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  • Tammy Kennedy

Montessori's approach to sleep

Newborn Sleep

Babies sleep when they are tired. It is nearly impossible to force a baby to sleep. The same rule applies when your baby is asleep. There is little you can do to wake him if he is sleeping soundly.

Newborn babies have small tummies. They grow rapidly, they are drinking mostly liquids and it digests quickly. Although it would be nice to lay your baby down at bedtime and not hear from him until morning, this is unlikely. Newborns need to be fed every two to four hours.

Sleeping through the night

Some people believe that babies should start sleeping through the night soon after birth. For a new baby, 4 hours is a full night. Some babies can sleep uninterrupted from midnight to 5 a.m.

Each infant is an individual, observe your baby and follow their lead on their sleep schedule.

Some babies that sleep through the night will suddenly begin waking more often and it’s often a full year or even two until your baby will settle a consistent sleep pattern.

Falling Asleep at the Breast or Bottle

It is natural for a newborn to fall asleep while feeding or sucking on an object. Montessori recommends letting your baby fall asleep without an object. This will help your baby to self soothe and not associate sucking with sleep. Feed your baby and then lay them down without a bottle, breast or pacifier. This will set a pattern and create a positive approach towards sleep.

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