our everyday life

How to Prevent Sleep Deprivation in Babies

by Kathryn Hatter, studioD

With a baby in the house, the entire family may be experiencing a taste of sleep deprivation. Some babies fail to adopt regular or adequate sleep schedules, resulting in too little sleep each day. Because sleep deprivation can cause assorted issues, including fussiness and a general feeling of malaise, it’s wise to ensure a baby gets adequate sleep each night.

Track your baby’s awake time so you know when the time approaches that she’ll need to sleep, advises Angela Braden, wellness and lifestyle author, with the Baby Sleep Site. A newborn may only have about 40 minutes of awake time between sleeps. For every month of life, a baby may add between 20 and 40 minutes of awake time. By 6 to 8 months of age, a baby may be able to stay awake 2 to 2.5 hours between sleep.

Watch your baby for signs of tiredness so you can put him to bed before he becomes drowsy, advises the Oregon State University Family Care Connection. A baby may rub his eyes, refuse to establish eye contact, fuss and yawn.

Prepare your baby for sleep when you determine she needs it. Change her diaper, put her in comfortable clothing and place her in her crib to enable her to go to sleep.

Establish an evening routine that encourages an early bedtime for your baby. By keeping activity levels low and maintaining a calm environment, a baby should feel more ready for sleep. Approximately one hour before you want to place your child in bed, begin a routine that your child will learn and recognize as a sign that bedtime is coming. Your routine may include a bath, a final feed and a short snuggle before tucking your baby into his crib.

Maintain consistency every day to ensure your baby gets the sleep she needs, advises professor of psychology Jodi Mindell, with the National Sleep Foundation. By monitoring how your baby acts and looks, you can avoid overtiredness and ensure that your baby naps on schedule.


  • Avoid allowing your baby to skip a nap, even when distractions or disruptions make it difficult to maintain a nap schedule, warns WebMD. The combination of sleep deprivation and over stimulation can make the baby extremely irritable. An overtired baby may not sleep well during the night either.

About the Author

Kathryn Hatter is a veteran home-school educator, as well as an accomplished gardener, quilter, crocheter, cook, decorator and digital graphics creator. As a regular contributor to Natural News, many of Hatter's Internet publications focus on natural health and parenting. Hatter has also had publication on home improvement websites such as Redbeacon.

Photo Credits

  • George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images