New baby sleep patterns
In the first few weeks a new baby has no concept of daytime or nighttime. Sleep patterns are disrupted by other new habits like the need to feed.
A breastfed baby might need to feed as often as every two hours in the early weeks.
You need to be prepared to put sleep routines on hold until your new baby has adjusted to his world – the early weeks are no time for letting a baby ‘cry it out’ on his own.
How long will my new baby sleep for?
The theory is that new babies sleep for around 16 to 17 hours each day. However some sleep much more than this, others seemingly nap lightly and only fall into a deep sleep when you’re driving on the outside lane of the motorway!
- Do encourage daytime naps as these will help your baby feel better rested at night.
- Create little routines like a quiet bathtime, a change into a clean sleepsuit, and a sing-song with a long feed before the early evening nap. Even small babies will begin to associate such things with pleasant, restful naps.
- Babies who suffer with colic [PLS ADD LINK TO COLIC ARTICLE] may skip the early evening nap because this is the time most commonly associated with the distressed crying of colic. But if this is the case, allow your baby to enjoy the morning nap instead – trying to encourage your child to skip this earlier sleep will not necessarily help him sleep later on; instead it might make him less able to settle.
Whether your baby is having a night or a daytime sleep, make sure you follow the rules for safe sleeping.
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