Newborn Sleep Tips

Using the Nanit Sleep Schedule When Baby is Premature

The 9 Month Sleep Regression Reading Using the Nanit Sleep Schedule When Baby is Premature 3 minutes Next The 10 Month Sleep Regression

If your baby was born preterm, you may want to use their due date rather than birthdate for the Nanit Sleep Schedule Generator. Your pediatrician might talk about how your baby’s physical milestones may be delayed because they were premature. The same is true for sleep milestones. In general, correcting your baby’s age to their due date rather than birth date (their gestational age) will give you the most accurate picture of where you should expect them to be developmentally. Two babies with the same birthday but different due dates may not be following the same sleep schedule. However, there are a few things you should know that are specific to a premature baby’s sleep development.

In terms of sleep, gestational age is most important for babies when they are under two years old since this is when you see the most drastic changes in sleep patterns. Past two years old, differences in a baby’s sleep patterns become far less stark.

Similarly, for babies born less than three weeks preterm, there may not be a huge impact on sleep behavior. However, families with slightly preterm babies who have sleep issues at four months should be aware that one of the explanations for their rough nights could be their child’s slightly younger gestational age.

Beyond three weeks preterm, differences can become more significant and you should use your baby’s due date instead of birthdate in the sleep schedule generator. It’s simply not fair to expect your child’s sleep behavior to be the same as a child who was born full term, especially in the early months.

Sleep for most babies begins to become more consistent around 4 months. Very few babies can follow a strict sleep schedule by 3 months and almost NO babies follow a strict sleep schedule at 2 months. So if your baby is 4 months old, but was born at 32 weeks, you shouldn’t be expecting your baby to be following a strict 4 month schedule, since your baby’s gestational age is 2 months and we do not expect your baby to be following a regular schedule at that age.

When you use the Nanit sleep schedule generator, please ensure you take into consideration your baby’s due date so that you can generate the most appropriate schedule for your baby.

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Natalie Barnett, PhD serves as VP of Clinical Research at Nanit. Natalie initiated sleep research collaborations at Nanit and in her current role, Natalie oversees collaborations with researchers at hospitals and universities around the world who use the Nanit camera to better understand pediatric sleep and leads the internal sleep and development research programs at Nanit. Natalie holds a Ph.D. in Genetics from the University of New England in Australia and a Postgraduate Certificate in Pediatric Sleep Science from the University of Western Australia. Natalie was an Assistant Professor in the Neurogenetics Unit at NYU School of Medicine prior to joining Nanit. Natalie is also the voice of Nanit's science-backed, personalized sleep tips delivered to users throughout their baby's first few years.

Kristy Ojala is Nanit’s Digital Content Director. She spends way too much time looking at maps and weather forecasts and pictures of Devon Rex cats and no-cook dinners. A former sleep champion, she strives to share trustworthy somnabulism tips with other parents—praying for that one fine day when no tiny humans wake her up while it’s still dark out. Her kids highly recommend 3 books, approximately 600 stuffies, Chopin’s “Nocturnes,” and the Nanit Sound + Light for bedtime success.

Mackenzie Sangster is on the Brand and Community team at Nanit. She supports content development and editing for Nanit’s Parent Confidently blog as well as other marketing initiatives. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her friends, cooking, being active, and using the Pro + Flex Duo to keep an eye on her fur-baby, Poppy!

Holly Hays is a contributor and writer for Nanit, channeling her years as a mama and former magazine editor to create fun, useful content for fellow busy, trying-to-do-their-best parents and caregivers. Holly has written for a wide range of brands and media outlets (Ergobaby, HGTV, Manhattan Toy Company, OXO), loves to cook and read mystery novels, and leans heavily on her two daughters to keep her up to date on all the latest slang.