There is a book that I call my "bible" when it comes to babies and sleep, even toddlers and sleep. It is the Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child book written by Marc Weissbluth. Someone recommended this to me when I had my first baby and I read it from cover to cover. It is amazing when they send you home with this new baby from the hospital and expect you to just figure this whole thing out on your own. Something very important to me is SLEEP and it is hard in those first few months when you don't get any! But there comes a time around 3-4 months when I needed to get that baby on a sleep schedule and teach them how to sleep on their own. This is for my own sanity and it also makes for a much happier baby! There were so many things in the book that surprised me about babies and sleep.
Here were a few:
1) Infants around 3-4 months old should be put to bed around 5:00 or 5:30...they are tired then and many people put them down for naps at this time and put them to bed later. The minute I started putting them down for bed at this time they started sleep until around 4:00 am and then stretching it to 5:00 and 6:00 am. It is so contradictory to think an infant can sleep that long without eating....but it works!!
2) Infants need to sleep after about 2 hours of wakefulness.
3) The more infants sleep, the more and better they sleep!
There are many other eye opening helpful techniques in this book to go into all of them. All I can say is that I have two of the most amazing sleeping children and I believe I owe it all to this book. Don't get me wrong, it is hard work and you have to alter you schedule to make it work....but once it does it is heaven! I am writing this post right now as my two babes are fast asleep in their beds taking their 3 hour afternoon naps at the same time :)