Anyone who has spent time around infants knows this: They rarely sleep through the night. Babies have shorter sleep cycles than adults, and they fall asleep as easily during the day as at nighttime. If you’re curious about what to expect when your baby arrives or you’re not sure if your newborn’s sleep habits are typical, here are the answers to some common sleep-related questions.
No. 1 – How much should my baby sleep?
Infants sleep A LOT. In fact, they spend more time sleeping compared to other activities. The average newborn sleeps around 16 to 18 hours a day. As they grow, their need for sleep gradually decreases to 11 to 14 hours by age one, although every baby is different.
No. 2 – When will my baby start sleeping through the night?
Until your infant is four to six months old, he or she will probably sleep only two to four hours at a time. Around four months of age, your baby should begin sleeping for longer periods but will most likely not sleep through the night until the six-month mark.
No. 3 – Should I put my baby on a sleep schedule?
Establishing a bedtime routine can help your infant fall asleep easier and stay asleep longer. Beginning about six to eight weeks of age, help your baby relax before bed with a warm bath, lullaby or story.
No. 4 – What if my baby wakes during the night?
Babies wake up for a lot of reasons – hunger, a dirty diaper, too hot or too cold. React just as you would during the day. If your baby is simply fussy, try these techniques to coax him or her back to sleep. If you are concerned you may not hear your newborn during the night, place a crib or bassinet in your room so that you are close by. Do not share a bed with your infant as he or she could fall off or suffocate.
To help your newborn sleep safely and soundly, follow the ABC’S of Safe Sleep. Visit http://www.bootheelbabies.org/safe-sleep/ for the details.
Always speak with a medical provider if you have questions or concerns about your baby’s health and well-being.