Here is one thing that parents have to face with their first newborn – babies and their sleeping pattern. Unlike young children and adults that follow a sleeping pattern, newborn babies don’t have a sense of what is night and what is the day. They sleep almost all round the clock.
And since their small stomachs can’t hold enough baby formula or breast milk to keep them full for long, they often wake just to eat, and it doesn’t matter what time it is, whether it is night or day.
According to National Sleep Foundation, newborns should at least get between 14 to 17 hours worth of sleep within the 24 hour period. Some newborns may even sleep up to 18 or 19 hours per day.
Every couple of hours, newborns wake up to eat. Babies that are breastfed feed often, usually 8 times to 12 times per day. Babies fed with baby formula usually eats less often, usually every 3 or 4 hours.
Newborns that sleep longer stretches must be awakened to get fed. Every 3 to 4 hours, your baby must eat so you need to wake them up until he or she shows great weight gain, which commonly happens within the first few weeks. After that, it is okay to let your baby sleep for longer periods of time at night.
In the first months of your baby’s life, expect your life to be the most challenging. Expect to get up a lot of times during the night to tend to your baby. Every baby has their sleeping patterns. Some begin to sleep all through the night, around five to six hours at one time, and this continues from 2 to 3 months of their age. However, some have a different sleeping pattern.
How Should Your Baby Sleep?
At first few weeks of your baby’s life, it is best to do a room-share. This means that you place the crib of your baby in your own bedroom rather than place them in a different room or nursery. This will keep your baby nearby and you can easily help with the comforting, feeding and monitoring during the night.
Avoid bed-sharing with your infant as this may lead to some unwanted accidents. One of the things that experts want to avoid is the risk of SIDS or referred to as Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and many other deaths related to sleeping.
To keep a safe sleeping environment for your baby, here are some pointers to follow:
- Keep your baby on her or his back when sleeping, not on the side or the stomach. The rate of death in relation to sleeping has decreased when an established organization shared this recommendation back in 1992.
- Utilize a firm sleeping surface for your baby. Cover your bed’s mattress with a sheet that fits just about right. Try to make sure the crib, play yard or bassinet meets up with the current standards of safety.
- Avoid putting anything else in the bassinet or crib. Keep the blankets, pillows, plush toys, comforters, bumper pads, sheepskins, quilts, and unfitted sheets out of the sleeping area of your baby.