Your newborn is growing really fast and by about 10 weeks your baby has already changed so much! Around 2 months old you may be ready to create a schedule for your baby and start working on a bedtime routine.
Some common questions I get asked about 10-week-old sleep:
- Is it too early to start a bedtime routine?
- What time should my 10-week-old go to bed?
- Is it too soon to start sleep training?
- What is a good schedule for my baby?
These are great questions to ask! There are no stupid questions here so please please just ask, we don’t know what we don’t know, right? A few things to remember as we answer these questions. The words “schedule” and “sleep training” can be somewhat…..controversial if you will. Keep in mind that I know what it’s like to have a 10-week-old baby. I have had 4 children, and as a sleep coach, I have supported many many families with very young infants. I know that newborns need feeds, each day will be a bit different, and they should be supported on their sleep journey and not left to “cry it out”. Ok? So deep breaths everyone. You can have a newborn and still create healthy sleep hygiene that will set you up for success in the months to come while still honoring your little one’s newness.
Sleep Schedule and Bedtime Routine
It is never too early or too late to start a bedtime routine. In fact the earlier the better. A bedtime routine should be the same every day and last between 20-30 minutes long. Too short and it doesn’t give your baby enough time to relax into it, too long and your baby may get fussy and miss the whole point of wind down time.
- Bath or washcloth scrub/ lotion
- Clean diaper, pj’s
- Feed (lights on)
- Swaddle, white noise on, and lights out
- In bed
Each of these steps is calm, quick, and cuddly. Notice I put the feed in the middle instead of the end. This is to begin to remove feeding from sleeping. Your newborn will most likely start to doze off during the feed. That’s ok at this age. After the feed give them a burp and then swaddle them up and put them in bed. Holding and snuggling your baby during a feed is your payoff as a parent. Enjoy the bedtime routine and try not to get anxious about the clock or the order of events. A routine is very important and yes we want it to be the same every day but we also know that life happens so do your best and everything will be just fine.
When Do 2-Month-Olds Go To Bed?
You may have heard me talk about early bedtimes. I am a huge fan of early bedtimes. After about 16 weeks old. In the first 3 months, your baby will do much better with a bedtime between 8:30-9 pm. So if your goal is an 8:30 pm bedtime then start the bath at about 8 pm. Your baby needs about 4 naps a day with a wake window of around 1 hour 15 minutes so aim to end that last nap around 7:15 pm so your baby can have a feed and is getting sleepy as you start the bath.
The last feed before bed can be a top-off feed if they ate within the last hour. Even at this age an eat, play, and sleep schedule is a great goal. It helps prevent reflux, and over-feeding and removes feeding from sleeping which will be your end goal in the next few months. Again don’t kill yourself over the timeline, just keep the overarching goal in your mind and do your best. If today sucks try again tomorrow.
Is It Too Soon for a Schedule?
When you get started early you are laying foundations. Sleep training comes into play when you are correcting schedules or changing habits. In these early days, you’re learning about each other and finding your rhythm. Slowly and consistently helping your baby learn to fall asleep independently can come very naturally and doesn’t have to be a sudden and drastic change. That is exactly why I love working with newborn families. We start off right and before we know it your baby is sleeping well, and eating well and you feel in control of your days and have your evenings back. It can seem overwhelming to know where to start, that’s why I’m here! Sleep is a complex issue and each child and family deserves to find a schedule that works for them. Each family will also have individual sleep goals. I support families in all phases of their sleep and parenting journey so schedule a call with me so we can get everyone moving in the right direction.