Newborn Baby Sleep

Newborn Baby Sleep

The first night home may feel overwhelming, but to try and help ease you into it, read our helpful guide. Newborns sleep a lot, but not for very long at any one time. Thankfully, there are ways to help ease your newborn into a regular schedule with quiet moments together where you engage his senses, leading to more sleep and more healthy development. The first few weeks of your baby’s life are all about adjustment — for your baby and you. It’s too soon to expect structured sleep patterns, so take your cues from your baby.

Newborns Wake Up – A Lot

For the first few months, your baby will fall asleep and wake up at all hours of the day (and night!). Newborn babies can have quite a range in total sleep time (16-18 hours per day), with sleep usually equally spaced throughout the 24-hour day with no real difference between day and nighttime sleep. Babies may sleep 3 to 4 hours at a time. During the first weeks, you should respond to your newborn quickly – in about 30 seconds to a minute. Most newborns are unable to settle themselves back down.  Be sure to respond to your newborn when he signals, as he will likely need feeding…and changing!

Why Your Newborn Wakes Up

Your newborn most often wakes up because he is hungry or needs to be changed. Be aware of sudden changes in your baby’s sleep patterns — it may signal illness or a hunger-inducing growth spurt

SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome)

To lessen the chances of SIDS, always put your baby down to sleep on his back, not his tummy. Your baby should sleep on a firm mattress, with no fluffy or loose bedding, no stuffed animals, and no pillow.

For more on baby sleep safety, visit www.nhs.co.uk, www.isisonline.org.uk, and www.nct.org.uk.

 

Every Baby Is Different

Learn your baby's signs of being sleepy. Many babies become fussy or cry when they get tired, while others will rub their eyes, pull on their ears, or even stare off into space. Put your baby down for bedtime or a nap when your baby first lets you know he is tired.

Distinguish Between Night and Day

When your baby sleeps during the day, keep the lights on and keep sounds at normal levels. At night, on the other hand, turn off the light or use a night-light, feed and change your baby as calmly and quietly as possible, and limit your interactions to holding him gently. Soon you will notice your baby's longest periods of sleep occur at night.

Establish a Bedtime Routine

Babies are comforted by routines. You may wish to begin establishing a bedtime routine even at this tender age, to lay the groundwork for later months. For example, try regularly giving your newborn a warm bath, a gentle, soothing massage and quiet time before bed. This can help to relax your newborn for easier sleep.

Catch Up on Your Sleep

Use your baby’s naptime as a time to catch up on sleep yourself. As tempting as it is to use naptime to get things done, you’ll be able to cope better if you nap when your baby does.