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How Much Sleep Does Your Baby Need?

How Much Sleep Does Your Baby Need?

When a mother sees her newborn snoozing all day and up during most hours of the night, she wonders whether it is normal. She is concerned about her child getting the right amount of sleep and questions the erratic sleep patterns. 

If you’re a new parent, there is no need to worry about the way your child sleeps. Babies are known to be night owls. The only problem is you may without option have to endure a few weeks of sleepless nights. 

This article sheds light on the topic- baby sleep.

How much sleep does your baby need?

During the first week after birth babies sleep almost 14 to 18 hours while a one month old baby sleep around 12-16 hours a day on an average. This is not fixed and may be more or less in some infants. Doctors state that it is normal for a baby to sleep even 20 hours a day. The sleep period decline as the baby grows older.

A newborn baby must get at least 15 hours of sleep.

Why do newborns sleep so much?

  • Proper and adequate sleep is considered necessary for the baby’s development, especially the brain. The secretion of the growth hormones by the pituitary gland is faster when the baby is asleep.
  • The first few months of the baby are characterized by growth spurts. It gets tired and the body needs rest.
  • Another reason why your baby sleeps so much is because it is still adjusting to the new environment. They have still not learnt to distinguish between night and day.
  • Eating also puts your baby back to sleep. The very action of feeding whether it involves suckling at the mother’s breast or bottle uses up your babies pent up energy. In order to regain its energy it goes back to sleep.

How can new parents cope with irregular baby sleep patterns?

Babies have their nights and days completely reversed for the first few weeks. They sleep during the day for long hours and are wide awake at night either demanding food or simple kicking its legs happily. However, this could very exhaustive for the parents.

A solution is to sleep when your baby sleeps. This way your body gets rested and you won’t feel tired and sluggish the next day. This phase is only temporary. Within a month and a half your baby with adapting to the day-night schedule you follow.

Interesting facts about baby sleep

How many times have you tiptoed into the bedroom while your newborn baby was asleep or spoke in hushed tones fearing the baby would get up? You turned off the lights to create the best sleeping atmosphere for your baby.

The fact is babies can sleep in the brightest and noisiest surroundings in the first few weeks after birth. They are accustomed to loud sounds in the mother’s uterus including her heart beat, the whooshing of her blood and the rumbles of her digestive tract.

Babies have individual sleep patterns. Some will sleep sound while some will toss and turn in their sleep. Selected babies sleep throughout the night and some wake up after intervals of 3-4 hours for their feed.

Your baby loves to curl and sleep with his hands and knees tucked under his body. But the best sleeping position for a baby is on its back. Besides, the toys, pillows and blankest you use to comfort your baby need to be removed to ensure your baby breathes well.

So, a note to all new mothers- As long as your baby is comfortable, happy, eating, sleeping and waking up for more, there is no need to worry.

About Shalini Mittal

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