In a perfect world, your baby constantly sleeps 8 hours a night and enjoys a few healthy naps every morning and afternoon. But that’s not always the reality for most parents. Perhaps your baby is waking up multiple times throughout the night. Or maybe they’re taking mini-naps throughout the day without any longer periods of rest. If you think something’s up with your baby’s sleep routine, it may be time to start gathering more information.
Although there are a number of ways to go about it, one such tactic is to start baby sleep tracking.
Why Should I Track Baby Sleep?
If your baby is having sleep trouble, then knowing how long your infant slept, how long he was awake, and what it took to have him go back to sleep is important information in coming to a resolution. So why exactly should you track baby sleep?
When it comes to babies, the total amount of sleep they get in one 24-hour period doesn’t usually fluctuate much on a day-to-day basis. Instead, because babies can sleep both during the daytime and the nighttime, what will shift is the times in which they choose to sleep. By using a baby sleep tracker, you’ll not only be able to see how much total sleep your baby is receiving (to make sure they’re receiving enough sleep for their age), but you’ll also be able to see exactly how and when those sleep chunks are broken down. This will help you spot any overarching patterns or inconsistencies.
How to Track Baby’s Sleep
When you start tracking baby sleep, you’ll want to take note of:
- The time and length of any nap times
- The time your baby wakes up in the morning
- The time of any and all night awakenings and the duration of each
- Bedtime routine, including any supporting details
Likewise, it could also be helpful to note other details of the day, such as meal times, poops, or bouts of crying. Essentially, you want to be able to look at your log and make connections of why your baby might be having trouble sleeping, so noting these details of the day can be helpful.
How long should I track my baby’s sleep?
You’ll want to track your baby’s sleep for at least a few weeks. Any shorter than a few weeks, and it will be more difficult to notice patterns or inconsistencies. Plus, by having a bigger picture of your baby’s sleep schedules (or lack of a schedule), you can present that information to a pediatrician and start working towards finding sleep solutions.
The method of tracking your baby’s sleep is up to you. The method can be as simple as jotting down notes on a piece of paper or a journal. If you’re looking for a more technologically savvy option, there are a number of apps created for this purpose.
What are the Benefits of Tracking Baby’s Sleep?
Eliminate Any Human Errors
The sad truth is that if you leave everything to memory, there’s a good chance that key details and numbers won’t be accounted for. This is even more true if you’re slightly sleep-deprived and feeling out of your element. Plus, there are so many details from each day that relying on memory is setting yourself up for failure.
Utilizing a baby sleep tracker is a surefire way to make sure that you log all the important details of your baby’s day. This alone can help reduce stress and feeling overwhelmed about trying to make sure you remember everything.
Discover Problems on Your Own
Although parenting seems like an endless game of taking it day-by-day, parents can gain a lot of insight by expanding their view and looking at their baby’s big picture when it comes to sleep. When you begin to log your baby’s daily activities, you’ll gain a clearer picture of how much sleep your baby is getting, what routines are contributing to sleep, and what obstacles are getting in the way of sleep.
This gives you a great opportunity to start drawing conclusions before having to meet with a pediatrician. For example, if your baby always finds it difficult to sleep at a certain time in the day, you may be able to come up with possibilities explaining why this is the case. Or, if your baby is awake for too long of a time during the day, you can see opportunities for naps to be inserted into your baby’s sleep schedule. Either way, you know your baby best, and by having a broader view of patterns and daily details, you can start drawing your own conclusions about what works and what doesn’t.
Provide In-Depth Information to a Pediatrician
In the event that issues need to be escalated to a pediatrician, a baby sleep tracker will assist a pediatrician in painting an accurate picture of your baby’s overall health. If your pediatrician asks how many naps your baby is taking, or how often your baby poops, you’ll have the exact answers at hand due to your diligent tracking. When your pediatrician has an accurate view of your baby, they can make a more informed suggestion.
Understand Future Sleeping Patterns
The more you track your baby’s sleep patterns, the quicker you’ll be able to start noticing patterns. When you notice certain sleep patterns, for example, you can begin to plan on them occurring at predictable times. This will allow you to start building a daily schedule, in which you know exactly just how much you have time between naps. Or what time you should put Baby down for bed.
Help Any Babysitters or Caregivers
If you’re hiring a babysitter or caregiver, providing them with your baby’s sleep log can be a helpful way to make sure they take care of your baby effectively while you’re away. The baby tracker will inadvertently eliminate many questions your caregiver would have had for you.
Understand your Baby’s Zzz’s with a Sleep Tracker
Ultimately, if you’re stressing out because your baby isn’t sleeping as consistently as you like, utilizing a baby sleep tracker might be the perfect solution. Although babies may seem unpredictable, they’re actually more predictable than you’d think. By tracking your baby’s sleep patterns and daily habits, you’ll start seeing patterns that allow you to improve sleep for both your baby and yourself.