All my friends with babies talk about sleep schedules. Should my 5-month-old have one too?
Between 4 and 6 months of age, babies start falling into more predictable sleep patterns. By 6 months, many develop a predictable nap pattern: one nap in the mid-morning, one nap after lunch and another short nap around dinnertime.
While some babies fall into this pattern naturally, others need a little help.
First, spend a few days noting how much your child sleeps in a 24-hour period. (At 5 months, the total may be somewhere around 14 to 16 hours per day, but it can vary widely.) Next, choose an appropriate wake-up time for your child. When establishing a sleep routine, always start with the wake-up time, as this time programs the body’s schedule for the rest of the day.
Then, put your child down for a nap around two hours after they first wake up. A 5-month-old can comfortably stay awake for about two hours at a time, but you may need to adjust this interval to suit your child.
After their first nap, enjoy their next awake period of around two hours (again, adjusting the interval to her unique needs). It’s important to wake them from any nap lasting longer than two hours, in order to protect nighttime sleep. Put them down for another nap and repeat the sequence.
The final “dinnertime” nap is a brief siesta of 30 to 45 minutes. Your child will likely be ready for bedtime around one to two hours after waking from their brief dinnertime nap.
After following these steps for a few days, you’ll find ways to fine-tune the routine to your child’s own needs. But this is a great way to get started.
— Malia Jacobson, author of “Ready, Set, Sleep”
Raising a feminist
Want to teach your baby about gender equality from the get-go? Check out these board books from Baby Feminists. They introduce tots to trailblazing female icons like Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Mae Jemison and Frida Kahlo. Lift the flap to see these heroic women as babies to give your baby a role
model for the future.
Books are available now from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound and Books-A-Million.
Trying to figure out your maternity leave?
When Anna Steffeney was working for a large technology company, she was astounded by the amount of time and effort it took to figure out her maternity leave entitlements and then fill out all the forms. In fact, she estimates that it takes an employee an average of 43 hours to navigate and apply for leave.
She wanted to find a solution, so she created a technology platform called Leave Logic.
Using this software employees can input the leave they’re taking, the city and state they live in and get a clear idea of exactly what they need to register for, what forms to fill out and in what order. This process makes it easier for everyone, both the employee and the employer. It also gives those new mothers back an extra 43 hours to catch up on some sleep or spend some precious time with their new baby.
Find your mom tribe
Being a mom can be tough. Between minding kids and busy work schedules, it can be hard to find time to meet friends or have any “me time.” If this sounds like you, Om Mama might just be the community you need. Om Mama is a Seattle-based website where moms can connect with each other and attend workshops and exercise classes.
Every month, Om Mama hosts meet-ups so you can get out of the house, meet and chat with other mamas. Upcoming events feature a fitness class for pregnant moms, a letterpress workshop and a positive discipline parenting workshop.