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NAN: The Eat, Wake, Sleep Cycle

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When you think about it, babies wake up in the morning, they’re hungry and they eat, they’re up for a while and then they go back to sleep. Supporting this natural pattern by following an eat, wake, sleep cycle helps to create order as well as to provide the structure for a simple daily routine. Since babies on an eat, wake, sleep cycle learn to fall asleep without being fed, there may be less of a need for props to help a baby fall asleep.

To support this cycle during the eat phase, nannies should ensure that the baby’s nutritional needs are adequately met. During the wake phase, nannies should actively engage the baby by providing age-appropriate stimulation.  During the sleep phase, nannies should facilitate sleep by creating a healthy environment that is conducive to sleep.

This cycle usually starts off as a 2-3 hour cycle with newborns, but as a baby gets older it increases to a 4 hour cycle around 4 months of age.

The books The Baby Whisperer Solves All Your Problems: Sleeping, Feeding, and Behavior–Beyond the Basics from Infancy Through Toddlerhood by Tracy Hogg and Melina Blau and On Becoming BabyWise by Gary Ezzo and Robert Bucknam have helped to popularized similar concepts that focus on this natural cycle.

Michelle LaRoweNAN: The Eat, Wake, Sleep Cycle