I thought it was important to talk about why your baby’s adjusted age is so important when it comes to sleep, and by extension sleep training. Sleep has a lot to do with brain development. When a premature baby is born, they have to continue to develop, as they would have, inside their mother’s womb.
In general a premature baby tends to develop in line with their adjusted age. If a baby reaches the milestone of sitting around 6 months then you can expect that your premature baby will likely sit up around 6 months from there due date instead of when they were actually born. This includes all milestones like sleep, gross motor and fine motor skills, social skills and speech.
So wondering how to calculate your baby’s adjusted age?
Your babies actual age in weeks – How many weeks premature
When you are thinking about your premature baby’s sleep patterns and wonder why they haven’t’ started sleeping through the night or made other important sleep transitions like their little friends, think about their adjusted age. Does this change the sleep expectations?
Premature babies really do need more time to mature. Brain maturity is what helps your baby meet their sleep milestones. Melatonin isn’t produced until a baby is 3 or 4 months of age, which is the time your baby starts to develop their circadian rhythm.
What about sleep training then? At around four months of age a baby’s internal sleep rhythms are beginning to develop, which means you can start getting them into more of a routine. If a premature baby hasn’t reached that 4 month corrected age, they may not be ready for sleep training. I want your sleep training to be successful, so will always suggest that we start working together when they have hit that 4 month adjusted age!
I hope this helps you understand adjusted age vs. date of birth.
Have you had a chance to join my free community where parents come together to discuss child sleep issues? Join here!