I found it very important as a new mum to understand how much sleep a newborn is supposed to have and the time frame associated with a new babies sleeping patterns. Things like, at what age does your babies sleeping pattern change and when am I going to get a better nights sleep.
Newborn Sleeping Patterns – What to Expect
For the first few weeks of a baby’s life, it seems like all they do is sleep. For the next 6 weeks your baby is awake for shorter periods of time.
A newborn at this stage will sleep between 16 and 18 hours a day. It may seem like this is a lot of sleep but in at this stage of their lives babies are growing a lot. Growth most commonly takes place during the sleeping hours.
How Much Sleep Do Children Need
|Newborns (0-2 months)||12 to 18 hours|
|Infants (3-11 months)||14-15 hours|
|Toddler (1-3 years)||12 to 14 hours|
|Preschoolers (3-5 years)||11 to 13 hours|
|School-age children (5-10 years)||10 to 11 hours|
|Teens (10-17 years)||8.5 to 9.5 hours|
Baby Sleeping Problems
One problem that can occur is that your baby gets their days and nights mixed up with their sleep. This is a time when keeping the baby close to you all the time is helpful, allowing you to sleep when your baby sleeps. In the long run it is better to teach your baby to sleep at night, especially if you have other children, some things you can try are:-
- Keep lights on during the day, open the blinds in the morning and say “Good morning sunshine”.
- Don’t change the time you wake in the morning, try to get your baby to sleep until at least 7am.
- Keep everything quiet and calm at night.
- Keep babies sleigh cot for sleeping only, not playing.
- Play with or talk to your baby a lot during the day.
- Associate a warm bath with bedtime.
Newborn Sleep Stages
A newborns stages of sleep begin to form during the last trimester. Newborns go through an active sleep and a quiet sleep. This is because of the two different types of sleep states, Non-REM Sleep and REM Sleep.
The first stage is called Non-REM sleep, which is divided into 4 stages.
This stage of sleep repeats until the baby is ready for REM sleep.
REM (Non- REM sleep) is the stage that a body regenerates and repairs itself. For babies and children this is also the time that they grow.
Stages of Non-REM
- Stage 1 is drowsiness. This is when the eyes begin to droop, many consider this dozing.
- Stage 2 is a light sleep. This is a stage where the baby moves or can be startled awake.
- Stage 3 is a deep sleep. In this stage the baby doesn’t move.
- Stage 4 is called the very deep sleep. Most people cannot see the difference between the third and fourth stages of sleep.
Stages of REM Sleep
The second stage or the active sleep is called REM sleep, or rapid eye movement sleep.
This is a light sleep. This is the stage that most people dream. Approximately half the time that a newborn sleeps they spend in this stage of sleep.
A Few Tips to Help Your Baby Sleep
There are some tips that can help you know when your newborn is ready for sleep, as well as ways to help them sleep.
- Babies of all ages show signs of sleep readiness through yawning, fussing, and rubbing eyes.
- Learn the warning signs that your baby is ready for sleep
- Swaddling your baby can help to reduce the startle movement and helps them feel safe and secure.
- Many newborns don’t know how to put themselves to sleep, it is a learned process, be patient.
- Babies love routine, so establish a routine early that suits you and baby.
Do you have any tips on getting your newborn to sleep? We would love to hear them………….