Newborns sleep a lot, the new born baby’s sleep schedule is very unpredictable, 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
A 6 weeks old baby’s sleep pattern will vary as he falls asleep and wakes up at all hours of the day (and night!). Newborn baby’s sleep pattern ranges from (10-18 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 2 to 5 hours at a time. Be sure to respond to your newborn when he signals, as he will likely need feeding…and diapering!
Why Your Newborn Wakes Up
Your newborn baby’s sleep routine is different, the baby 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
Teach the Difference 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. These newborn baby sleep techniques will help your little one sleep better. Your touch will soothe him, improving his sleep quantity and quality. Soon you will notice your baby's longest periods of sleep occur at night.
Naptime — For Mom Too
One of the newborn baby sleep techniques is to 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.
*Adapted from Sleeping Through the Night: How Infants, Toddlers, and Their Parents Can Get a Good Night’s Sleep by Dr. Jodi Mindell and from an article by the baby care experts at JOHNSON’S®.
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