Important Points For Parents Regarding Newborn’s Sleep
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Newborn Sleep- What to Expect in the First Month

Newborn Sleep- What to Expect in the First Month

by: Dr. Sanjay K. Tandon
Sr. Consultant Paediatrics & Neonatology

Getting your baby to nap and sleep through the night is good for the entire family. The key to making it happen is to be realistic and do not expect your baby to become a champion right away!

For the first two months, newborns are unable to differentiate between day and night. During first week, they sleep a total of 16-18 hours a day, about half during the night and half spread out over four daytime naps. From 2 weeks onwards, the sleeping hours gradually decrease. But most babies don’t stay asleep for more than two to four hours at a time, be it day or night, during the first few weeks of life, resulting lots of sleep for your baby and a very irregular and tiring schedule for you. As a new parent, you’ll probably be up several times during the night to change, feed, and comfort him. Parents need to have patience and realize that it’s going to take some time for their baby’s internal clock to kick in. Sleep also varies dramatically from child to child.

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Some important points to be kept in mind, regarding the newborn’s sleep by the new parents are:

  1. Do not let the baby sleep on its stomach or sideways. Babies sleeping with face down re-breathe their own carbon dioxide, suffocate and face SIDS.
  2. The newborn sleep patterns are unpredictable. Give your baby a chance to nap frequently.
  3. Teach them to decipher day and night. Although, for the first few days you won’t be able to do much about this, but once your baby is about 2 weeks old, you can start teaching them. to  During the day, when the baby is alert and awake, interact and play with him as much as you can, keep the house and his room light and bright, while during night, don’t play with him when he wakes up, keep the lights and noise level low, and don’t interact much. With time baby would be able to figure out its sleeping times.
  4. Make a proper bedtime routine for your baby, to avoid getting stressed.
  5. Do not develop any sleeping habit such rocking or swaddling. Babies learn them very fast and become dependent on it.
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