Things You Need To Know About Newborn Sleep
Some newborns party all night and sleep all day
These little night owls sleep for longer stretches during the daytime, saving their more alert periods for the moonlit hours.
A baby who wakes every hour at night to kick her legs, eat, and demand an adult’s loving care makes for increasingly ᴇxʜᴀᴜsᴛᴇd parents. “This can be very challenging for adults, because our bodies are not physiologically oriented to being up all night,” says Shubin.
As your baby’s brain and ᴄᴇɴᴛʀᴀʟ ɴᴇʀᴠᴏᴜs sʏsᴛᴇᴍ ᴍᴀᴛᴜʀᴇ, her sleep cycles will get longer and more sleep will occur at night. Most babies adjust to the family timetable in a month or so.
You can assist this process by creating a calm, dark environment at night, while letting the sun shine in during the day.
Newborn sleep is erratic and unpredictable
Most babies don’t stay asleep for more than two to four hours at a time, day or night, during the first few weeks of life. Newborns typically sleep 14 to 18 hours a day in the first week and 12 to 16 hours by the time they’re a month old.
Not at all, says Scott Cohen, pediatrician and author of Eat Sleep Poop: A Common Sense Guide to Your Baby’s First Year. He says it’s normal for some newborns to sleep up to 20 hours per day. because the phase won’t last long.
Babies need a spartan sleeping space
A generation ago, a well-appointed crib included a nice soft bumper, a few cozy blankets, and a pillow or two. But things have changed. It turns out that it’s much safer for babies to sleep in a more streamlined environment. The safest sleeping position and space for babies is on their back on a firm, flat mattress with a tight-fitting sheet and nothing else.
A bed with no blankets or pillows? Sounds chilly and uncomfortable to an adult, but with the right clothing, it’s just perfect for a baby.
Remove any item from the sleeping area that could ᴘᴏᴛᴇɴᴛɪᴀʟʟʏ sᴜFFᴏᴄᴀᴛᴇ ᴀ ʙᴀʙʏ, ᴄᴀᴜsᴇ ᴏᴠᴇʀʜᴇᴀᴛɪɴɢ, or ᴏᴛʜᴇʀᴡɪsᴇ ɪᴍᴘᴀɪʀ ʙʀᴇᴀᴛʜɪɴɢ, including blankets, bumpers, pillows, stuffed animals, or quilts. This reduces your baby’s risk of SIDS – the leading cause of ᴅᴇᴀᴛʜ in the United States for kids between 1 month and 1 year old.
Babies have their own sleep personalities
Parents of more than one child often see these differences from very early on. As one mom of two says, “My first baby was a sound sleeper, but my second ᴛᴏssᴇᴅ ᴀɴᴅ ᴛᴜʀɴᴇᴅ ᴀ ʟᴏᴛ and woke up after short periods.”
Personality comes into play too, says Cohen. Some babies are more determined and will Fɪɢʜᴛ sleep as long as they can. Others are more easygoing.
Newborns don’t need peace and quiet to sleep
Don’t feel like you have to whisper or tiptoe quietly around your sleeping newborn. “Most young babies can sleep in the ɴᴏɪsɪᴇsᴛ, brightest places,” says Shubin. “They don’t need the same kind of sleep environment we do.”
This isn’t surprising when you consider that your baby just spent nine months in ᴜᴛᴇʀᴏ – which is not the serene place you might think. The sounds of the mother’s ʜᴇᴀʀᴛʙᴇᴀᴛ, ᴅɪɢᴇsᴛɪᴠᴇ sʏsᴛᴇᴍ, ᴀɴᴅ ᴏᴛʜᴇʀ ʙᴏᴅɪʟʏ Fᴜɴᴄᴛɪᴏɴs ᴀʀᴇ ᴀᴄᴛᴜᴀʟʟʏ ǫᴜɪᴛᴇ ʟᴏᴜᴅ. As your baby leaves the newborn phase behind, gets on a schedule, and becomes more aware of his environment, he’ll begin to outgrow this “sleep anytime” stage. Then noise and other ᴅɪsᴛʀᴀᴄᴛɪᴏɴs ᴅᴏ sᴛᴀʀᴛ ᴛᴏ ᴍᴀᴛᴛᴇʀ, ᴀɴᴅ ʏᴏᴜ ᴍᴀʏ Fɪɴᴅ ʏᴏᴜʀsᴇʟF ᴛɪᴘᴛᴏᴇɪɴɢ through the house.
Whether or not you won the baby sleep lottery, you can begin to teach your baby good sleep habits by establishing a bedtime routine and reading up on baby sleep basics.