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.