How Long Should My Newborn Sleep?
As new parents often find, no one in the house sleeps if the baby doesn’t sleep. It’s very common to have sleep troubles with a baby, especially as new habits and routines are being developed.
Newborns and babies should get the recommended amount of sleep based on their age. These recommendations are only guidelines and not every baby will follow them:
Recommended Hours of Sleep
Newborns should get 14-17 hours of sleep over a 24-hour period, says the National Sleep Foundation. Some newborns may sleep up to 18-19 hours a day. Though newborns spend most of a 24-hour period sleeping, it is best that they do not sleep for longer than 5 hours at a time in the first 5-6 weeks because they need to wake every couple hours to eat. Breastfed babies feed often, about every 2-3 hours. Bottle-fed babies tend to feed less often, about every 3-4 hours.
Expect to wake your newborn every 2-3 hours to eat until they surpass their birth weight, which usually happens within the first couple of weeks. After that, it’s okay to let your baby sleep for longer periods of time at night if they are gaining weight appropriately (about 1 pound per 2 weeks).
The first months of a baby’s life can be the hardest for parents, who might get up many times at night to tend to their baby. Each baby has a different sleep pattern. Some start to sleep “through the night” (for 5-6 hours at a time) by 2-3 months of age, but some don’t.
What if my baby has trouble sleeping?
The following are some helpful tips for establishing good sleep habits for your baby:
• Newborns do not have a set night or day schedule for the first several weeks of life. It is best for a newborn not to sleep longer than 5 hours at a time in the first 5 to 6 weeks as their small bodies need frequent feedings.
• Older babies should have a nap time and bedtime schedule. Put your baby to bed at the same time each night.
• Babies should not be put to bed with a bottle. It causes problems with tooth decay and ear infections.
• At bedtime, include quiet activities your baby likes, such as a bath, a story and last breastfeeding or bottle. Avoid playing with and stimulating the baby.
• Answer your baby’s cries on a schedule. Wait a few minutes longer before each response on a single night, or before every response on succeeding nights. Your baby soon will learn to fall back asleep on his or her own.
• Swaddle your baby. Swaddled babies often sleep more deeply, are startled less often and fall back to sleep more easily. Learn how to swaddle your baby.
Try this natural sleep aid
Baby not sleeping? Play our lullaby and sleep sound videos during napping or at bedtime as they help babies and toddlers feel safe, relaxed, and calm during sleep.
Soothing Cloud Night light
This night light is the perfect sleep companion for your newborn as it provides soft and soothing lighting that creates a safe sleep environment for your baby. The light is also bright enough for nightly reading, diaper changes and nursing.
Baby Shusher Sound Machine
This sound machine uses a real human voice to help lull your baby to sleep with a calming shush sound. Set a 15 to 30-minute timer to help get even the most resistant sleepers to sleep. It also has an adjustable volume control which allows you to get your baby to sleep without keeping everyone else awake!
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