Newborns sleep: What you need to know.
Newborns are unique beings, innocent and oblivious of their new environment outside their mothers' wombs. They try to adjust after their nine months of gestation in the confines of interior warmth and attachment with their mothers. This process explains why their first call to duty is sleeping.
Notwithstanding that every human's sleeping is an inherent and involuntary activity, newborns need it more for healthy developmental growth. The study of newborns sleep is an exciting and intriguing subject. All newborns have their unique ways of sleeping in terms of numbers of hours of sleep, sleeping pattern and sleeping position.
There is a maximum and a minimum number of hours a newborn is required to sleep, and when these limits are either high or low, it calls for concern. Some newborns sleep more extended hours than others, while some may have a sleeping disorder due to certain factors. If you feel worried about the abnormal newborn sleep of your baby, consult a Pediatrician before trying any strategy on your own.
Newborns that sleep too much
The average time newborns sleep is around eight to nine hours in the daytime and eight hours at night . Some can even sleep for more than nineteen hours per day for these reasons:
- They are going through geometric growth or development
- They may have a minor illness or other medical conditions
- They may not be getting sufficient food to eat.
Newborns sleep pattern
Generally, newborns sleep 12 to 16 hours out of 24 hours. They sleep in a punctuated manner called sleep cycle which could last for 20 to 50 minutes per period. The different states of the cycle are:
- Sleep states
- Active sleep
- Deep sleep
- Waking states
- Eyes opened
- Face and body movement
Newborns sleep routine
Infants sleep so frequently, in fragments of 2-3 hours between meals, day and night. To understand your baby's sleep routine , try the following always in the same order and observe their responses:
- Feed them when they wake up
- Change their diapers
- Talk, play with them
- Sing a lullaby Sooth them to sleep
Newborns sleep position
Putting your baby on their back is the best sleeping position that ensures their protection and safety. Studies from around the world reveal that placing your baby on the back while sleeping at all times reduces the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) significantly.
Side sleeping can be safe when your baby grows (above one year) and gets stronger.
Newborns sleep a lot.
Newborns can sleep throughout the day since they are yet to come to terms with their new environment. They slept all through while in the womb of their mother, enjoyed so much warmth before they were born.
They have a small stomach that makes them satisfied quickly when they feed, causing them to fall asleep easily before their point of satisfaction.
Getting newborns to sleep
To ensure that your baby gets adequate rest, food and stimulation, follow the following tips to engender an excellent sleep cycle:
- Study signs of fatigue
- Make them feel the difference between day and night
- Swaddle them
- Play soft music or white noise
- Make sure that you don't sleep in the same bed with them
Watch here how to Swaddle a new born.
Can newborns sleep on their side?
Yes, Side sleeping is safe when your baby is 4 to 6 months old and rolls over on their stomach from the initial placed back sleeping position.
Making your baby sleep on their side may make them roll over on their stomach accidentally. Sleeping on the side may not be safe for newborns who are less than four months old.
Where do newborns sleep?
Mothers should ensure that they share the same room with their newborns but not on the same bed. Newborns should sleep in their bassinet, cradle or crib on a firm mattress covered with a fitted sheet.
Mothers should avoid soft objects like pillows, toys, loose blankets around the baby's crib. All these measures are to prevent any incidence of suffocation.
What do you do if your newborn is sleeping too much?
If you are worried about your newborn's sleeping pattern, talk to a paediatrician before trying any strategy. The strategies may include:
- Feed the baby every time they show signs of hunger
- Feed the baby every 1-2 hours
- Ensure that the baby is not too cold or hot
- Record the baby's sleep schedule for 1-2 days
What if my newborn won't sleep in a crib?
Most often, some newborns will not want to sleep in their cribs after enjoying the warm arms of their parents, no matter how comfortable their cribs are. If this happens, remove the thin line between the baby bed and yours. Before putting the baby on his crib without losing skin contact, calm him down in your arms until he's drowsy.
How do newborns communicate?
Newborns can hear even before they are born. Newborns can see, mainly at close range though they can't figure out the images into elemental forms.
While taking care of newborns, talk, smile, and interact with them, respond to your baby's cues. You need to observe how your baby moves or coo when you speak. This way, your baby learns communication.
Does a mother sleeping habit affect her newborn?
Yes, relaxed parents are better able to assist their newborns in regulating themselves. Exhausted parents will find it difficult to calm down their babies. You may ask for help if necessary, especially at night. Because of this, the best thing to do is to take good care of yourself, which will help your newborn get the correct percentage of quality sleep.
How to know if your newborn is ill?
A noticeable behaviour change could be a sign of illness in newborns . If your baby is sick, he will cry more and his activeness drops. Contact your doctor if you notice some signs like:
- Crying excessively
- Low energy
- The soft spot close to their forehead begin to swell
- Refuses to feed
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There is no cause for alarm when newborns sleep longer than usual, except there are other symptoms. The managing sleeping pattern of infants is one of the most challenging tasks in taking care of newborns.
On average, most newborns sleep for between 8 and 9 hours during the day and 8 hours at night, then wake up at least every 3 hours to feed. However, newborns may sleep more or less than usual when sick or experience distortion to their routine.
If you are apprehensive about your baby's sleeping schedule, consult a paediatrician. Before then, you may adopt the following strategies:
- Feeding the newborn every time they show signs of hunger.
- Breastfeed or bottle-feed the baby every 1-2 hours to ensure enough food intake.
- Make sure that the newborn is not too cold or hot
- Keep track of the baby's sleep schedule for 1-2 days.