It is normal for a newborn baby to sleep a lot, typically up to 17 hours a day! However, during the first new weeks of life, a newborn will not stay asleep for more than a few hours at a time.
Naturally this will result in interrupted sleep patterns for you, however, it is important to remember that this is a necessary phase for your baby and it will not last long.
Experts claim that a baby has shorter and lighter sleeping cycles to those of an adult. This is believed to be a necessary part of the development of the brain. The good news is that experts also believe babies are capable of sleeping through a stretch of several hours by four to six months. And, your baby can also start to develop healthy sleep patterns by six weeks.
Keep it simple
There are hundreds of tips for new parents. However, the most sensible is generally the simplest advice. For starters, it could be a good idea to gently guide your baby into developing a healthy sleep schedule. This can be done gradually trying to keep your baby awake for longer periods during the day so that he or she will eventually learn to sleep through the night. When your baby is awake during the day, try to interact with him or her as much as possible. At night, try to gently wind your baby down. Do not play with him or her and also ensure that there is no bright light or loud noises. Eventually this will help your baby to distinguish the difference between night and day and realise that night-time is for sleeping.
You can also try to introduce and establish a sleeping routine that may help your baby understand that it is time to go to bed. By introducing consistent rituals before bedtime, such as rocking your baby or gently singing a lullaby, you could set your baby up for sleep time.
It’s important to understand that your baby is programmed to wake during the night. This is to ensure that he or she gets enough food in this time of growth and development.
So, for the first few months your newborn will require some of your attention during the night. However, as your baby’s sleep patterns and rhythms mature you can start to introduce other gradual methods to ensure he or she eventually sleeps through the night.
One good idea is to allow him or her plenty of opportunities to fall asleep by his or her self. A common suggestion is to put your baby down to sleep just before he or she falls asleep. This will help your baby develop sleep associations that do not rely on you for comfort and settling in the middle of the night.
It is important for parents to be aware of the fact there is no set method to help your baby settle down into a healthy sleeping pattern. Each baby is unique and it’s up to the parent to find methods that works best for their baby. Also, despite being a natural thing, sleep is not always an easy task. Keep a relaxed attitude towards it and do not allow yourself to be worked up on the topic. Keeping calm about it will help you and your baby both sleep better.