When Should I Start Tracking My Baby's Sleep?
Getting a stress-free good night’s sleep is crucial for both you and your baby. However new parents find themselves constantly on the lookout for their baby’s bedtime routine. In response, many experts recommend new parents to start monitoring their baby’s sleep as early as possible. By keeping track of when and how much sleep they get during the day and night, they can ensure that their little ones are getting enough sleep and are better prepared to handle any sleep problems later on.
How Soon to Start Sleep Tracking
You could start tracking sleep from day one! But be aware that a newborn baby’s sleep is all over the place. They nap frequently and in intervals, the naps last anywhere from 30 minutes to 3 hours, in addition to waking up throughout the night. Generally, their sleep patterns just look like never-ending cat naps.
Though early, tracking would still give you an idea about your baby’s sleep habits and help you feel more in control. But at this stage, the likelihood of noticing and developing a sleep routine is low. Keeping logs may appear to be extra work at first, but the longer you do it, the easier it becomes. As a consequence you'll be a pro when it's time to start taking sleep logging seriously. The method you choose to track your baby’s sleep could easily make or break the tracking experience for you. Using smart devices such as the Sleep Cub makes it super easy to track your little one's sleep and help you to stay consistent with your data monitoring.
Why Tracking Sleep is Important
Getting on a Sleep Schedule
No baby’s sleep schedule is one-size-fits-all. All babies vary in when and how much they sleep at night and during the day. Of course there is a general and schematic schedule one could follow, but ultimately, understanding your baby and creating a curated schedule around a noticeable routine would yield better results.
When you start consistently logging your baby’s sleep, you'll quickly be able to notice a pattern that you can implement into a set schedule for yourself and your baby. Their wake windows would be more predictable and consistent, which can help prevent overtiredness. And knowing exactly when your baby will go down for a nap or wake up from one would help you plan your well-deserved "ME" time!
Knowing When to Call Your Doctor
Tracking your baby's sleep-awake habits will keep you always ready for your pediatrician’s questions. Logging is intended to help identify any potential problems with your baby's sleep early on, such as reflux due to disrupted sleep. It would let you know if they're sleeping the recommended number of hours and help your pediatrician better analyze and plan ways to prevent hitches from becoming habits.
You can get invaluable information about your baby’s sleep patterns by using a baby tracker app like the Cubtale Baby Tracker, or by using the Sleep Cub, which you can place by your baby’s crib and simply push a button when you're ready to start or stop a sleep log. So when you start noticing variations in your baby’s sleep routine, you can consult your pediatrician to rule out any sleep problems.
Crucial Step in Starting Sleep Training
Some of the initial steps in sleep training include creating an ideal environment for scheduled sleep and establishing a bedtime routine. Though you can start implementing both of these as soon as you bring your baby home, we know that newborn sleep is rarely predictable and having a set bedtime routine is unrealistic. When your baby is 2-4 months of age, they reach a stage where they learn to be able to go a couple of hours without feeding, and to self-soothe. This window for behavioral sleep training is a golden one.
Sleeping training can be difficult because caregivers need to be consistent with when bedtime is, where it takes place, and how it’s initiated. Being able to figure out the right time and place can be overwhelming, but if you have already been tracking your baby’s sleep up to this point, the routine you notice in your logs should give you a great idea of when to initiate training in a sustainable way that wouldn't come as a shock to your baby.
Be Mindful of Sleep Changes Monthly
When logging your baby’s sleep, you need to be mindful of the sleep changes that occur month to month so you know what changes to expect in your sleep logs.
On average, newborns sleep about 16 to 18 hours per day, but once they are between 2 and 4 months of age, they generally sleep between 14 and 16 hours per day. At 2-4 months, babies start developing night and day sleep patterns and sleeping more during the night, which could mean less waking and resettling during sleep. This makes the 2-4 month age period the perfect time to be more consistent with sleep tracking so you can spot a unique sleep pattern if you weren't tracking beforehand.
By the time they are between 4 and 6 months of age, they generally sleep 14 to 15 hours per day. You could expect a pattern of 2-3 daytime sleeps of up to two hours each in the sleep logs. Babies 6 months and older sleep about 14 hours per day. This age is when they develop many new abilities, such as object permanence, that can affect their sleep-awake cycles and even make them more difficult to settle.
Being aware of these sleep changes by month would help you better rule out sleep variations as being developmental rather than a health concern worth speaking to a pediatrician about. The Cubtale Baby Tracker provides you with monthly readings and notifications based on your baby’s age about sleep changes, amongst other developmental milestones, so you can be aware of what changes to look out for.
How to Start Sleep Tracking?
There are a number of ways to track your baby’s sleep such as keeping a journal or notebook, having an Excel sheet or online document, and using an app or smart device. Some methods are easier than others. For example, using a notebook or chart can help you easily log the sleep times and durations, but it makes it harder to notice patterns or trends. However, an app or device such as the Cubtale Baby Tracker and smart tracking Cubs allow you to not only track the times and durations but also make seeing routines easier, giving you notifications on expected bedtimes based on patterns and making sleep training easier, all with a simple push of a button. As a bonus, it also allows you to download and print your recorded logs so you can take them to your pediatrician visits. This type of information provides valuable information to your doctor.