If you are reading this article, the chances are that you already have your bundle of joy in your hands or that you are anticipating it in a few weeks’ time. As new parents, everyone is extremely excited.
The latest addition to your family is going to bring in a lot of difference in the coming years that you will slowly take into your stride. But if there is one thing that you will need to schedule from the beginning consciously, and that is how much the newborn rests.
A well-rested baby and parents are the best companions. Effective rest can help recharge both their batteries and pave for a great time together to learning and growing up, which is going to be so much fun!
A lot of parenting websites have a frequently asked question about how much do newborns sleep. From the time it is born to up to the baby’s three months, a newborn gets sleep anywhere between fourteen and seventeen hours a day. Babies can be awake at an almost regular stretch of two to three hours and then again rest for four to five hours at a time.
Experts believe that there is an art to how to get baby to sleep. Parents must, as a rule in the first few months of the baby’s birth, try to put the baby to sleep when it is tired as against when it is incredibly sleepy.
The schedule will help the baby to establish a routine earlier on itself. However, be warned that the baby’s resting cycle will drastically change over the following months and years. There is a saying that goes, “a well-rested baby is a healthier and a cheerful baby”. If it becomes overly tired, it may be difficult to soothe it.
How Much Do Newborns Sleep?
If you are planning a newborn sleep schedule to train your bub, you may have to wait till it is at least five or six months old. Till then, the best thing to do is to take a cue from your little ones’ routine and tailor your routine around it.
As said earlier, a newborn can comfortably rest for a maximum of seventeen hours in a day; usually sleeping at a stretch of four to five hours at one time. Over time, these cycles may increase to six to eight hours at a stretch. This generally happens when the baby is reaching the two-month milestone.
Are you wondering how many hours a day should a newborn be awake?
On average, a newborn can be awake intermittently for five up to seven hours. Considering that it rests well in the day at a stretch of three to five hours for a minimum of two times, there is no reason that you must push the panic button. We all agree that nothing can be more erratic than a newborn sleep schedule. The parents should follow the newborn’s lead and break and rest whenever the newborn is resting.
All the other work can wait. No, Really!
Sleeping through the night is usually the best thing that parents wish for, but it often does not happen until the baby is close to five or six months old. However, there may be stray nights earlier that when the baby sleeps through the night. It could be because it is well fed and rested or that it may be too tired with the day’s activities and has not caught the requisite for the day.
In its earliest weeks of life, the newborn has two stages of sleep. They are
- The Non-Rapid Eye Movement and
- The Rapid Eye Movement
Of the above two, the REM or the Rapid Eye Movement is the deepest state, and that is the time the baby gets a complete rest and is rejuvenated for a couple of more hours.
The newborn sleep patterns exactly half of the above two eye movements and lasts about fifty minutes each.
At 0 to 3 weeks, you would be too early for training. That is not an insane field like it is made out to be. It is easy, you and your baby will effortlessly slip in. During this time, what you will do will help establish a healthy pattern and a precursor to what the baby will grow up to learn consequently.
It is a great idea to take a clue from the current newborn sleep cycle. Does your baby cry or rub his eyes when feeling sleepy; or does it throw a fuss when it is sleepy? This is the best time to take the baby to his crib and to try and put him to bed. It will give out a signal to the newborn that it is time for it to rest and in a way, establish a newborn routine.
It is really not difficult to set a pattern to teach your bub about the differences between the awake and his rest time. For instance, when it is morning, you could let the sunlight in by drawing the curtains or play some lively music to signal its ‘awake’ time.
Taking the baby out in a stroller in broad daylight is also a fantastic idea. Similarly, in the evening, when it is time to teach him about newborn bedtime, you could begin by lowering the intensity of room lights, giving them a warm wipe, and also read in a low, soothing voice to signal that it is time for it to rest.
For best results, it is strongly recommended that you continue the exercise of awakening and calming him down every day at the same time with consistency in order to indicate newborn baby sleep time and activity time.
How To Get Newborn To Sleepe
- Set up newborn sleep routine: as parents, it may worry you that how much ever you try, it is becoming increasingly difficult to put your newborn to bed. “Consistency is the key”- try to maintain a healthy routine for a matter of two to three weeks at a stretch, and it will help form an early habit.
- Look for signs to connect between your newborn and his rest: if you notice that the newborn is rubbing its eyes or is yawning to be getting crankier by the minute, take a cue immediately and begin trying to put it them to bed. You may hum a lullaby or give it a soothing warm wipe or bath. Never let the baby overtire itself.
- A gentle, soothing massage may do the trick: give your newborns a gentle tummy massage or a hands and feet massage to gently prep it into sleep. Contrary to the common belief, baby sleeping habits can be cultivated and formed as early as this.
- Create a conducive environment: newborns can also be distracted with newer things. Make sure that you do not introduce a newer toy in the evening or during their sleeping time. As part of their natural curiosity, it will not allow them to fall asleep quickly. Try to maintain a consistently similar environment for the baby to fall into sleep.
- A good mattress paves the way for a night of restful sleep: like adults need right sleeping aids for a quiet night, newborns also need to be given the best toddler mattress in order to make sure that it gets a restful sleep. Doctors around the world believe that a firm mattress is what is recommended for newborns. It reduces the chances of smothering it and is safe even if the newborn wakes up and is fidgeting with it in the middle of the night.
A lot of first time parents can be overwhelmed with the fact that their babies choose to call it a day early and then either resist sleeping during the night or sleep poorly through the day. If you are one of them, let us assure you that it takes about six months for a newborn to get into his cycle.
Newborn baby sleeping time can broadly vary with time. There are a lot of factors that can determine the schedule of the newborn. It is not exactly rocket science, but we understand that with all things parenting, it can be a daunting task to stay awake night after night along with the infant and then be able to double up as a parent in the day!
Baby Sleeping Habits
Newborns can be highly erratic, slipping into the REM only for a short period and then waking up when hungry. This means that you will get up as often as your baby to either feed it, change, or simply comfort it. If you are worked up from hardly being able to catch any rest yourself, take heart.
Doctors say that by the time infants are eight weeks older, they most often slip into a night sleeping routine by sleeping less during the day and longer at night. When the baby is 6-8 months old, he/she can soothe itself to sleep too.
How do you get a newborn to sleep at night?
We would love to hear from you about your parenting tricks and tips. Do let us know if the article at top-mom.com helped you or someone you know.