How to Help Your 3 Month Old Sleep Better

How to Help Your 3 Month Old Sleep Better

Uncategorized

Dec 6, 2022

It’s no mystery that you’re probably watching this video because you currently have a 3 month old (12 to 15 week old).

If you have a baby this age, you’re in this really weird season where they’re not really a newborn anymore, but they’re also not quite a baby either! 

Because of this, it’s easy to feel lost and confused about what to do when it comes to their sleep schedule and daily routines.

In this video and podcast, I’m going to teach you all about how to make the 3-4 month age less awkward and more enjoyable! 

How to Handle the Awkward 3-4 Month Time

When it comes to caring for a 3 month old, you’re probably feeling it. 

The newborn “fog” might be lifting, but you’re likely still tired because you’re still waking up during the night and you’re probably wondering, “Is my baby ready to sleep train yet?”

At 3 months old, your baby isn’t developmentally ready to sleep train yet but there are some things you can do to help them!

Even though you can’t sleep train your baby until 16 weeks old, it doesn’t mean that you have to suffer through sleepless nights with your 3 month old!

When my first daughter was born, my husband Chad and I would wake up throughout the night wondering if our daughter was in her bassinet, in our arms, or sleeping in someone else’s arms.

At the height of our sleep deprivation, we found our 3.5 month old under our duvet cover one morning.

I vividly remember freaking out, grabbing her, and holding her close.

I then immediately got out of bed, ran to my computer and googled, “How do I get my 3 month old to sleep?”

 I didn’t care about sleeping all night or sleeping for even an hour or two at a time.

I just needed my baby to close her eyes and sleep for a moment, safely and soundly.

Our story here at Little Z’s began when our oldest was just 3 months old and because of that, this age  is especially dear to my heart.

Below you will find eight ways that you can help your 3 month old sleep better so that you all can feel more well rested and truly CHERISH this tiny, precious, fleeting season of newborn life.

#1 Give Your Newborn More Awake Time

Between 12 to 15 weeks old, your newborn is ready for more awake time! 

<<< Still feeling a little lost when it comes to your newborn’s schedule and routines? Check out my Free Newborn Schedule Guide HERE.>>>

You’ve probably been rolling with the 45 to 60 minute awake window from birth and now, at 3 months of age, it’s time to widen each awake window to 60-75 minutes. 

#2 Increase the Morning Awake Window to 60 Minutes 

Now that your 3 month old can handle more awake time, it’s necessary to make sure that their first morning awake window is at least 60 minutes in length. 

You’ve probably been putting them down for their first nap around the 45 minute mark, and now it’s time to give them that full, 60 minute wake window before Nap 1!

#3 Extend Remaining Awake Windows to 70-75 Minutes 

For the rest of the day, use 70-75 minute wake windows in between naps! 

I know that 15 minutes seems kind of insignificant, but every little bit counts for your newborn. They need to be awake long enough to sleep long enough. 

If you’ve been doing the shorter newborn windows during this time, you’ve likely noticed they’re starting to wake up earlier from their nap. 

Or, maybe they’re rejecting their nap when you lay them down and you’re having to do more Pick Up Put Down. 

#4 Gradually Reduce the Pacifier Usage

If you are still using the pacifier, feel free to start taking it away at some points. 

Here at Little Z’s, we ditch the pacifier at 16 weeks old because babies at that age babies are developmentally ready to start self-soothing. 

<<< Learn more about the Dos and Donts of using a pacifier HERE >>>

Experiment with using the pacifier less when your baby sleeps. 

Maybe this means that for the morning nap you’re not going to offer your baby the pacifier, or maybe in the middle of the night you’re going to give your little one more time and space to settle on their own before popping the pacifier back in. 

The less reliant your baby is on the pacifier at this age, the easier it will be for them to learn to self-soothe.

#5 Help Your Newborn Get Drowsy

At this age, it’s still perfectly okay to help your newborn become drowsy. 

In the world of sleep, you’ve likely heard people say, get the baby drowsy but awake. And you’re like, what the heck does that mean? 

Honestly, in the baby and toddler stages, that means nothing. 

Drowsiness is the first stage of sleep, and a baby and a toddler should become drowsy on their own independently in their bed. 

But at the newborn stage, you’re still helping them fall asleep with things like the pacifier, or the PUPD method, or the 5s.  

So yes, they do still need your help becoming drowsy. 

As your little one nears the 16 week mark, start seeing if you can be a little bit more “hands off” so that your little one can start to find their own fingers and their own means of self-soothing.

#6 Enjoy On the Go Naps 

At 3 months old, your baby is still taking at least 4-6 naps, depending on the day. 

Because they are taking so many naps, it’s okay and helpful to enjoy some of their naps on the go! 

At 6-7 months of age, this will change and your little one will need two, solid crib naps per day.

Enjoy having some extra freedom now to do a nap or two in the stroller, carrier, or car seat with your 3 month old. 

Even when it’s time to sleep train your little one at 16 weeks, you are still able to do a few of their daily naps on the go! 

#7 Stop Using a Swaddle

Here at Little Z’s, we highly recommend removing your newborn’s swaddle between 8-12 weeks of age, 12 weeks being the “last call.” 

If you have a 12 to 15 week old who is still in a swaddle, let’s begin by taking one arm out and switching arms every time your baby goes to sleep. 

Removing the swaddle helps your little one to learn soothing strategies like sucking on their fingers or rolling around. 

#8 Don’t Stress About What You Can’t Control Right Now 

Maybe you’re a mom, dad, or caregiver watching this video and you’re feeling overwhelmed by all the things that you should be doing to help your child sleep. 

Perhaps you’re a mother dealing with postpartum depression or postpartum anxiety.

Maybe you’re a caregiver who’s feeling overwhelmed with the amount of children that you’re helping with. 

Maybe you’re a dad who’s feeling like you wanna be hands on, but you’re not sure what to do. 

Be encouraged that there is nothing you can do now that will be detrimental to your baby’s sleep success in the future. 

The concepts and strategies listed above are designed to help your 3 month old sleep better!

If any of these concepts caused you to feel anxious or stressed, take a deep breath and relax.

I want you to take what you need from this information and leave what you don’t need.

I also want you to acknowledge that you are STILL in the newborn phase and the newborn phase is really difficult. 

Use these strategies and concepts to boost your confidence and peace when it comes to caring for your 3 month old. 

If this information was helpful to you and you are looking for more resources I want to invite you to grab my Complete Schedule Guide HERE

This guide will give you everything you need to know when it comes to changes in your baby’s schedule. 

From 0-3 years old, I lay out every wake window and schedule you will need in a downloadable, printable version. 

The best part? You will have access to a schedule specifically for your current 3 month old (12-15 weeks)!

As your baby grows and changes, your baby’s schedule will grow and change too and I would love for our Complete Schedule Guide to be a resource for your family that brings you peace and knowledge when it comes to your baby’s sleep journey. 

Conclusion

Having a 3-4 month old can feel a little awkward because your little one is somewhere in between being a newborn and a baby!

Even though you’re still technically in the “newborn” stage and you can’t sleep train yet, you CAN instill healthy sleep habits in the following ways:

  1. Give your newborn more awake time
  2. Increase the morning awake window to 60 minutes 
  3. Extend remaining awake windows to 70-75 minutes 
  4. Gradually reduce the pacifier usage
  5. Help your newborn get drowsy
  6. Enjoy on the go naps 
  7. Stop using a swaddle
  8. Don’t stress about what you can’t control right now 

 HELPFUL? PIN IT FOR LATER!

How to Help Your 3 Month Old Sleep Better

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