Everything you need to know about baby's sleep

Sleep... what a lovely idea! When they are born, babies spend most of their time sleeping, before having increasingly long periods of wakefulness full of emotions. Sometimes their sleep can be unpredictable, but there are some tips to encourage it and allow your baby (and you!) to get some proper rest.

Shhh, baby’s asleep!

Your baby needs something that is absolutely essential: sleep! As soon as they are born and throughout the first month, sleeping is their main activity: during this period, a baby sleeps on average 16 hours1 a day. Does yours sleep more? Or less? There’s nothing to worry about: each baby is unique and has their own rhythm.

In the day? At night? It makes no difference, and it’s quite normal. Baby will gradually learn to tell the difference. Until they are around 2 months old, babies alternate sleep cycles in which they sleep soundly and then are more fitful1. This restlessness is nothing to worry about: it’s completely normal!

Until the age of 6 months, when baby is not sleeping, it is mainly because they are eating! Hunger is also what wakes them up, but also what stops them from going back to sleep: perhaps you have already noticed that they go straight to sleep after feeding?

The secrets of restful sleep

Cot, crib, Moses basket... to sleep well, your baby needs their own bed. Until the age of 6 months, it is easier to keep it near to your bed, for night feeds, and because your presence reassures them. For restful nights without (too many) interruptions, be patient… it is generally around the age of 4 months that a baby starts to sleep right through for at least 8 hours.1

But, as you know, the reality may be very different from the theory: it all depends on your baby’s nature, their health, their personality… your baby is unique!

Go to sleep in a calm, consistent environment (1)

This is what is known as a ritual: your baby needs stability and familiarity, especially to be able to fall asleep peacefully and for any length of time. When you notice that your baby is no longer falling asleep after their feed, when it gets to evening, it’s time to establish your ritual... and this ritual needs to be the same every night. Change them, cuddle them, sing your favourite song, in a calm and relaxing place, then lay them gently in their bed… Don’t hesitate to tell them how sweet the moment is, about how going beddy-byes at the end of the day is the best part of the day.

You’ll know when the time is right

“I’m here, I’m watching over you.” With these reassuring words, your baby knows that they can fall asleep peacefully. Just before, you picked up on the signs that it was time to put them to bed: they yawned and rubbed their eyes with their little fists. Perhaps there were a few tears? Time for bed! Because it’s your baby, because you are their mum or dad, you of course know when they are tired.

Lastly, for a safe sleep, when you put your baby to bed for the night, it is important to always place them on their back and with no blanket or anything that could cover their face. Your baby just needs a good night’s sleep... and so do you!

1Quel est le rythme de sommeil de mon bébé, by Dr Marie-Josèphe Challamel, mpedia, 28/01/2019,


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Breast milk is the ideal food for infants. WHO recommends breastfeeding exclusively for the first 6 months and then continuation thereof until the age of 2 alongside the introduction, from 6 months, of safe and appropriate complementary foods. Please consult a healthcare professional if you need any advice about feeding your baby.