babies are physically able to give up their nighttime feedings and will naturally eat more during the day to meet their nutritional needs. Because it activates the digestive system, a feeding in the middle of the night can actually be disruptive to sleep. By not feeding your baby in the middle of the night, his metabolism is allowed to slow down, which, in turn, promotes sleep. Babies who are fed during the night when they no longer need it are actually being asked to have their bodies do the work of sucking, swallowing, digesting, and elminating when their bodies really need to be in a state of restorative sleep. So when you are worrying that you are depriving your baby of food in the middle of the night, think of it this way — I am helping my baby’s mind and body to get fundamental nutrients by letting the baby have a night of uninterrupted sleep.
– A Mother’s Circle by Jean Kunhardt, M.A., Lisa Spiegel, M.A. & Sandra Kunhardt Basile; page 13 – 14